When you’re just beginning with pyrography it can feel a bit daunting and yet exciting. Here are 10 Tips to get get started with Wood-Burning.

Tip #1 – When you sit down and begin working on your project

Be sure your hands are clean before sitting down and working on your project. Your hands have natural oil and when you have dirty hands you can transfer some of that to the wood and that impacts your art.

Tip #2 – Wood-burning is about being patient. Don’t rush it!

Practice, practice, practice! It can be a challenge when you are starting off and not immediately achieve the results you want. When I first started, I would outline every single piece but as my skill evolved, I have been able to step away from that and go straight to shading but it took years to get there.

Tip #3 – Having a practice board can save you hours

Have a practice board handy so you can test the temperature of your burner and the wood you are using. But you can also practice the different styles you can create with the different wood- burning tips and strokes.

Tip #4 – Having a clean tip makes all the difference

Get started with wood-burning by using a clean tip as it will help your work clean but also give you a smooth effect. Scrape the carbon off as needed with a razor blade but also take breaks in-between (turn it all off) to clean it with your aluminum oxide powder and the composite strop.

Tip #6 – Set up in a well lit and ventilated space

Your set up should be well lit and ventilated. It’s quite challenging to burn when you can’t see and it can be bad for your health if your space isn’t ventilated properly.

Tip #7 – Adding color is a personal choice

Adding color to a piece is a personal preference. For me, it’s about the piece I am creating or an inspiration I have and then using color on purpose. Oil pencils are best because you can go as soft or hard as you like, and they are easy to blend with a piece of fabric creating some stunning pieces.

Tip #8 – Sometimes you’re not done, even when you think you are

When you think you are done, step away from it for a little bit. I found that it’s best to put it aside and then come back to it with fresh eyes in case you need to shade a bit more or add something else.

Tip #9 – Don’t be afraid to burn dark

Don’t be afraid to burn darker than you think necessary. Because the wood-burning will fade over time, when you burn darker with the aid of a UV protecting finish will last longer. It can be scary to burn dark but again with practice over time it will make more sense and give your art more depth.

Tip #10 – You will find your own style in time

If you keep practicing as I mentioned in Tip #2, then in time you are going to find your own style. There is no right or wrong way to do art and everyone has their own preference, but it doesn’t mean it’s the only way to create art – whatever the medium.

When you are ready to get started with Wood-Burning, having these tips in mind, you’ll be off to a good start!

You can find additional tips in the Mandala Wood-Burning E-Book.

Included in this E-book:

  • Supplies and Tools needed
  • Burning Material + Safety
  • Tips + Tricks 
  • Mandala Pattern Project