The Ancient Art of Pyrography

I’m Jac and among other things I’m a pyrography artist, who works specifically with recycled wood. I use off-cuts from our furniture projects, or trimmings from the garden, to create unique pieces of artwork and personalised gifts. Inspired by nature and organic forms, I use the natural defects and grains in the wood to inspire or compliment a theme. I am passionate about environmental issues which is also reflected in my work, have contributed to several exhibitions along this theme and won a gold award with my iconic “Elements” piece below.

What is Pyrography?

 Also known as ‘poker work’ or wood burning, Pyrography is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks to build up a picture. It is one of the oldest art forms with examples dating back to the early Egyptians and various ancient African tribes. The term literally means ‘fire writing’ from the Greek ‘pyr’ (fire) and ‘graphos’ (writing) and can be practiced using the controlled application of any heated object.

Pyrography saw a boom in popularity during the Arts and Crafts movement of the mid-19th Century, with a return to traditional decorative techniques and the invention of machines that made the process quicker and easier. These machines, although more modernised, are still used today to burn designs by hand. Not to be confused with laser machines which are digitally programmed to burn or cut, the pyrography artist gradually builds up layers of gentle burns to create shading and texture, effectively ‘drawing’ with a hot pen.

Commissions

I am happy to take on most commission work but prefer projects which evolve around a natural / woodland theme or other organic forms. Projects are quoted for on an individual basis, depending on the estimated work involved. I can also offer pet portraits if taken from a photo. As I only use recycled/salvaged wood the size and shape of the piece is subject to availability and defects will naturally occur. I require a non-refundable deposit in advance and always send a pencil ‘proof’ before burning as changes cannot be made afterwards. Please contact us to discuss a project.

               

Workshops

Since the beginning of March 2020, I have had to put my workshops on hold following covid-19 and lockdown restrictions. However, as things begin opening up again – hopefully later this year – I will be available to host private group sessions of up to six people, and also public events in due course. In the meantime, please feel free to drop me a line if you would like further information.

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