My Upcoming Obsession: Poker-work

No, I'm not taking up gambling. Nor did I get a job as a back up singer for Lady Gaga, but I am taking up burning things, which is equally risky. Or maybe that should be risqué...

No, it's not risqué at all, actually...

When my parents were young and in the early years of their romance, my Dad used to buy a magazine called Crafts Weekly as a gift for my Mama. It was published by Marshall Cavendish and cost £0.27 and a half pence of his hard earned wages each week. My Mama had hoarded a stack of them in an old suitcase under the bed until, a few years ago, I stole them from her and hoarded them in my own house. Each slim volume is filled with 1970's crafty amazingness like; salt-dough sculptures of the green man, soft toys made from floor cloths and this:


I know...

My parents both used the magazines to make gifts for family and friends and for each other. Hand-painted pillowcases and glass vases and woven place mats. I reckon some of the things they made are probably still lingering in certain family members' houses to this day.

I have always loved flicking through these mags and I've vowed time and time again over the years to someday make something from them - but I've never gotten around to it.

I had always been particularly intrigued by this issue:


It has a really interesting article about Poker-work - which is basically "the art of burning a pattern on a wood surface with a hot 'poker' or metal implement."


I love the look of the patterns featured and always longed to give it a go - but believed it would be nigh-on impossible to find the crazy 'pyrography machine' mentioned in the piece in this day and age. Then, a week before Christmas, I was flicking through the Lidl catalogue and spotted this:


I immediately demanded that Devo buy it for me for Christmas, even though we'd already agreed that doing up the sitting room was our mutual gift (in fairness, it was only €9.99 - a lot cheaper than real pyrography machines!) and then sent him down first thing on Christmas Eve to make sure I didn't miss out.

I've been studying the magazine all week and I've taken the burner out of it's box and put it back in again a hundred times. I just haven't had a chance to sit down and practice for any length of time yet, but I'm going to hide away this week and get to grips with it. I've even bought a little something to 'decorate' which I hope won't be too much of a disaster to share here.

I've been looking longingly at any and all bare wood surfaces in the house and planning all kinds of destruction, so I'd better get it out of my system soon!

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4 comments

  1. Oh looks interesting, can't wait to see the results!

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    1. Neither can I! I'm hoping I can replicate some of that 70's vibe - but it could be a disaster!

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  2. I'm still stuck looking at the leg warmers. And the nails to match! I think you should get knitting. I adore 70s magazines, and now I see where your crafty streak comes from. :)

    Good luck with the decorative burning.

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    1. Thanks Maud! They're pretty amazing aren't they?! I know you've taken up knitting - I could send you the pattern if you fancy ;)

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