Pyrographic Progress Report

I haven't had as much time as I'd like to play with my new wood burner. I learned very quickly that it's not the kind of craft you can do safely with small children around. It gets really, really HOT. And it also... you know... BURNS the wood, so there's a lot of eye-watering smoke produced too. The kids are only out of the house for about three hours each day and by the time I've gotten home from drop-off, eaten breakfast, checked my email, cleaned something and tried to write a line or two it's usually time to collect them again. I don't like to do it at night when I'm tired either, because I'm likely to make mistakes and burn my fingers off.

So far I've only had two sessions with it. One was a practice session, where I tried out a few different tips on a piece of old fencing I found in the garden. I also burned a nice triangle shape into my thumb.

That's when I learned that this wood burning malarkey is quite a time-consuming thing. You have to wait for each tip to cool down enough to be touched before you can change it. So working on patterns or designs with different elements to them can take quite a while to do.

I'm a bit impatient with crafts that don't yield fast-ish results, so I've been trying to find which nib I can get the widest variety of effects with. So far it's the most 'pen-like' nib in the collection. Which makes sense, I suppose, because then it's just like drawing on the wood. Except with added danger.

The second session I had was more fun, as I got to actually make something. Devo happened to do some accidental wood burning on Christmas day... on our chopping board... by leaving it too close to the gas flame... so I was happy to have an excuse to buy a new one. I knew I'd immediately want to set fire to it burn a pattern into it, and as I'm still at the complete novice stage in wielding this terrifying burning thing, I decided to buy the cheapest one I could find.

I got the bamboo beauty above for €2.00 in a local discount shop.

Then came the most time consuming thing of all:

Deciding what to burn-for-all-time into the surface.

It's like deciding on a tattoo. You have to live with it forever. There's no going back once it's on there and corrections or cover ups are probably going to end up looking rubbish.

It's an impossible decision!

(That totally explains why I don't have any tattoos...)

Anyway, I procrastinated and procrastinated and bookmarked cool Marimekko patterns and thought about making a grid to work from using inspiration from the craft magazine that started this whole obsession in the first place and then one day, the kids were happily playing in the bath and I had about 30 minutes to just DO something.

So I ignored all of my 'inspiration' and did this:

It's alright.

I'm not wild about it, but it's ok as a beginners effort and it's made me be a bit braver about even using the wood burner (I was slightly petrified after burning my thumb) - so that's good.

It's also sparked my imagination a bit more and I now have a grand plan for three wooden spoons that are crying out for some burnin' love.

Watch this space, it'll be fun, I promise!


  1. Ooh, thats very cute. It sounds like the kind of thing I'd love to do, but am far too accident prone to even contemplate! Love your chopping board :)

    1. Thanks Lisa! I'm a bit accident prone myself. Hence the burnt thumb after using it for 30 seconds... I'm determined to master it though! Well, at least improve marginally... and keep all of my fingers...

  2. That looks fab! Well impressed with your new hobby!

  3. Looking forward to seeing much more!! Finding time is a constant PAIN... Keep going, with regular updates :-)

    1. Thanks so much Emily :) It's the only craft I've ever done that poses a genuine threat to my children's safety - so finding the time is absolutely necessary. Not that that makes it any easier to find!!

  4. I love the chopping board it looks lovely. I hope you can keep hold of your fingers whilst learning!


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