Jeannie Ureno - Pyrography - November 2012



    • Woodturner unit

    • Tips / nibs

    • Ruler - for straight lines and measuring

    • Compass - circles

    • Pencil and sharpener

    • Needle nose pliers, to help take nibs off

    • Eraser

    • Tape

Tracing paper / graphite paper - to transfer your design, use tape to hold your design in place when transferring. Use a red or blue pen to trace with. This way you will know where to start and stop on your transfer. BUT do not push too

hard or you will dent your wood.


Try to use light color wood to show off the burning.

    • Holly - nice light color wood, easy to burn

    • Birch

    • Sycamore

    • Maple


Research and find a unit that will fit your needs. If you only plan to sign your

work then get a basic model from local craft store.


Cleaning - sand paper, but use fine and be careful not to over sand.

    • Honing stick or block

    • Emory cloth

    • Steel wool , fine

    • Aluminum oxide

    • Razor blade, to scrape off build up on the nib

PRO ( P ) Con ( C )


Use color after you burn, the burn lines will act as a border for the color so it does not bleed. Go light to dark, You will not be able to lighten any color once it is absorbed into the wood.

    • Alcohol base dye

    • Alcohol , use to thin your color

    • Brushes

    • Paper towels - for blotting brush


    • SKEW: ( looks like razor )

      • Use for lines:

        • Fine , crisp lines

        • Good for straight lines, edging

        • Good for cross hatching, for shading

      • When using a skew, keep clean and sharp ( Honed ),

      • Pull towards you - do not push away from you.

      • When turning, you will need to guide your board in the

      • Opposite direction you are turning so your nib continues

      • to pull toward you.

    • WRITER: Like a pencil ( my favorite tip to use )

      • Use for signatures, floats like a pencil, travels in any direction.

      • Different sizes - fine lines to heavy lines.

      • Lines - crosshatching for shading, texture

      • Stippling - time consuming, good for shading, texture


    • SHADER:

      • Good for filling in background, blacked areas, gives depth.

      • Good for large areas.

    • SPOON

      • Shader is good for soft shading.

      • When using a shader, use a sweeping motion, lifting off and upward.


They get very hot to hold when you burn at a high temperature.

You can use pen grips to help control the heat. They also give

cushion / comfort when holding the pen. They come in a few styles,

you will have to find the ones that best fit your pen style and your comfort.


You can use a fan to PULL AWAY the smoke as you burn.

Do not position the fan to blow at the pen, this will cause the smoke to blow on you and cool your tip as you are trying to burn causing it to burn inconsistently.

Choose unfinished wood to burn on. If you burn on finished wood it will cause more smoke and possibly toxic fumes. It also does not burn as easily when there is a finish on it because you are first trying to burn through the finish.


When you are done burning, you can then choose to color your piece or not,

Then finish it. You may first want to take a light sanding to the piece to

Smooth any roughness before applying your favorite finish you normally use.