Saturday, 2 January 2016


Good afternoon all and thanks for popping in today..

Pull up a chair and I will put the kettle I am going to talk you through some pyrography .

As many of you know this is a passion of mine and I have been making and selling my work for over ten years now...

It is a very old craft but it is making a resurgence at the moment and when used in conjunction with stamped images some fantastic results can be obtained...

This particular tutorial is specifically designed in order to answer an email that I received from Martin....( thanks Martin )

So here we go.....this is what we are going to make...hope you like it...

Pyrography is the art of wood Burning...there is quite a variety of pyrography machines on the market and they do vary in price.

I started off with an inexpensive solid point this is great for basic work and to see if you enjoy the craft...

But once I wanted to create more intricate designs I bought a hot wire tool....this has many advantages in that you can create more detail and depth in your work

It also has a dial so that the voltage can be varied thus giving different heat settings.

A good machine can cost just over £100 but I have to say that mine has lasted over ten years , has travelled very well to demonstrations and you don't need anything else to get started other than some wood...

Onto the wood...different woods do burn really need a good medium wood.such as beach or birch ..pine can be a bit too soft...and some can be to hard....

It is not advisable to use materials such as MDF as the glue in it can give off some harmful fumes when burning.

Other products such a natural leather are great to use too...

Once you have your chosen your piece of can trace , draw free hand or stamp your design.

I use a VersaFine ink pad as it is a permanent ink and gives fine lines and great detail..I find the Vintage Sepia a really good colour to use.

Here I have used one of my favourite Clarity stamps...The Matrix feather.

The machine once plugged in takes only a couple of minutes to heat up...

Now I always lean on a piece of kitchen towel so that I don't put any marks onto the wood. ( a good habit to get in to )

With a steady hand start and slowly burn in the outline of the design.

If you want a darker colour you can switch the voltage up....or hold the wire on the wood longer..

But remember if you make a mistake you can't rub it can sand it back but to be honest it is better not to have too.

Next I added some detail using shorter strokes of the wire, almost like colouring in with a pencil

I hope you can see the detail

It is useful to have a wire brush as every so often you need to brush the wire to get rid of any wood residue.

I just carried on and worked my way around all the feathers on the lid.

I then decided that the sided looked a bit bare , so more stamping and burning...

This whole process took three hours...but I did make a cup of tea and put the Gammon and roast potatoes into the oven ( multitasking!!!! )

At this point we have choices...we can leave it or add some colour.

When I decorate items such as the chopping boards I don't add any colour so that they can be functional and they are safe to use.

But for this money box I felt it needed some can buy pens specific pens for adding colour to wood but I like to use Acrylic paint...depending on the depth of colour required depends weather you use it neat or water it down.

I decided to use a Translucent paint because I wanted the fine pyrography work to show through.

I added a little water and began painting the box one feather at a time...

I also added a small amount of watered down white paint

Until the box lid was finished

And all four sides done too

This is such a lovely hand crafted box and to open the lid you have to slide the front panel slightly first..

How clever is that....and yes it did take Karl and me an hour to work it out !!!!

Varnish is optional and once again there are many different products on the market , I find the spray varnish excellent , and it dries very you don't get brush marks....

Here are a couple of hand mirrors...

I do find this such a relaxing hobby and have taught it to groups of Cubs and Brownies so that shows you age isn't a barrier. ( they do need supervison though )

I do hope that you have found this interesting....and hope I didn't send you to sleep....

Thank for chatting....I need to go and get some more ironing done,,.Adam is off to Bali tomorrow with friends for a he has found last minute clothes that needed washing and ironing,,.( bless him !!!)

Enjoy your weekend....and remember Barbara is on HOCHANDA tv tomorrow afternoon and then she has a one day special on Monday..

Pop back soon

Love and hugs

Jo. xxx



  1. What an excellent tutorial Jo. I just love your work...all of it!!!
    I'm still usingy solid point, I tend to use it on leather though. Now I have a question....where would you recommend a good reliable (that means cheap lol) source for wood. Hugs and much love xxxx

  2. What an excellent tutorial Jo. I just love your work...all of it!!!
    I'm still usingy solid point, I tend to use it on leather though. Now I have a question....where would you recommend a good reliable (that means cheap lol) source for wood. Hugs and much love xxxx

    1. Hi Emma....thanks for your lovely your question...that's a good one..wood can be so expensive...I use a very helpful shop for specific blanks called Craft Supplies
      But for chopping boards , wooden spoons etc I just use local inexpensive shops and

  3. I certainly did not go to sleep, Jo, and really enjoyed it. I had a go on Bob Neil's stand at the NEC last year and loved it, especially as I could see being able to use loads of things I already had. I did treat myself to his hot wire kit, but so far have done nothing with it. Time to get it out, I think, and have a go - good for Christmas presents etc this year. Happy New Year. xx Maggie

    1. Oh bless you Maggie...I met Bob many years ago in Derbyshire and fell in love with is all his fault...I do hope that you get your kit out and I look forward to seeing your

  4. Great to see what goes into making your beautiful creations. My calendar is in pride of place! It must take a lot of patience to draw over all those lines, very impressive. Xx

    1. Thanks Donna, I am so pleased that you like your Calendar especially as it is your favourite Clarity stamp...have a lovely

  5. You make it sound so easy Jo. Your pyrography work is beautiful. By the way, Lynne loved the chopping board that you made xx

  6. What a brilliant tutorial Jo and a beautiful box..I have often wondered how it's done.

  7. What a brilliant tutorial Jo and a beautiful box..I have often wondered how it's done.

  8. Enjoyed your blog, and what a lovely box using one of my favourite stamps thank you for sharing

  9. Very interesting tutorial - may well give this a go. Thank you xx

  10. Great tutorial Jo. It's a lovely money box too. I think I may email you to order a gift for Claire. She would love the brushes etc
    Keep well my friend xx

  11. What a beautiful box Jo! I'm still enjoying my tool and I've burnt my first chopping board thanks to your inspiration! Great tutorial, thank you. Xxx

  12. Stunning project Jo, really interesting blog post, I'm definitely planning on trying this beautiful craft this year and I love seeing your projects, very inspiring xx

    1. Are there any good books you would recommend reading on Pyrography?

    2. Thanks Lisa, I hope you do have a go , it really is easy and so relaxing to do.
      I didn't read any books , sorry, I just learnt through trial and error...but the main inspiration for me was Bob could look him up...hugs. Xx

  13. Thanks for the tutorial on this beautiful box and also, what looks like a fabulous craft. All your work is fantastic, Jo. What great talent you have xx

  14. This is beautiful Jo. What a fab tutorial. I have been looking into trying this myself, so thanks for the info about the tools and which wood to use. The feathers look fantastic burnt in. I'm sure it'll be a long while till mine even looks like a feather. Xx

  15. Oh my Jo - is there no end to your talent!!!!! Your tutorial makes Pyrography look like something I could have a go at (when I've saved up the dosh to buy the tool!). Thanks and Happy New Year.

  16. hmmm now then Jo - i have been thinking about having a try at this - now I think I will definitely have to! beautiful work and a fabulous and very useful tutorial! Thankyou xx

  17. this is simply stunning. love that stamp. and you have coloured it beautifully. now i have bought a cheapy tool from Lidl, which came with loads of different heads.... need to use then. happy new year, hugs xx

  18. Oh wow and what a great tutorial X love the stamp you have chosen too. Great results and makes me want to have a go X
    Kim xx

  19. Hi Jo!! Hope that you and yours had a most wonderful Holiday Season!!! WOW this is FABULOUS know how much I admire all your techniques AND this one...well simply STUNNING!!! I so would love to try this!!!! Thanks for continuing to inspire us all Jo!
    Take care,

  20. How nice to know how these things are done - thanks Jo. Lovely work, I particularly love blue and brown together xxx

  21. How beautiful is that! Thanks for the great tutorial, can I feel a new craft coming on! Not sure the family would cope 😊