Thursday, December 24, 2009

Book Review: Pyrography Workbook, Sue Walters

pyrography workbookI don't do a lot of pyrography, but I like it because it is very similar to drawing. There are some big differences, though, starting with the fact that you cannot erase. I don't remember how I discovered woodburning, I just remember that I fell in love with it the first time I tried while going through this book.

The author, Sue Walters, is an internationally-known Australian pyrographic artist whose focus happens to be on animals. I have found that fur lends itself to woodburning rather well. The book starts out with a comprehensive overview of the equipment needed and the different types of burners available. While she prefers one kind, she is careful not to push her choice on the reader. There is a quick chapter on transferring your design to the surface, and another on the different surfaces you can use in addition to wood. Then, of course, a good description of how to take care of your tools.

Chapters five through seven show the wide variety of burner tip shapes you can use, with several examples of each and a description of how to hold the pens properly. There follows three projects of increasing complexity with step-by-step lessons, with explanations on how to do different animal textures. She ends with chapters on adding color, troubleshooting, and practice patterns.

My only problem with this book is that it focuses only on animals. This was fine for me, but I'm sure many people would want to do other subjects as well. Once you practice the techniques in this book, it is not that far a stretch to do people or landscapes, for example, but you may have to do some experimentation on your own.

This is the only pyrography book I own. It does take practice, but is well worth the effort. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning pyrography.

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