Perhaps you, like many other people, have recently become interested in woodcrafts. Woodworkers have many activities which they can pursue – furniture and toy making being two examples. Although enjoyable, most woodshops require a lot of room, plus a fairly large investment in tools. One woodcraft hobby which requires little space, and only a modest investment in tools is wood burning. Although it would be helpful to have a designated area to work and store tools, this space need not be large. Indeed a small sturdy table would be sufficient for most projects.
Wood burning as an art is easy to learn! Start up needs are minimal – a wood burning pen with interchangeable points, patterns, graphite paper, sandpaper, and wood sealer. Most of the other materials you need are common household items. Walnut Hollow Farm’s wood burning pens are the best choice. Two basic pens are available – twenty one watt and twenty six watt. The twenty six watt is for all types of wood, especially the harder ones. The twenty one watt is the ideal beginner’s pen. It’s best used on softer woods.
Burning techniques differ depending on the point used. The key is to start with a simple pattern and learn how to use the many different points before progressing on to intermediate and advanced designs. A very good series of books for the beginning wood burner is from Walnut Hollow Farm. Creative Woodburning Book One contains all the easy to learn basics, plus many patterns to get you started. The rest of the series contains more patterns and techniques in many different styles.
The best wood to start on is basswood because it burns easily. Many types of basswood are available, including ovals, rounds, planks, and barrel staves. Neat wooden boxes in many different styles can also make good projects. The wood surface to be burned must be very smooth for best results. Sand the wood to as fine a finish as possible with a very fine grade of sandpaper.
The pattern is transferred to the wood surface using either graphite or white transfer paper. Use graphite paper on light wood and white transfer paper on dark wood. The pattern and transfer paper are taped to the wood with masking tape and a fine point ball-point pen is used to trace the design on to the wood.
As mentioned earlier, there are many different techniques of burning and several woodburning tips to use with the pen to get different effects. In addition, the burnings can be colored with oil colored pencils, and oil paint wash. The combination of wood grain, woodburning technique, and oil paints creates some stunningly beautiful art.
The list of wood burning craft projects which can be burned is limitless. Burn designs on jewelry boxes, ring boxes, cutlery boxes, clocks, and furniture. Burn woodcarvings to lend a unique touch to your woodcraft projects. Wall hangings and picture frames are also good candidates for wood burning. Take your wood art to any level you desire! It is a very enjoyable hobby.