Woodburning with Style: Pyrography Lessons and Projects with a Modern Flair

Woodburning with Style: Pyrography Lessons and Projects with a Modern Flair

by Simon Easton
     
 
A Contemporary Twist on Woodburning Basics. Award-winning artist and pyrographer Simon Easton guides you through nine woodburning projects, while encouraging you to develop your own style. This beautifully photographed, hands-on instructional guide to the art of pyrography will take you on a journey of skill-building lessons to create attractive projects with this

Overview

A Contemporary Twist on Woodburning Basics. Award-winning artist and pyrographer Simon Easton guides you through nine woodburning projects, while encouraging you to develop your own style. This beautifully photographed, hands-on instructional guide to the art of pyrography will take you on a journey of skill-building lessons to create attractive projects with this hands-on book. Begin at the basics and finish with stylish, gift-worthy projects!

Editorial Reviews

Lora S. Irish

Simon Easton leads you through the basics of our craft with an in-depth exploration of tool styles, pen tip styles and even how to create your own wire tips. His deep understanding of the art theory used in pyrography design is clearly shown through a series of wonderful sample burns and his illustrations that reflect his approach to executing any pyro project . "Woodburning with Style" is not so much a how-to book as a why-to book that will teach the beginning pyrographer as well as the advanced new ways of thinking about how to turn any design into an exciting wood burning adventure. This is a book that you will read thoroughly and then return to often as you grow in your craft of pyrography.

The Daytona Beach News Journal

As a child, I took a brief stab at woodburning. My brother had received a kit as a birthday present and was willing to share.

I don''t know what happened to that artwork of my youth, but wow, woodburning (formally pyrography) has come a long way.

A few weeks ago, a new book arrived at my desk. One look at the cover and I was hooked on woodburning all over again. Now, it''s classy, even contemporary.

After browsing through "Woodburning with Style" by Simon Easton, I bought a woodburning kit the following weekend.

The way Easton presents his subject matter is simple and well presented in words and pictures. He starts with the basics: what tools you need and how to use them safely. Then come simple projects, with how-to photos and tips all along the way. He gradually sees us through making coasters, key rings, clocks, door signs and plaques. Planning, drawing, using patience, trying new objects, patterns and subjects.

The book wraps up with color techniques, eye-catching Celtic patterned border plates and appendices: types of wood, texture and pattern samples and resources.

Thank goodness for "resources," because I was wondering where to get those bangle bracelets shown off on the book cover. I''m planning on turning some out for Christmas presents this year.

Recently I purchased a couple of wood blanks in a local crafts store and sat down with Easton''s book to give it a try. What I learned is I have a long way to go, and eventually I''ll have to spring for that pricey pen.

But all this inspired me to contact Easton by e-mail about his terrific new book and get the scoop about woodburning as art.

Were you born into pyrography?

I first experienced pyrography at a young age but I certainly don''t consider myself to be young now! I remember using a pyrography kit in Design and Technology lessons at school to make a games board when I was 11 or 12. I then didn''t touch any woodburning equipment again for another 15 years or so.

Did you take a lot of art classes?

I have always loved art and design subjects, and I worked in a wide range of media during my studies at all levels. These included fine art, ceramics, photography, graphic design, printing, sculpture and many more. I eventually realized that I gained the most enjoyment from working with solid materials such as wood, glass, metal and plastics. I studied (for) a bachelor of arts degree in three-dimensional design in which I focused more on wood and metal. All of the designs that I produced featured a decorative or textural element, and pyrography has been the next step in my hunt for ways to adorn a wooden surface.

Why this book? Why now?

I decided to buy myself a pyrography kit back in 2007 for purely recreational reasons — to give me something to do when not at work which was creative and rewarding. I really enjoyed using it and started making a massive range of different items and designs. I joined the UK Crafts Forum (craftsforum.co.uk) and started to learn about ways to promote and sell handmade items.

Within a year, I had a website, was selling online and was exhibiting at crafts fairs. I became a moderator on the Forum and offer my experience to others starting out.

I received an e-mail from Fox Chapel Publishing out of the blue one day, stating that they had seen my pyrography work and liked my individual style. I was asked if I wanted to write a book on the subject and I leapt at the opportunity, as I''ve always dreamt of being an author since I was a child.

I believe that my style adds a new contemporary take on the art of pyrography, both complementing and adding to the talent of other woodburning artists producing great designs today. I also think that there is a substantial rise in the appeal of handcrafted gifts in the current economic climate: I believe that people are looking to get more for their money, and unique or personalized handmade designs are definitely becoming more popular due to this.

You''ve also received awards for your woodturning, silversmithing and pewterware work. What''s your favorite? Did one lead to another?

It was a real honor to receive recognition for my designs from both the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and the Worshipful Company of Pewterers, but the most rewarding success for me was my involvement in the "onetree" project which stemmed from a single oak tree felled in 1998. All parts of it were saved and distributed to artists, craftspeople and manufacturers to make a huge range of beautiful and useful pieces. All of the work formed a major touring exhibition across Great Britain in 2001-2002, accompanied by a book with a foreword from Prince Charles.

My design for a turned wooden oak bowl with a spun pewter insert was accepted for inclusion, which was a real honor as I believe I was the only student to successfully submit a design.

(Editor''s note: For more information, visit onetree.org.uk; for the book, visit amazon.co.uk.)

What''s your next project?

I''m working on updating my website (woodtattoos.com) as well as a number of commissions for customers. I''m also in the early stages on development for further books: I''m working on a visual reference book of designs I''ve come up with, and I would also like to make a further book of pyrography projects for budding woodburners to experiment with.

Anything else you''d like to add?

Pyrography is such an individual art and I hope that my book helps people of all ages and skill levels to pick up a kit and enjoy using it. People can get in touch with me through my website or at facebook.com/woodtattoos if they would like to keep updated with my latest creations.

— Karen Gallagher, Staff Writer

From the Publisher
Simon Easton leads you through the basics of our craft with an in-depth exploration of tool styles, pen tip styles and even how to create your own wire tips. His deep understanding of the art theory used in pyrography design is clearly shown through a series of wonderful sample burns and his illustrations that reflect his approach to executing any pyro project . "Woodburning with Style" is not so much a how-to book as a why-to book that will teach the beginning pyrographer as well as the advanced new ways of thinking about how to turn any design into an exciting wood burning adventure. This is a book that you will read thoroughly and then return to often as you grow in your craft of pyrography.

I am so chuffed I can't describe it!! A fellow Moderator, Simon Easton on the Crafts Forum was asked to write a book on how to get started in Pyrography and asked for non wood crafters for help to show the diversity of wood burning and that it could be combined with other crafts.

So, naturally I offered my services and Si burned the initials H and S into two wooden discs so I could make Hayley and Stephens Wedding Card. I don't think I blogged it when I made it (doh) but here you can see it in print:

I also asked Si to make a tooth box so that the tooth fairy could keep all Samuel's tiny baby teeth in together. Samuel likes dinosaurs and I wanted his name on the box and left the rest to Si. And here you can see how he made the design - IN HIS BOOK!!!!!

Samuel's name has been burned into the wool in the style of bones. I am so pleased with the box to the extent that I am looking forward to Jacob loosing his baby teeth!

So, the book is called Woodburning with Style and is by Simon Easton. It's published by Fox Chapel Publishing and is not yet available to buy - but I've got one!! It's packed full of useful tips and projects and basically everything you need to know about woodburning. The only downside, and I hope you take note of this Si, is that it should come with a scratch and sniff page as the smell of burning wood is the best in the world!

You can actually pre-order it on Amazon via this link - and its a really good book to have! Both my boys have looked through it and have asked lots of questions on how it is all done.

Beautiful photos and a lovely writing style that will appeal to anyone!

Go buy!!!!

It was many months ago that I first heard Simon Easton was writing a book. At the time it seemed such a distant completion date and such a monumental task that I admired Si's dedication in 'sticking with it'.

For as long as I have been a member of the Crafts Forum I have admired Si's work. So when he asked for ways in which pyrography could be incorporated into other arts and crafts, as well as pictures he could work with, I am sure he was inundated with offers - I certainly stepped forward!

The result is a seriously impressive book. Woodburning with Style is beautiful in its own right and could happily grace any coffee table whether you are into pyrography or not. The presentation style is very accessible, a comprehensive guide for beginners and more experienced pyrographers. Chock full of tips and techniques that walk you through 'how to achieve a look' but not so structured that you would not be able to develop your own style

After all inspiration is flattering but outright copy catting is unfair and nasty.

When someone makes a craft look easy it's testament to their skill not that it is easy! Simon manages to impart technical expertise in a way that, if you follow his guidance, you would achieve a pleasing result too.

On the Craft Forum Simon has always been very generous with his knowledge and this book is no exception. Some authors give you enough to 'be getting on with' but not so much that you feel confident, but Woodburning with Style is not like that, which makes a refreshing change.

Just why am I writing about a book that has nothing to do with glass? Well, Simon kept CF folk posted with his progress along the way and made everyone feel part of his project even though he alone was putting in ALL the legwork while the rest of us ooohed, ahhhed and urged him to keep up the good work!

On top of that, I recognise some of his pieces and it's fun to see familiar names through the book of other virtual friends. There is even an armadillo and that chess board is stunning!

Lastly, a photo of mine made it into Si's book which I am very chuffed about. The step by step project based on the photo is awesome and truly showcases Simon's expertise and willingness to share his skill in 'drawing with fire'.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010My thoughts on Woodburning with Style by Simon Easton
It was many months ago that I first heard Simon Easton was writing a book. At the time it seemed such a distant completion date and such a monumental task that I admired Si's dedication in 'sticking with it'.

For as long as I have been a member of the Crafts Forum I have admired Si's work. So when he asked for ways in which pyrography could be incorporated into other arts and crafts, as well as pictures he could work with, I am sure he was inundated with offers - I certainly stepped forward!

The result is a seriously impressive book. Woodburning with Style is beautiful in its own right and could happily grace any coffee table whether you are into pyrography or not. The presentation style is very accessible, a comprehensive guide for beginners and more experienced pyrographers. Chock full of tips and techniques that walk you through 'how to achieve a look' but not so structured that you would not be able to develop your own style.

When someone makes a craft look easy it's testament to their skill not that it is easy! Simon manages to impart technical expertise in a way that, if you follow his guidance, you would achieve a pleasing result too.

On the Craft Forum Simon has always been very generous with his knowledge and this book is no exception. Some authors give you enough to 'be getting on with' but not so much that you feel confident, but Woodburning with Style is not like that, which makes a refreshing change.

Just why am I writing about a book that has nothing to do with glass? Well, Simon kept CF folk posted with his progress along the way and made everyone feel part of his project even though he alone was putting in ALL the legwork while the rest of us ooohed, ahhhed and urged him to keep up the good work!
On top of that, I recognise some of his pieces and it's fun to see familiar names through the book of other virtual friends. There is even an armadillo and that chess board is stunning!

Lastly, a photo of mine made it into Si's book which I am very chuffed about. The step by step project based on the photo is awesome and truly showcases Simon's expertise and willingness to share his skill in 'drawing with fire'.

I wish Simon all the success he deserves! Also it's highly recommended that you go and get a copy before they all sell out! Perhaps on Amazon

Simon Easton's brand of woodburnlng is hip, edgy, and modem. He's transformed a classic craft into an art form that expresses contemporary style. With the author's new book, Woodbuming with Style, anyone can convey a unique personal flair. This 208-page guide teaches readers how to "draw with fire" using a simple toot that's a cross between a pencil and a curling iron. Even new crafters can easily decorate any wooden surface and discover how to easily embellish objects with rich texture, patterns, and motifs.

As a child, I took a brief stab at woodburning. My brother had received a kit as a birthday present and was willing to share.

I don't know what happened to that artwork of my youth, but wow, woodburning (formally pyrography) has come a long way.

A few weeks ago, a new book arrived at my desk. One look at the cover and I was hooked on woodburning all over again. Now, it's classy, even contemporary.

After browsing through "Woodburning with Style" by Simon Easton, I bought a woodburning kit the following weekend.

The way Easton presents his subject matter is simple and well presented in words and pictures. He starts with the basics: what tools you need and how to use them safely. Then come simple projects, with how-to photos and tips all along the way. He gradually sees us through making coasters, key rings, clocks, door signs and plaques. Planning, drawing, using patience, trying new objects, patterns and subjects.

The book wraps up with color techniques, eye-catching Celtic patterned border plates and appendices: types of wood, texture and pattern samples and resources.

Thank goodness for "resources," because I was wondering where to get those bangle bracelets shown off on the book cover. I'm planning on turning some out for Christmas presents this year.

Recently I purchased a couple of wood blanks in a local crafts store and sat down with Easton's book to give it a try. What I learned is I have a long way to go, and eventually I'll have to spring for that pricey pen.

But all this inspired me to contact Easton by e-mail about his terrific new book and get the scoop about woodburning as art.

Were you born into pyrography?

I first experienced pyrography at a young age but I certainly don't consider myself to be young now! I remember using a pyrography kit in Design and Technology lessons at school to make a games board when I was 11 or 12. I then didn't touch any woodburning equipment again for another 15 years or so.

Did you take a lot of art classes?

I have always loved art and design subjects, and I worked in a wide range of media during my studies at all levels. These included fine art, ceramics, photography, graphic design, printing, sculpture and many more. I eventually realized that I gained the most enjoyment from working with solid materials such as wood, glass, metal and plastics. I studied (for) a bachelor of arts degree in three-dimensional design in which I focused more on wood and metal. All of the designs that I produced featured a decorative or textural element, and pyrography has been the next step in my hunt for ways to adorn a wooden surface.

Why this book? Why now?

I decided to buy myself a pyrography kit back in 2007 for purely recreational reasons -- to give me something to do when not at work which was creative and rewarding. I really enjoyed using it and started making a massive range of different items and designs. I joined the UK Crafts Forum (craftsforum.co.uk) and started to learn about ways to promote and sell handmade items.

Within a year, I had a website, was selling online and was exhibiting at crafts fairs. I became a moderator on the Forum and offer my experience to others starting out.

I received an e-mail from Fox Chapel Publishing out of the blue one day, stating that they had seen my pyrography work and liked my individual style. I was asked if I wanted to write a book on the subject and I leapt at the opportunity, as I've always dreamt of being an author since I was a child.

I believe that my style adds a new contemporary take on the art of pyrography, both complementing and adding to the talent of other woodburning artists producing great designs today. I also think that there is a substantial rise in the appeal of handcrafted gifts in the current economic climate: I believe that people are looking to get more for their money, and unique or personalized handmade designs are definitely becoming more popular due to this.

You've also received awards for your woodturning, silversmithing and pewterware work. What's your favorite? Did one lead to another?

It was a real honor to receive recognition for my designs from both the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and the Worshipful Company of Pewterers, but the most rewarding success for me was my involvement in the "onetree" project which stemmed from a single oak tree felled in 1998. All parts of it were saved and distributed to artists, craftspeople and manufacturers to make a huge range of beautiful and useful pieces. All of the work formed a major touring exhibition across Great Britain in 2001-2002, accompanied by a book with a foreword from Prince Charles.

My design for a turned wooden oak bowl with a spun pewter insert was accepted for inclusion, which was a real honor as I believe I was the only student to successfully submit a design.

(Editor's note: For more information, visit onetree.org.uk; for the book, visit amazon.co.uk.)

What's your next project?

I'm working on updating my website (woodtattoos.com) as well as a number of commissions for customers. I'm also in the early stages on development for further books: I'm working on a visual reference book of designs I've come up with, and I would also like to make a further book of pyrography projects for budding woodburners to experiment with.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Pyrography is such an individual art and I hope that my book helps people of all ages and skill levels to pick up a kit and enjoy using it. People can get in touch with me through my website or at facebook.com/woodtattoos if they would like to keep updated with my latest creations.

It is only necessary to glance at the three pages devoted to nib shapes in this book to realise how the craft of pyrography has changed over the past few years.
Pyrography i. - and will always remain
- an artform. But the craft that gives rise to this art has developed in a manner that is sure to encourage many who might have previously thought it too difficult to achieve worthwhile results.
This book is clearly aimed at ensuring that aspirants are given the knowledge and guidance they need to embark upon their personal journey in pyrography.
Woodburning with Style begins with a short Introduction describing the equipment and materials commonly used.
Chapter 1 deals with Simple Mark
Making shOWing the kind of work that can be performed with the 'four essential nib shaPe::s'. There is also a page on troubleshootmg for those who may have difficulty achieving the marks shown in the illustrations relevant to each nib.
The second Chapter explores Basic
Decoration Techniques and the third, the subject of Silhouettes.
In Chapter 4, the author introduces the notion of Drawing with Fire - freehand sketching using a pyrographic pen.
The next three chapters provide the information necessary for the reader to refine the techniques that are used when
'Drawing with Fire' - the creation of textures and patterns, the formation of lettering and the drawing of portraits.
In addition to the instructional material,
the book contains projects designed to test the developing skills of the reader.
These include Decorative Key Rings, a
Hanging Wall Clock, Landscape Artwork,
a Door Sign, Tattoo Bracelets and a Patterned
Border Plate.
Woodburning with Style is easy to read and well illustrated. The layout and content of the book show that it is intended as a comprehensive course in pyrography but any of the hints and tips it contains would be of value even to those who are reasonably experienced in the craft.

With his contemporary flair and use of pattern, Easton takes you on a journey from the concepts and basics of woodbuming to tips and techniques that encourage your creativity and the development of style.

Step-by-step projects such as coasters, key rings, and a wall dock are mixed in with lessons on everything from making slniple marks to texturing and lettering.

Easton's teaching style imparts guidance while letting you find your own creative niche with the art form. If you are a beginner, this book will have you wanting to learn more, and if you are an experienced pyrographer you wlll be inspired by Easton's designs.

In 2000, a single oak tree was distributed root and branch to a select number of British artisans in a project called the onetree project. Simon Easton had just finished his design degree (with Honours) and was nominated because he had already won the respect of his artisan peers. Simon created a turned wooden bowl with a spun pewter insert and titled his piece Wish, Hope, Dream, Everything. Woodburning with Style reveals Simon's passion for wood tattoos and his prodigious talents as an artist as well as artisan. Simon's fresh and vital approach to the art of pyrography leaps out of every one of the 207 pages of this inspirational tome. The book is divided up into eight informative chapters, each ending with a project. The instructions and illustrations given are clear and concise, building skills and confidence in what really is a series of master classes in the art of woodburning. Chapter one introduces basic skills through the creation of a coaster. The following chapters run on the themes of decorating techniques, silhouettes, landscapes,
texture and pattern, lettering and portraits. The project at the end of the chapter on Landscape Artwork is a perspective exercise in crafting a rendered perspective of a castle. The final chapter showcases Simon's Wood Tattoo creations and ends with a step-by-step lesson on how to craft the beautiful Celtic pattern featured on the cover of the book. Simon has generously poured his creative talents into producing a wonderful tour-de-force on the art of burning wood with a pyrographic pen.

The craft of woodburning, or pyrography, has been greatly aided in recent years by improvements in the pens and nibs (points) used for burning. Easton, an expert woodturner and metalsmith, discusses basic mark making and decoration techniques using purchased and homemade nibs and applies them to practice projects using designs copied from many sources. There are not many books available on the craft, and this will be welcome in general collections.

I will admit, I'm not a pyrography genius. In fact the last time I used a woodburning tool, it was Christmas Day and I was about five years old. It didn't go well. A lot has changed since then. The tools have improved, there is a large and growing group of woodburning artists and there are great books to show you the basics and inspire you to pick up the art of pyrography. Woodburning with Style is the perfect book if you're just learning. Not only will it teach you about the equipment available, it covers decorative techniques, lettering, portraits and more, before providing a chapter of inspirational projects and photographs to really get your imagination going. Pyrography is an art in itself but can also be used in conjunction with turnings, carvings or furniture making.

I'm really quite an amateur when it comes to the art of woodburning. I played with it as a child, forgot about it, and became interested in it again a few years ago.

This book was a real find. It covers everything, from selection of tools to basic techniques to complex designs. No matter what your level of expertise, you'll likely find something new somewhere in this book.

There seem to be two basic tool choices available for those who want to try their hand at pyrography: the solid point tools that most children use - inexpensive, but less adaptable; and the hot wire machines - MUCH more expensive, but capable of real artistry. The patterns in this book can be realized with either tool.

I'm not yet to the point where I can justify the expense of a hot wire machine, so my experiments with the patterns in this book were all done with a solid point tool.

Bottom line: if you do the practice exercises included in each chapter of this book, you will GREATLY improve your technique. I was amazed at how much more comfortable I became with the pen. Each chapter also contains a project (or two) that utilizes the techniques you just practiced.

Get yourself some scrap wood and just go for it. Chapters 1 and 2 are fairly basic. Chapter 3 starts to get more complicated, but even here, the project, a clock face decorated with silhouettes of trees and stags, is fairly simple, and the author provides sufficient instruction for the student to complete the project using their own choice of subject. Part of what turned me off woodburning as a child was the overemphasis on wildlife subjects. You won't have that problem with this book.

Chapter 4's project takes you from a photograph to pyrographic art. It's complex, yes, but the author's step-by-step layering of techniques makes it doable even for someone like me. (I'll try to post a photo my version of this exercise later )

Each chapter provides the opportunity for the student to try new techniques, and perhaps look at woodburning in a new way. The appendices include information about different kinds of wood and pattern samples -- all good stuff.

This is definitely one of the better books of its kind out there.

I've started looking round my house for things to embellish with burn marks -- and I've been pouring over internet sites that offer things made of wood. This is going to keep me busy for quite awhile, I think.

There are some great tips and exercises, which every carver will find useful.

Library Journal
The craft of woodburning, or pyrography, has been greatly aided in recent years by improvements in the pens and nibs (points) used for burning. Easton, an expert woodturner and metalsmith, discusses basic mark making and decoration techniques using purchased and homemade nibs and applies them to practice projects using designs copied from many sources. There are not many books available on the craft, and this will be welcome in general collections.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565234437
Publisher:
Fox Chapel Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/01/2010
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
420,751
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Simon Easton studied a BA (Hons) degree at Manchester Metropolitan University where he studied woodturning, silversmithing and pewterware. His pewter napkin ring set was one of the MMU winners of the Pewter Live 1999 competition, and was displayed at Pewterers' Hall in London. He has won both a Precious Metals Bursary and a Grant from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in order to produce design concepts that he had developed. The common theme in Simon's work was a decorative and textural feel, often rich in embellishment or pattern.

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