Pyrography is the art of burning designs into wood, leather, gourds, etc. Here is a collection of tips to create beautiful and detailed pyrography pictures on different surfaces.
Originating as far back as the ancient Egyptians, pyrography is most often used today in the form of wood burning, but it can be used for so much more.
Leather pyrography is easier than wood, because leather contains no grains to hinder what you do. It is a little temperamental, because it is burned so quickly. Use a very fine tipped burner, or fine metal to mark the material. The wider the tip, and the hotter the metal, the darker the lines on the cloth will appear.
Tanned Leather Cautions:Modern tanning techniques leave chemicals in the leather that are toxic when burned, so if you plan on scorching leather, make sure that you use only vegetable-tanned leather and are in a well ventilated area. If you are unable to find vegetable-tanned leather, then using leather that is not yet tanned is also an option. For the best pyrography outcomes, learning how to tan your own leather is recommended.
Much like wood burning, you can add color to leather pyrography. Coloring over an area with a colored pencil or paint that are not wax based and then burning over it will scorch the color into the material. Using wax based paint or pencils will create bubbling and a sickly look, but other coloring techniques work very well.
Remember that there is such a thing as too much color in pyrography. A little color to accentuate eyes or shading is beautiful, but more than that take away from the pyroetched look. You will need to practice and find what fits your own interests and tastes.
Pyrography techniques will change depending on the type of leather. Harder leathers will be the easiest to use, but softer leathers can be made to show extremely fine details. Whatever leather you decide on, it is best if you tie the material to a frame, or tack it to a slate of wood. This will provide a smoother surface to work, and decrease potential errors during your pyrography.
View our Pyrography Store for burners, instruction books, patterns, and more.