Featured Gallery: Woodwork




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EBSQ Spotlight on Pyrography

This month’s featured gallery is Pyrography, the art of using a heated point to burn images on to a surface, most often wood or leather. Pyrography literally means “writing with fire.”  We took a moment to catch up with three of our artists working in this seriously “hot” media:

Bigger than Life by Shirley James
Bigger than Life by Shirley James

Shirley James

My first experiment with pyrography was on illustration board and the effect was a dramatic contrast that drew observers into the painting.  I absolutely adore the way burning on paper, wood, and a host of other items gives me high contrasts and subtle shading that seems to add life to the drawing.  A touch of colored pencil or ink adds a vibrancy that is exciting.  Wood and especially Joshua Tree wood has a character and feeling that captures the subject with it’s organic structure and flow dictating the very subject itself.  It’s about using nature’s materials and creating art with only the hot wire of the burning tool.


Giraffes by Lynn Dobbins
Giraffes by Lynn Dobbins

Lynn Dobbins:

I have loved pyrography as an art form for years. I have always loved to draw, and sketch, and love the texture and feel of wood,so this just seemed like the natural progression. I like to let the grain of the wood dictate what the final outcome will be, as well as find new ways to incorporate other mediums into my pyro work.

My hope is that pyrography in the U.S will finally get the recognition as a legitimate art medium instead of craft medium that it deserves, and be included in more art shows and exhibitions.


Midwinter Firethorn by Lisa J. Rough
Midwinter Firethorn by Lisa J. Rough

Lisa J. Rough

It was about nine years ago when I wandered into the local craft shop and on a whim, bought a cheap woodburning pen. I experimented on whatever I could find, beginning with an unfinished wooden bookcase I had. I was immediately tantalized by the sweet smell of the smoke, (which reminded me of campfires), and the steady, meditative rhythm of using the pen.

 My style keeps evolving, but burning has remained a constant, and many of my friends call me “the pyro.”  I burn on many different kinds of wood, including pine, maple, cherry, birch, oak, driftwood, and even old beat-up wood scraps that I am able to recognize potential within.  I love to allow the bumps and grooves of the wood guide me in telling its own story.  After each design is burnt into the wood, most of my pieces are painted with acrylic paint, often watered down into a stain-like consistency that allows the grain of the wood to subtly peer through the colors.

Visit the EBSQ Pyrography Gallery to see more great pyrograuves

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