Pyrography, also known as wood burning, is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks using a heated object such as a pyrography pen. This technique allows for the creation of intricate designs, patterns, and lettering on a variety of surfaces, including wood, leather, and paper.

Description and How to Do It

To begin pyrography, you’ll need a pyrography tool or wood-burning pen, which typically comes with interchangeable tips for different effects. Start with a simple design on a piece of softwood, practicing controlling the tool to make light or dark marks by adjusting the pressure and speed of your movements. As you become more comfortable, you can move on to more complex designs and other materials.


  • Creativity and Personal Expression: Offers a unique medium for artistic expression.
  • Fine Motor Skills: Enhances hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
  • Relaxation: The process can be meditative and stress-relieving.
  • Versatility: Can be applied to various materials for different projects.

Best Age to Start

Pyrography is best suited for teenagers and adults due to the need for precision and the use of a heated tool. Starting ages might be around 12 or 13, with close adult supervision for younger enthusiasts.


  • Websites: Online tutorials, patterns, and communities dedicated to pyrography.
  • YouTube: Channels providing step-by-step guides and tips for beginners.
  • Books: “Pyrography Basics: Techniques and Exercises for Beginners” by Lora S. Irish (available on Amazon) offers a great introduction to the craft.

Equipment and Costs

  • Pyrography Pen: $20-$150, depending on quality and features.
  • Wood or Other Materials: Costs vary, but basic softwood plaques can be found for $5-$20.
  • Safety Gear: A well-ventilated area is essential, and a dust mask or respirator may be recommended, $10-$30.

Starting Tips

  • Begin with simple projects to practice consistent burn strokes and shading.
  • Use graphite paper to transfer designs onto your material if you’re not comfortable freehand drawing.
  • Experiment with different tips to achieve various textures and effects.

Recommended Practice Frequency

Practicing several times a week can help improve technique and comfort with the tool, allowing for progressively more detailed projects.

Requirements/Tasks for Mastery

  • Master a range of techniques, including shading, texturing, and fine detailing.
  • Develop the ability to create complex and original designs.
  • Explore pyrography on different materials, understanding how each reacts to the heat.

Notable Pyrography Artists

  • Sue Walters, known for her detailed wildlife and portrait pyrography.
  • Julia Klimova, is recognized for her intricate works combining pyrography with painting.