Thursday, December 11, 2008

Burning Questions Part I

Edge of the Wildwood presents

the FAQ on woodburning:

What tools are needed for basic woodburning?

  • a heated pen with interchangable tips

  • sandpaper

  • tracing paper or carbon paper

  • wood stains and finishing material

hot tip: use a small fan to blow the smoke away from your face

Can I burn any wood or paper?

yes! as long it's not plywood (because the glue emits harmful fumes) I've had great success burning exotic woods and even gourds and monkey pod. Most woodburners prefer basswood or other soft woods with light grains. When burning paper, the thicker the better.

hot tip: start with a small piece

Which designs can I use?

There are hundreds and hundreds of clip art designs that are permission free and copyright free. I recommend DOVER publications for a complete source of artwork. You cannot use another artist's designs without their permission.

hot tip: electronic clip art allows for resizing

How does the artwork get onto the wood?

  • draw it freehand using a pencil
  • trace it from printed artwork using tracing paper and carbon
  • transfer the image from a color laser printer

tip: a wide flat tip is used to transfer, much like an iron

Where do I start with the hot tool?

Burn the simple lines that make up the outline, then fill in the details. I like to work the outer portion first (if it has a border) and burn my way to the center.

hot tip: leave the shading for last

Part II of Burning Questions will cover

How can I avoid making mistakes and overburning?

Why does my lettering look so strange?

Will this take forever?

It's what?

If you didn't notice the tabby cat perched on my workbench photo---roll back up there and give Mimi a smile!

You may have some 'burning' questions, too! Post a comment and get a quick, hot answer:)

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