Posted on

Halloween Skull Wood Burning Design

Halloween skull

One of my favorite images to burn is the Halloween skull. I love the way the burned marks give the skull image an aged and tarnished look. I also love the look of the various tonal values that you apply to the skull to give depth and dimension to your burning. In this tutorial, I will also provide you with a template that you can use to create your very own skull.

Let’s get started!

You will need:

  • Halloween skull template (found at the end of this article)
  • TRUArt pen
  • Carbon paper
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Magic eraser
  • Tape
  • Fine-sanded wood

 

Step 1:

Take your wood, template, carbon paper, pen and tape. Tape your paper to your wood and begin the tracing process. For instructions on how to complete this process, please refer to my previous post here.

Step 2:

Once everything has been transferred, start your shading process. I started in the nasal cavity. Be aware of where light will hit and cast shadows. I started working on the darker end and slowly lightened my shading as I moved up. This is not an easy skill to master. For shading tips, please view my shading tutorial here.

 

Step 3:

Once I completed the shading in the nasal region, I began the same process in the eye sockets of me Halloween skull. The template should be used as a guide to indicate where areas should be darkened. Don’t worry about your tracing being visible through the shading, you can remove those lines once your image has been completely burned.

 

Step 4:

Start shading around the jawline. Remember to burn in a light tone here. We do not want our darker tones to blend with the lighter. We need to decipher what parts of the image are further away than the rest or what area has more depth. The shading around the skull is only meant to indicate where the shadows lie.

 

Step 5:

Begin working your way up the skull. Notice the crack lines on the template. At a lower heat, trace the lines to show cracks on the skull. Be sure your heat is not too high or you will create splotches instead of crack lines. You can always increase your temperature if needed. Add more lines if you wish.

 

Step 6:

When outlining the skull, the shading should be a darker value around the top portion of the head. You still don’t want this to be a dark shade, just a tonal shade darker than the bottom of the skull. Slowly fill in the center of the skull with a lighter value as you go inward.

 

Step 7:

Once you have completely burnt your skull image, start burning the background. This is an extremely time consuming process. You will also need to use high heat so this step must be done with caution. An alternate option would be to use paint to fill in the blank space or just leave it untouched. I personally love the look of the background burned. If you choose to do this, start on one spot and work your way down keeping your strokes as uniform as possible. This prevents an uneven burn and makes the completed piece look more polished.

Now that your burning is complete, take a dampened magic eraser and erase the lines that are visible from your tracing.

I hope you have fun burning a skull of your own. Remember, this takes time and practice. You stick with this and it will get easier every time you try. I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween.

 

See you next time,
Andrea Pate
Pate’s Pyrography

 

Template

 

Posted on

Fall Décor Garland

Fall Décor Garland fireplace

I look forward to Fall every year. The cooler weather, the amazing aroma of spices, cinnamon and apple pie stir in the air and of course, all the decorations.

Fall Décor Garland fireplace

 

This Fall season, I wanted to find an affordable and easy project to create for my home. I went to my local dollar store and found these adorable plywood cutouts. Each package comes with five cutouts so you can easily create a garland for just a dollar if you wanted to. I wanted multiple designs so I bought five packages. Some universal designs can be found here.

Once I opened my package, I looked up clip art patterns online to give me an idea of how I wanted to sketch out my design.

 

With my patterns picked and sketched on, I started the burning process.  I started with a thick bold burn outlining the outermost part of the wood and continued with a solid burn while tracing my pattern.

With the patterns completed, I began the shading process (please see previous post for shading instructions). If this technique is too difficult, you can always fill in the empty space with colored pencils.

For the areas needing white, I used a white paint-based marker. The paint markers work great since they don’t tend to bleed when applied to the wood. I tried to keep my colors soft so I added touches of color with colored pencils to enhance each character.

Once my cutouts were completed, I tied a string through small holes and displayed the garland over the fireplace. As an alternate choice, you can also tie a piece of string on the wood and use them for tags, gifts, or to wrap around a napkin for a cute Fall tablescape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this has given you some fun and very affordable wood burning ideas. This is going to be even greater when you get everyone involved in it. Ask your kids what they would like to work on and watch their imaginations fly! This is one the best times of the year to take your pyrography pen out. Start creating fun and amazing décor with everyone!

If you have any questions or would like to suggest other ideas, leave a comment below and I’ll get right back to you.

See you next time.
Andrea Pate
Pate’s Pyrography

Posted on

Adjusting TRUArt 60W Pyrography Pen Collets to Fit a Pyrography Tip Made of Thicker Wire

60W pyrography tip and pen in holder

.With all the various pyrography wire tips out in the market today, two pyrography tip sizes are the most commercially popular. The 18 Gauge and the 20 Gauge (18 GA and 20 GA) tips. They correspond to 1.0 mm and 0.8mm respectively. The thicker 18GA wire lasts longer and is suitable for very long hours of work. The thinner 20 GA wire is perfect for slightly lower heat and intricate detail work.

As it often happens, customers buy a set of tips unaware various wire sizes. With our TRUArt Stage 2 Dual Pen Professional Woodburning Detailer and other wire-tipped variants, all our tips are interchangeable regardless of the size. The ball point pyrography tip and some of our shading tips are universally 18 GA. As such, you will need to initially adjust your pyrography pen’s collet (see image 1 below) to accommodate the slightly larger tip. You would only need to do this only once after which it becomes much easier to switch between regular sized wire tips to the thicker types and vice versa. 

Below is a detailed guide on how to use our 18 GA tips on our pyrography pens:

Unscrew the locking nuts (arrows) from the collets 

pyrography tip

 

Push the 20 GA pyrography tip into the collets (red circle). Make sure that they go in straight into the collets as much as possible. Some force is required to do this. Do not wriggle the tip around once it’s inserted as that might loosen the collet too much. The fit should be as tight as possible to guarantee reliable conductivity.

pyrography tip

 

Pull out the pyrography tip, screw in the locking nut onto the collets leaving it loose (small arrows). Insert the tip back again (big arrow). 

pyrography tip

 

Tighten the locking nuts. Your pen is now ready for some serious wood burning. 

pyrography tip

 

If you have any questions about your pyrography tip, have any comments or suggestions, simply contact us at [email protected] or leave a comment below We’ll be right there to help you out. 

 

Posted on

A Gift For Mom – A TRUArt Mother’s Day Pyrography Inspiration

This Mother’s Day, make your mom something special! What I love about pyrography is that it is unique and beautiful and burnings make excellent gifts. Much like painting, you can literally wood burn anything from quotes and designs to images of animals and people or whatever you fancy.

Let’s get started. First, take your pattern of choice and transfer it onto your wood (see transfer instructions on Wood burning tutorial).

Burned quote "you are the mom that everyone wishes they had" TRUArt Mother's day

 

Burned quote "home is wherever mom is" TRUArt Mother's day

When burning fine, delicate lines into your wood, be careful not to press too hard. This will create a splotchy, uneven image.  Also, don’t start burning with your pen at a high temperature,  start low and work your way up so your strokes don’t run outside of your design ( for more how to instructions see Shading Technique in Pyrography).

wood burning of quote with TRUArt 60W pyrography pen TRUArt Mother's day

 

wood burning of quote with TRUArt 60W pyrography pen TRUArt Mothers' day

When choosing your wood, think about mom’s sense of style and choice of décor.  Does she like serving trays or cheese boards?  Does mom like to decorate her dining room with a beautiful tablescape or does she like to display decorative signs in her home?

burned quote "Home is wherever mom is" TRUArt Mother's day burned quote with other collectibles on shelves TRUArt Mother's day

 

 

 

 

Take your design and burn it onto any piece of unfinished wood.  At your local hardware or craft store,  you can find large pieces of wood that are perfect for creating serving trays. Once your image is burned, stain your wood, add a coat of mineral oil and attach the handles.

burned quote on wooden circular serving tray with handles TRUArt Mother's day

Another meaningful gift idea that works well for a mom with young children is to get the young child to draw or write a note to mom.  Simply transfer the image onto the wood and burn the design.  This will make a wonderful keepsake for years to come.

Burned signatures and names of well wishers TRUArt Mother's day

Wood spoons to rolling pins, picture frames to coasters.  Think about what mom likes and let your imagination go wild. There are so many functional items available out there that you can personalize just for mom.

I hope you found these Mother’s day gift ideas useful. Take your time when first starting out. You will feel more confident and at ease as you work your way through your project.  Have fun and enjoy the process.

See you next time!

Andrea Pate
Pate’s Pyrography

 

Posted on

Christmas Wood Burning Stencils

Christmas is literally just around the corner now and what better way to spruce up your decorations with little pyrographed projects with your TRUArt pens? With free stencils of course!

Inspired by Andrea’s latest article, “Holiday Gifts”, I’ve collected some images across the web to help you all out. These were picked especially for their simplicity. and elegance – where a single picture conveys an unmistakable message of Christmas.  It would be pretty tough to start burning big Christmas-themed projects at this point in time. Then I thought instead of going through the agony of waiting for that day to come, why not get the whole family involved in burning little decors to hang around the house and on the Christmas tree?

What’s more, these would be a perfect fit for those scrap pieces of wood lying about. You could create discs from small branches or others. Perhaps use that old scrap rectangular plywood in the basement as a warm greeting board or a little signage greeting everyone who sees it somewhere within the house.

Whatever the case, the important thing is that the whole family gets in on it – sharing the Christmas spirit as it were.

 

So hurry and click on the PDF files below and download your stencil. If you need help on transferring images to your work, check out Andrea’s guide.

  1. Angel
  2. Bare Christmas tree
  3. Bells
  4. Conifer cone
  5. Christmas quote
  6. Christmas quote 2
  7. Christmas quote 3
  8. Reindeer
  9. Reindeer 1
  10. Santa
  11. Santa 2
  12. Snowflake

Have a great Holiday Season everyone!

 

Posted on

DIY Holiday Gifts and Decorations

I love the Holidays! The decorations are beautiful, the food is plentiful as well as delicious, and I am constantly busy. Ever since I started my pyrography business, I have been commissioned to make an unbelievable amount of gifts. If you are looking for some inspiration on creating something beautiful and affordable, I’ve got some amazing ideas.

This Holiday Season, go to your local craft store. In the wood section, they have a large selection of wood that is easy on the pocket book and there are several items that are packaged with multiple pieces. These stores often offer discounts and many of these items are available in their holiday section which is often marked down.

I always create ornaments for my neighbors and my children’s teachers. You can also get some plywood rounds in various sizes that are sold as a set of 4 or more. I purchase these plywood rounds along with some stands and they make a great gift for any occasion. You can create a sign with Holiday decorations or even something a little easier such as an inspirational quote or their last name. TRUArt also has supplied some easy-to-burn Christmas stencils that you can download for free.

I also purchased wood slabs from a local lumber yard for an amazing price. You can find a sanded wood slab, ready to use, at your local craft store as well. These make amazing cutting boards, serving trays, display pieces, signs and chargers for your tablescape.

For my sample, I looked online for some clip art images of snowflakes. You can also search for snowflake patterns and find other great images to use.

Once you have found your image, transfer the design onto the wood (see my post on Wood Burning Tutorial for instructions on how to do this).

There are two ways you can burn this image.

Option 1: You can burn the actual design and leave the background bare

Option 2: You can burn the background and leave the actual design untouched

Once you are done with your burning, erase any tracing lines, stain (if needed) and varnish.

With pyrography, your handmade gifts can have the appearance of a store bought, detailed piece but will be treasured by your loved ones for years to come.

I hope these tips have helped and that some of my ideas have inspired you to create the perfect gift.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, I hope you all enjoy the holidays! See you next time.

Andrea Pate
Pate’s Pyrography

 

 

 

Posted on

Understanding the Types of Pyrography Pens and Their Differences

Pyrography or woodburning, is an art medium rapidly gaining popularity especially in the United States and United Kingdom. This art medium involves the use of a heating device that resembles a large pen, which, when applied to wood surfaces, leaves distinctive burn marks. There are already many professional pyrography artists around and most of their work is truly astounding – many even life-like especially when a touch of color is added.

 

#patespyro
“Frankenstein” from Pate’s Pyrography

 

As more and more budding artists join the pyrography band wagon, many do not know what to start off with or know about the differences among the many pens sold out there. This then poses a problem for many who nevertheless went ahead, bought a pen (usually convinced by online reviews) and are either stuck on how to use them properly or end up destroying the tool altogether. To address that and a few other key issues, let’s compare the two types of pyrography pens, the solid-point burners and the wire-nib burners.

 

TRUArt 15-30 W Pyrography Pen
Solid-point pyrography pen

TRUArt 60W Woodburning Detailer
Wire-nib pyrography pen

 

 

Tip / Nib

Solid-point burner – This type of pen usually requires a screw-in tip although some very few designs in the market feature non-screw tips held in place by a sleeve and a nut. Care should be taken when purchasing extra tips as they can vary in thread type. TRUArt pyrography pens use M4 X 0.7 tips. This means that the thread is 4 mm in diameter with a 0.7 mm thread pitch. These tips are screwed in tightly by hand and usually finished off with 1/8th to 1/4 of a turn using a pair of pliers.

Wire-nib burner – This type of pen holds wire tips usually made from Ni-chrome wire of varying gauges. The wires are either inserted into collets or held in place by screws tightened unto them. TRUArt’s 60 W Professional Woodburning Detailer can accept 20 to 16 GA wire tips.

 

Heat transfer

Solid-point burners create heat by means of a heating element within the pen that is then transferred to the tip and operate at a fixed temperature.

Wire-nib burners create heat on the nibs by electric current going through it. The collets or wire nib holders should never be shorted.

 

Solid-point burner Wire-nib burner
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Cheaper than Wire-nib burners

Wide selection of patterned and stamp tips

Brass tips conducts heat faster and retains it longer than other metals

Easy screw-in and unscrewing of tips (only do this when unit is cold!)

Variable heat output (TRUArt 15 W – 30 W pens)

Ergonomic handle with anti-slip rubber

Ventilation holes and double heat sinks to dissipate heat away from hands

Price is great for beginners in pyrography

No separate power supply

No danger of shorting out the pen

Brass becomes soft when heated. Oftentimes, beginners tend to put too much pressure on it instead of letting the heat do the work. This bends the softened brass tip, which leads to breakage – leaving the screw inside the pen and rendering it useless.

Long waiting period for hot tips to cool down enough for unscrewing/replacement

Long waiting period (3-5 mins) for tips to heat up sufficiently

Only two power settings – 15 Watts and 30 Watts

Cannot create customized tips

Hands are farther away from work surface than Wire-nib burners

Tips may become lose within pen when heated. This will require further tightening with pliers (about 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn)

Nibs heat up much faster (less than 1 minute) than Solid-point tips

Fast cool down

Easy inserting and removal of nibs

Nibs stay tight inside collets even at the pen’s highest voltage setting

Wide selection of nib shapes and sizes

Easily create customized nibs from a roll of Ni-chrome wire

Very close distance between hand and work surface

Digital power supply allows very fine tuning of heat output on the tips, which allows for superior control over burn

Pen is smaller and lighter than Solid-point burners

Non-slip ribber handles

Can accept 20 GA to 16 GA (0.8 mm to 1.25 mm diameter) nibs

Ni-chrome wire nibs do not break easily when pressure is applied

Preferred by professionals

More expensive than Solid-point burners

Nib selection does not have big patterns or stamps like the Solid-point burner tips

Bulky power supply

Burner can get almost uncomfortably hot if voltage is too high and heat on the nib is not used fast enough

Danger of shortening the burner if the collets are directly connected to each other by any metal object

Skill in using voltage setting to get the required heat has to be developed

 

Ultimately, when selecting a woodburning or pyrography pen, you will first have to consider what you intend to do. Figure out if you could see yourself doing this occasionally or often. If you’re just starting out in the art of pyrography and do not know what kind of pyrography pen will suit you, you’re safe if you start with the Solid-point burner. Later on, once you’re more confident in the art and start investing long hours into it, you may want to consider upgrading to the more robust and industrial strength of the Wire-nib burner.

If you still want to know more, simply share your thoughts or questions through the comments below and we’ll answer them within the day.

 

 

 

Posted on

Woodburning Workshop 2 – More to Learn!

Another big “CONGRATULATIONS” to Andrea Pate on her second successful Pyrography Workshop at Stache Studios on September 29, 2018!

Once again, Andrea Pate, a very accomplished artist in art mediums such as portrait artistry and polymer clay modelling, has managed to spread the word about pyrography in downtown Griffin.  As her plan to continue on the workshop on Seasonal  Designs, all her attendees with big satisfied grins and new home decors.

 

 

“Leave a permanent impression with pyrography”
Andrea Pate

We at TRUArt are proud to be a part of Andrea’s endeavors to teach others of the easy and fun-loaded art of pyrography or wood burning. The pyrography pens used in this workshop and the one before that were predominantly our (Stage 1) Wood and Leather Pyrography Pen. The artist herself has our robust 60 W Professional Woodburning Detailer.

We can’t wait to check out what next season’s theme is going to be permanently burned into wood again!

Posted on

Woodburning Workshop – The Giant Leap Towards Learning Pyrography!

The TRUArt family extends its biggest “CONGRATULATIONS” to Andrea Pate for successfully hosting her first Pyrography Workshop at Stache Studios last August 18, 2018 and has effectively opened the doors to many budding artists looking for a unique and fun way to express their creativity!

Stache Studios, the go-to place in Downtown Griffin for learning various forms of art medium such as painting, ceramics, mosaics and clay works, graciously welcomed Andrea’s suggestion to include a new form of artwork – pyrography. With Andrea’s long history and connection to art since childhood, coupled with more than two years of pyrography experience, she deftly introduced and guided everyone into the practically new art world of wood burning. Needless to say, all workshop attendees left with proud smiles and their finished projects. Just check out the pictures below!

Andrea understands that pyrography isn’t a medium that is well known in the field of arts. In fact, she did not imagine herself hosting any workshop about it at all – being contented with creating beautiful pyrogrphy art work and selling them. That changed when we started commissioning her to create tutorials for us using our wood burning pens. In one of the tutorials, she was teaching some children how to create wood burnings for their loved ones. Watching their excitement in the process got her curious about creating classes for adults. She wanted to expose as many people to this art form as she could. Thinking of ways to get pyrography out there, she came across her local art studio. Although Stache Studio provides customers with amazing pottery and painting classes, she realized they didn’t have any on woodburning. In fact, there just aren’t many places around where one could learn Pyrography.

“Leave a permanent impression with pyrography”
Andrea Pate

 

Jessica, owner of Stache Studios, loved Andrea’s idea and immediately went to work to get things rolling while the artist provided the tools she got from TRUArt. After the resounding success of her first workshop, the artist was thrilled to see the excitement others were going through learning something she was passionate about. She feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach people pyrography and plans to continue sharing her expertise with more classes. As of this writing, she’s been busy creating seasonal designs for her workshop that customers can display every month of the year in their homes. It definitely doesn’t look like she plans to slow down one bit seeing that workshops are powerful tools to get the needed exposure to the art as people are starting to become familiar with it and with what she does.

 

To those who have yet to touch a pyrography pen or to those who think they don’t have the creativity for it, here’s what Andrea has to say about it:

“DO not to give up. If it’s something you’re not good at, that’s all the more reason to keep going. It will get easier and you’ll learn what works for you along the way. If it’s something you are passionate about then never give up.

It’s amazing what you can learn and how you can improve in such a short time frame. I look back at where I started and to where I’m at today and there is such a huge difference. I’m excited to see how much I will continue to grow and improve over the course of this year.”

 

We at TRUArt couldn’t have said it better, Andrea. We’re so glad and honored to be a part of your achievements in the wonderful world of pyrography. Thank you!

 

 

Posted on

Cactus Stencil Wood Burning

 

 

What you will need:

 

Sometimes, in pyrography, trying to find the right image to burn can be extremely tricky.  When you are an artist, copyright laws can make it challenging to find a great image to burn.  Fortunately, now TRUArt has FREE printable stencils available.  Once I came across these stencils, I couldn’t wait to get started.

There are several unique designs available to download but, ultimately, I decided on this cactus stencil.  This stencil is available under the clock category.  I loved the pattern so much that I modified the stencil to make it my own and decided not to trace the numbers.

I found this stencil to be a quick and easy burn. This is a great project to do with your family.  My children had fun picking out the colors of the various pots and helped me find the right shade of green for each plant.  We spent the day going over different stencils and both my children found something that appealed to each of them.

Once the image was burned and colored, I decided to give the background a nice, thick solid burn.  This technique gave my burning some depth and made my image pop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was extremely happy with the ending result.  This was a fantastic family project that is exciting for children to do. These prints are also a useful tool to help you practice your pyrography skills. My children loved working with these stencils and they are both excited about working on our next burning together.

 

 

See you next time,
Andrea Pate
Pate’s Pyrography