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7024 Views 16 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  cobalt
I was told today that pyrography work fades quite a lot if exposed to the sun,I know very little about it and had assumed that if it was sealed with varvish etc it would stay pretty much as it was, I suppose the sun will fade anything .There are varnishes that give some protection so i am led to belive.

However i have had little experiance with it as i mostly use burning fow both sealing the wood before i paint it or as a guide for the rotary tool.

The giraffe i burn very lightly just for decoration purpose and sealed it with a 1st coat of very thin varnish the gave it 3 coats normal strengh assuming it would protect the decoration and the wood

There are drawings some 1000syears old done with carbon in the caves but i dont and hadnt thought to much about uv rays effecting it

I was wondering CV3 how you have found wood burning to last? as i understand you have done some?
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I use my wood burning tool on a lot of my carvings to high light hair and beards and to make lines to define areas. As well as design features. You are right that almost every thing will fade in sun light in time, burn and paint. With burning it will depends on how dark the burn and the wood. If I am doing a decretive stick or cane I do not worry to much about it.They hang on walls or are in cane stands and do not see much sun. If it is a daily use stick or cane or will be use out side for hiking I use spare urethane or marine tung oils. They are made with UV protection for the wood. I have refinished a few sticks after a number of years of use. But do not remember ever having to reburning any of them.
I really hate the edit format on this forum. If you see a mistake or what to change something you see a few hours later your out of luck. Other forums I visit you can edit any time.
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Ditto on the edit function.

I haven't had anything I have wood burned around long enough for it to fade so I'm just speculating here. I would think that an everyday use walking stick or cane wouldn't see enough UV light to fade the wood burning or the finish. After all it's not like a wooden fence or bench or that type of thing that is sitting out in the elements continuously. A walking stick when it is in use is moving in and out of shade or buildings. In normal use its not out in the sun on a continuous basis. In addition most of us coat our sticks with some type of finish that will help protect them from sun, rain, mud etc.

The wife's stick has seen the most use of all the one's I have made, several years worth of use and what I have seen is the urethane finish at the handgrip area has dulled up from what I presume is skin oils. At the end of each of the last two camping/hiking seasons I have had to apply a fresh coat of poly. This last time I used spar polyurethane, we will see how that holds up.

On the subject of wood burning I don't do enough to warrant dropping a couple hundred clams on a wood burning machine. I am wondering though if anyone can recommend an economical wood burning pen that will last more than a few hours. I have had three from the big box hobby store in the last two months that have taken a dive after several hours of use.
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I suspect that the wood itself will grey as fast as the pyrography fades. UV blocking varnishes help, but w. heavy use, are good for about a decade.

When I worked at the art museum, I used a UV meter as well as a regular light meter for installations. Some UV sources were surprising. As it happened, the exterior brick flouresced UV in sunlight. Windows across from brick walls actually had more UV coming thru them than those just exposed to the sky. Window film coatings were only good for a few years. Most filtering shades could not offer enough blocking for museum purposes. Some windows were just painted over till opaque.

"There are drawings some 1000syears old done with carbon in the caves but i dont and hadnt thought to much about uv rays effecting it" There's a clue to your problem. Use a dilute mixture of India ink, which is just carbon black, over the pyrography. It will stay black.

Most cave paintings are extremely fragile. Even if just using carbon black, the vehicle for the paints may be fat. Old charcoal drawings may still have a string black, but the paper dulls, yellows, becomes brittle, etc.
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thats some thing new to me .thanks

I like working with pyrography and just carved a english robin out and use woodburning on it to give me a guide and to highlight areas.Pencils makes the peice grubby to soft when handling it..I am hoping to tint it with water colour ,the wood burning will help to prevent the grain lifting so much. I will varnish it ,i suppose i could use spray vanish but am considering using a fixative ,the same type use for french pastel work then varnish it, dont know if it will work but may try a test piece.I have oftern used hairspray in the past as a fixative on french pastels it works

Indian ink is very strong and dense in colour suppose it could be thinned and can be messy although rads avatar looks really good with it but feel it will be to pronouced to use with water colour?

But i like marks that are simular to a pencil like grades B, 2B AND 4B it gives a very large range of tone but its to soft to use on wood hence woodburning.seems to be the answer.My old lecturer told us you can get 144 shades of tone from a pencil not that i could match that,but pyrography enables simular effects allow crosshatching etc . I will just have to wait and see how the light effects the work i suppose it could always be redone.
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One can dilute india ink to achieve very subtle shades. but it occurs to me that the water would raise the wood grain.

I know there are alcohol based paints for coloring fabric. Perhaps those would work, but I don't know that they are lightfast.

A black Conté crayon might work. They produce a richer tone than graphite, at least to my eye. They have a wax binder. Don't know how that would sit under a layer of varnish. Wax on varnish is standard, but might be iffy underneath.
colouring fabric dyes may be worth trying will shop around the iternet see whats available

dont think the wax type would work like you say would varnish it afterwards
You have some nice pyrography Bill , is it done free hand ? The machine you use must have good heat control as ther seems to be different depths of burn there. yet the overall colour or shading seems pretty uniform almost as though it was a pencil shading/lines .I saw some capital letter G i think its very clean lines difficult to obtain on a round stick
Gee, just noticed this thread because of your recent post. Everything I wood burn is done by hand and I use an Optima burner with several different tips...although the skew is used the most. It is very difficult to do shading on a stick, but sometimes you can get away with one level. I had a pyrography site that showed regular wood burnings I did with many levels of shading, but took it down. I also had an newsletter I did called "Applied Pyrography," but took it down also. I probably should have kept the sites up, because there was a lot of information, tutorials, and examples. :(

I did a lot of experiments with fading and the major problem is that the wood would darken, and not so much the actual wood burning fading. For the pyrography art the best finish I have found is to use a penetrating finish,like tung oil, but it does darken the wood. You can apply a coat of Krylon to protect from UV damage. I use a coat of tung oil and then a paste wax over it on all my "artistic" pyrography works.

I do oil painting and for those I just use a Krylon spray.

Edited for: The sites that show my stick work and the soul catcher/talking sticks, is all custom work from customer's requests. Hence the variety you see.
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Nice clean wood burning .

Never see any sticks like that in the UK or any woodspirits . most of english/scots work in rams /buffalo horn making crooks/leg cleeks /thumb sticks with quite a few game bird toppers and hunting dogs

But the quality of the work is very high and you would never see a bentstcik ,considered infior because any bend in a shank causes a weakness

very different to the american approach also you would see many shanks above 1.5 " in diameter

The hazel sticks would be considered a reject if slightly bent or poor workmanship or they would say to idle to do a proper job

The bark is considereda feature of the stick and has some very nice variety of colours ,which is hardly ever removed if ever .

I have seen very few sticks with the bark removed apart from hawthorn but the bark on that is very rought unlike most types we use here
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I have seen some walking sticks with bark on them, but obviously there isn't any wood burning. I have done sticks with the bark on and removed an area to do the burning and it combined the best of both worlds.

Generally I do make sticks that are 1.5 inches or thicker, depending on the customer's preference. Most of my sticks are a western style and hence very rustic.

It would be interesting to do a write up on the differences in sticks as a function of the originating countries...never saw that. I know the Irish sticks are unique, especially the shaleighs.
Yes the style are very different here and your style seems to suit the american market well

The irish have there own stickmaking style very different from the english, but again because of the irish influence in america it goes down quite well

And your right about the wood burning althought i dont see why it cant be done on some barks , mayby i will try it out never thought of that something new to look at mayby

Will try it out when i get the burner out to see what happens
Depending on what you want to burn on the bark, I would think a lighter bark might work. We have a white birch tree here that has a mostly white bark and would be a good candidate...never thought about it before. I've seen small birch logs, planed flat, and a candle put in the center for a Christmas decoration. No reason it couldn't be augmented with burning.

What kind of burner are you getting?
I use a peter child machine ,its not bad .I make my own nibs for it from wire you can shape any nib you like from it.

If only could get the amount of differnt shade from it as a pencil it would be good.They say you can get 140 different shades from a pencil. i can only mange about 25% - 40% of that but it should give the same texturing techniques as a pencil which is a lot. its hard enoght to get the strengh of burn on some woods as the variation of hardness can vary a lot in in small pieces so the softer it is the easyer it burns so its a technique that requies some practise

The hazel i oftern use some is very light in colour /ash also would probaly take some wood burning as its a greyish grren bark but fairly light .only some test pieces will tell
The tips you make are from nichrome wire?

You are right about the shading as a function of the hardness. Generally I think 5-6 degrees of shading is about the best you can do on the harder woods. Here is a link to a person I know who does about the best pyrography out there: http://www.suewalters.com/

She has a free newsletter you can sign up for...if interested.
I dont know what the wire is . ibought the machine of ebay for a song and was described as new.It looks new even origanal packaging full of nibs and wires for making your own Extremly pleased with it .All adds to improving my work with diferent methods which oftern leads to different ideas

Her work is extremly good love what shes done to those beads .worth looking at thanks
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