Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 7/27/01

A Book Review by Bill Britton

Title: Step-by-Step Pyrography Projects

Norma Gregory

Published by:Guild of Master Craftsman, Ltd
166 High Street, Lewes,
East Sussex BN7 IXU

Distributed by:
Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 0-0869-9583-1
Price Softcover: $14.95 (Canada $20.95 )
112 color pages

This book was primarily written for users of solid point woodburning equipment. I use a hot wire machine but still found the book to be quite helpful and very interesting reading. After all, pyrography is the art of "drawing with fire" and whatever tool is used, the function is the same.

Pyrography can be traced back into ancient times. It became quite popular during the Victorian era when artists used a hot poker from the fireplace to draw designs on furniture. The art was sneeringly referred to as "poker work" but still became quite popular as tools were refined and engineered for a much finer work. Today's tools primarily fall into the two classes, solid point and hot wire. The author prefers the solid point and stresses the subtle differences in technique with an emphasis on her preference.

The author begins with a brief background and introduction to Pyrography and quickly moves into an explanation of basic skills and exercises necessary to becoming accomplished in the art. These are followed with ten progressively difficult projects in which the author coaches the reader through. Each project is designed to build on the skills learned with the previous project without seeming to be repetitious. Ms Gregory is a skillful teacher and artist who knows her medium well and has accomplished her intent of providing a step-by-step book of instruction for learning the art of Pyrography.

The book is beautifully illustrated with the authors own work as well as the work of other artists. An excellent gallery is included and a large number of patterns provided to assist the reader in skill building. The book is an excellent beginning for someone interested in entering the medium of "drawing with fire." I know it has a place in my library.

Respectfully submitted
Bill Britton

Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge in exchange for thoughtful, honest reviews. Thank You! And you can usually find their titles at a discount from Barnes And Noble

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