I was lucky enough to be given a Dremel Versatip for Christmas (thanks Dawn & Tim), which, for the unaware, is a butane powered heat tool that has various interchangeable tips. One set is for pyrography, which I also got for Christmas (thanks Tom).
I thought I’d have a go at doing some pyrography this afternoon, and not wanting to have the smell of singed wood mingling with my current quilt-in-the-making, I went outside to do it. It turns out that physics is alive and well, and that with the outside temperature approaching freezing, unsurprisingly a few things happened: I got cold, the tip didn’t really warm up that quickly, I burnt through a reservoir of butane and everything took a lot longer than I expected! However, for a first go, I’m fairly happy with the result.
One other thing I learnt – if you don’t keep the Versatip tool upright there is a risk of unintended scorching as the ceramic catalyst area throws out a lot of heat (that’s the white bit near the tip). Consequently I ended up with a scorched thumb and some scorching on the wood that I didn’t want. Happily the latter sanded off fairly well, and I managed to bring back the contrast fine.
And good old Ikea came to the fore again – the piece of wood I have used is 100% beech tile that they sell in a pack of 100 as building blocks (Fundera) for just £8. These seemed ideal for practice tiles, and may be even for finished projects. Once I have practiced a bit more (in a warmer environment) they might even be the wood equivalent of a zentangle tile?