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The Art & Craft of Pyrography: Drawing with Fire – Canvas Burning Project

The Art & Craft of Pyrography: Drawing with Fire – Canvas Burning Project   A new video series! I bought a bunch of pyrography books and every month I will pick a project from one and create it from the instructions. I chose to start with Lora S. Irish’s book, The Art & Craft of Pyrography: Drawing with Fire on Leather, Gourds, Cloth, Paper, and Wood.

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There’s over 40 patterns in it and I decided to pick the canvas bag project. I’ve never burned on canvas before, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to give it a shot.

Setting up the Artwork

I chose a pattern that I wanted from the back of the book, scanned and printed it. I like to leave the originals in the book so I can reuse them again later.

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After my template was printed, I use a carbon sheet under the template to transfer the template to the canvas. I simply used a pencil to trace on the paper template and the carbon paper leaves a transferred image.

The canvas isn’t as solid as a piece of wood, so the transfer isn’t as steady. I had to be careful not to punch through my paper template. Once it’s transferred, I’m ready to start burning.

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Burning the Canvas

I decided to use my Walnut Hollow Creative Burner with the ball tip for this project. It’s a gentle burner so I feel like I’ll be able to control the amount of heat on the canvas. My initial concern with burning canvas was whether or not the burner tip would poke holes in it, but this has a low enough heat that I believe it will be better suited for the project.

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I’m burning on a 4 to start, if I need to adjust to a higher or lower heat I will. But I want to start low as not to burn through the fabric. The ball tip is going to help me glide across the top of this fabric. I want to outline the artwork first. I always like to outline, then shade and the ball tip is perfect for outlining on fabric.

After a few minutes of burning, I realized the 4 heat setting was too low, so i went to a 6 and that burned much better. It let me burn a bit faster than the setting of 4. So, now I’ve figure out the heat setting, I’m going to outline the entire butterfly image.

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Once it’s completely outlined, I switch to my shader tip and I’m just going to soften the edges. I don’t want to burn too deep and create lots of burn area, I just want to shade the edges enough to soften the hard lines. I want to add color in the next step and it’s important that I leave unburned canvas area that will absorb and reflect the color nicely.

Adding Color

I’m using craft acrylics to add color and I want to go with a yellow, green and red palette. The colors need to be bright and bold for this butterfly, so here we go. These small thinner brushes help me reach into these smaller spaces. I don’t have a real plan here, I’m just kind of figuring it out and adding color as the feeling catches me.

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All Done!

Now the color is finished and that’s all there is to it. I don’t need to varnish or add any finishing product to this because it’s fabric, so that it! 

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The Art & Craft of Pyrography: Drawing with Fire is the first in my pyro project book series, so come back to the blog every couple of weeks for more wood burning tips and tricks. Thanks for reading! 

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