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What is Pyrography?

With the smell of fresh wood burning in my nostrils, some years ago - I have forgotten how many - I was at a saw mill. The wood being sliced was hard wood... oak I think. The saw blade caused a wisp of smoke to rise and instantly I was transported to my childhood.

At the corner of our street, we had a blacksmith with a difference. He created wheels for wagons, shoes for horses and such like items. But in his spare time, with the fires burning hot, and the pokers red, he did something that today I (and a growing number of others) love. He created an image on wood with a hot poker. Sometimes it was a ship and sometimes a windmill with the detail and darkness depending on how long he held the poker in place.

Then, the blacksmith made one fatal error. He let me try it. I was eight years old.

We moved away and the memory faded. Until... that day at the sawmill and I haven't looked back since.

Today, I burn images into wood. Memories of towns and places, ships and lighthouses. There is nothing more satisfying than that first line. When a town starts to appear, one house after another. A street, a fence, ship in the distance. To create is my passion. To work with wood and a burning tool is my joy.

~Written by Jantje Blokhuis-Mulder

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What is Pyrography?

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