Sue Walters Pyrography



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    G'day again all:)


    In this issue I thought we'd take a bit of a closer look at using a pyrographic machine to aid in carving a shallow relief object before burning it. This is an interesting method to help add depth and an extra dimension to your work. I'll step you through the carving process to show you just how easy it can be, even for the complete novice, and we'll take a look at this method being applied to a piece called 'Turtle Rising'.

    Also, I'll be introducing the Sue Walters Pyrographic Lesson Kits and my new book, Wildlife Designs. Both projects have taken an enormous amount of time and effort. When I decided to write the book and develop the Lesson kits I set out, as usual, to cram in as much quality and quantity as possible. I'm happy to say that I believe I've succeeded:) Like the Pyrography Workbook, you'll find loads of material and projects to both help stimulate the creative juices and to inform you of my pyrographic techniques.

    Speaking of which, the Pyrography Workbook is going into it's 4th edition already! The feedback about the book has been extremely gratifying to say the least. I hope those of you that have a copy of the Pyrography Workbook are also gaining much from it. Thanks for your support:)

Click to Look At Pyrography Workbook
The Best Selling, 'Pyrography Workbook'

    Lastly, thanks so much for your continued patience at the lack of regular Pyro Newsletters. Some of you know I am a carer for my mother, Alison, and that coupled with other obligations, have kept my time at a premium. I, as always, hope things improve in the near future. Thanks for hanging in there.

    I hope you enjoy the read.




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It's been great to see so many people signing up to the Pyro Newsletter. (Over 2,300 sign ups!) If you are new to the Pyro News and would like a gander at past issues, here they are.
Happy reading:)

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Sue Walters Woodburning Kits
A Complete Lesson-in-a-Bag

    Many of us recall receiving a woodburning kit in our younger years and finding countless hours of pleasure burning the prefab patterns supplied within. At the time this was considered to be a childís toy...a hobby for the young. But now, years later, the art of woodburning is becoming an ever increasing artform for craftsperson, carver & artisan alike. Persons worldwide have taken pen to hand to explore the possibilities of this intriguing artistic expression. And yet, in spite of this, there seems to be very little project material in the marketplace for the aspiring burner...until now.

ďAs with anything, knowledge is the key to unlocking what can seem complex, but in fact, is not. Itís simply a matter of knowing what steps to take and when. Add into the mix some tips and tricks and anyone can burn scenes that they previously thought were too complex to tackle.Ē
A Lesson in a Bag Learn with Sue, Step-by-Step

About The Kits

Cost: $17.95 USD per kit (Plus Shipping)

The prices of Canada, Australia & U.K are listed in LESSON SALES next to each kit. A 15% discount also applies to the price if all 4 kits are purchased at once.

These kits offer you a full Lesson-in-a-Bag!

Each kit comes complete with:
  • A full Step-by Step Manual laid out in a clear and concise photographed format*
  • One piece of Select Basswood
  • One additional Loose Leaf Pattern
  • One piece of Graphite Transfer Paper
  • One piece of 400 grit Sandpaper

  • *Full Step-by-Step Instructional Manual
    (Average Content: 18 Pages - Over 80 Photos)

      Unlock Secrets Such As Burning Fur   Clean & Concise Step-by-Step Photo Diary

      Burning Techniques and Tips   Progressive Stage Photos and Instructions

    Each manual offers:
  • Spiral binding for ease of use
  • An Introductory section with basic woodburning advice for the beginner
  • An Introduction to the specific project
  • A Step-by-Step photo diary with clear and concise burning instructions
  • Additional tips and techniques all throughout the lesson for all skill levels
  • An original Sue Walters Pattern
  • A Colour Photo of the finished piece for cross reference

  • Kits Currently Available

    Peregrine Falcon - Kit#1: This dynamic portrait study brings to life the stark beauty and stateliness of the majestic bird of prey. The intensity portrayed in the eyes truly reflects the silent, strong nature of these regal birds. Photographed demonstrations illustrate how to create realistic feather formations using specific shading and highlighting techniques.
    Chickadee and Pine - Kit#2:This familiar backyard scene is a favorite of bird lovers everywhere. All the nuances of portraying a soft, delicate songbird are explored. The pine cone and needle setting plays an intricate part of this pattern as well and is defined with the same detailed clarity as the main subject...creating a fully rounded portrait of the quintessential songbird in nature.

    Chipmunk On Rock- Kit#3:)The chipmunk is that cute and whimsical creature we so often find paying a visit to our quiet walks in nature. Here we find him perched on a moss covered rock with the dayís lunch in his delicate hands. This lesson will explore methods of fine fur texturing that will make this little fellow appear a mere touch away. Full description will also be given to burning a highly realistic rock, moss and foliage setting to complete the image in its entirety.
    Loon On Water - Kit#4:Nothing personifies the tranquil solitude of the wilderness more than the sight and sound of the common loon on water. He is a lone spirit of the placid lakes, his body carving a gentle rippling path through the water. This study will provide a lesson in burning this distinctive bird in itís natural habitat...upon rhythmic waves...his soft reflection adding that extra touch to bring this peaceful scene to life.

    Upcoming Kits

    Several new and exciting project kits will be designed and released on a regular basis. The following list names just a few subjects to look forward to in the Wildlife Series.

  • Deer
  • Cougar
  • Hummingbird
  • Tiger
  • Canada Geese
  • Wolf
  • Many More To Follow

  • In addition, other series, such as Rural Scenes will be explored in the near future.

    Why Sue Walters Woodburning Kits?

        With the highly acclaimed success of the Pyrography Workbook, coupled with the high profile of my name in pyrography, the demand for my services has become increasingly sought after with requests from all corners of the world for me to conduct seminars and teach classes. Being unable to fulfill the high number of requests to instruct, it is my hope that these kits will enable burners to learn my techniques and secrets at a fraction of the cost of personal lessons. (Over $90 for a one day can buy all 4 kits for less than that!)
         With these affordable all-in-one kits, I will introduce the burner to subjects that will specifically concentrate on areas and elements that are sought after and on techniques difficult for burners to master. The woodburner's arsenal will be expanded with any individual kit as each one is designed to teach entirely new elements and techniques within that project.
        After completion, no matter what your favourite subject or level, you will be left with skills that can readily be applied to your future burning projects. Also, the originally designed pattern and instructions are yours to keep, allowing you to complete the project as many times as you like; for fun, gift making or profit!

    Additional Information:
  • The kit is suitable for Solid Point or Wire Nib burners.
  • Shipped from Canada for North American/Northern Hemisphere clients to provide rapid delivery and low cost shipping.
  • Shipped from Australia for Australian/N.Z.and Southern Hemisphere clients to provide rapid delivery and low cost shipping.
  • The kit is handsomely packaged in a clear poly bag, making it ideal for gift giving.
  • There will be ongoing development of new kits that are focused on what the pyrography public have been asking for.
  • There will be no extraneous/inflated handling charges. You will be charged for package material and postal rates only.
  • A North American representative will be available to handle American and Canadian inquiries. (Please see below.)

  • The link below will take you to a Kit Sales Page.


    Relief Carving With A Skew

    A skew is the nib in your kit that burns a crisp's designed to cut the surface of the wood as it burns. They come in various shapes but the one thing they all have in common is they all have a sharp, knife like edge.

    An example of a Skew Nib. Heavy duty Skew is best.

    I started experimenting with using a skew when I decided to add some relief carving to Platypus Diving...a large project I burnt on a natural slab of Silky Oak. (You can see a diary of Platypus Diving HERE.) I confess, at the time I only had a kiddie set of carving knives that Mum had passed on to me. I wasn't looking forward to cutting the stop cuts on such a large project, with such poor knives, in a fairly tough timber. (In this case a stop cut is the vertical cut line that follows the design in the areas where a non carved and to be carved area meet. It defines the edge of the design to be left in relief, but it also creates a 'moat' between the design and the area to be carved away. When removing wood this moat prevents the carving tool from accidently gouging the area to be left un-carved. It 'stops the cut'...hence the term.)

    Seeing I was going to burn the relief carving, I decided to use a skew at high heat to burn my stop cuts. The heat aided in the cutting process, allowing me to sink the nib in deep and quickly without too much pressure. Not only this, but cutting around curves and turning tight corners was a breeze. The high heat burnt a path for the sharp nib to follow. A turn of the burning pen allowed me to easily and neatly follow a curved line. And, because little hand pressure was needed to push the skew, there was less danger of it accidently over shooting a corner.

    Turtle Rising. The 2nd Pyro-Relief Project. Approx 2 feet across.
    Detail Of Turtle Rising

    I found that I had to run over the line a few times to reach deep down, but the entire process only took me around 45 minutes all up for Platypus Diving. It did take me slightly longer for Turtle Rising because I wanted to carve a deeper relief on that project,thus needing deeper stop cuts. Once I reached as deep as the nib shaft would allow, I set to carving away the surrounding wood with chisels. Once this was done I would burn the stop cuts again to sink them lower...then re-carve, and so on until I reached the final depth desired.

    Instead of writing more now, I will fill you in on the process with the aid of pictures below. All in all I found it an easy, fast and effective technique. I think it's well worth a try. The relief carving added a different dimension to these two projects and there is no doubt that carving marries beautifully with pyrography. Even the most simple project could benefit.

    1) First cut. Follow the edge of the design with the skew on high heat. Move smoothly at a pace that will allow the nib to sink in deep.
    2) First Gouge. Use a gouge or other carving tool to remove the surrounding timber, up to the stop cut.

    3)Second Cut. Because I wanted to carve deeper, I burnt a second level of stop cut. Don't forget to hone your skew nice and sharp.
    4)Second Gouge. Gouging away more wood from around the design after the second stop cut burn.

    5)Third Cut. Yep, you guessed it...deeper again.
    6)Third Gouge. Carving away the final layer

    7)Smoothing. After going as deep as I needed I now use a broad gouge to level up the surface as much as possible before sanding.
    8) Removing the scorched area. I decided to removed the burnt remains with a chisel to give me an even raw surface to burn on.

    9)Rounding The Design. The edges of the design are then rounded with a chisel to help it blend naturally into the surrounding wood.
    10)Sanding. After further rounding with a chisel, I sand the area smooth, ready for burning.

    Let's now see how Turtle rising comes to life using the same Pyro-Relief technique.

    After the stop cuts and before rounding the design.
    After rounding the design and sanding smooth.

    The pyrography phase begins.
    Turtle is nearly finished but the water still needs to be darkened more.

    Burning dark shading to the under side of Turtle to emphasize the shadows. This gives the viewer the impression of light coming from above.


    Wildlife Designs
    Original Patterns For Your Favourite Craft

    by Sue Walters

    For more information or to purchase the Wildlife Design book please visit the PYRO BOOK STORE

    112 PAGES - FULL COLOUR - 8.5" X 11"
    Recommended Retail: $14.95 USD (Other currencies are listed in the book store)

    30 North American Wildlife Designs. (Both line and Tone Patterns for each design...60 large patterns total)
    10 Border Designs

    AUTHOR SUMMARY (That's me!:))

    When I was asked to write a book of wildlife patterns I initially intended them to be only applicable to the craft of pyrography, after all, that's what I know best. But as I was producing the designs it occurred to me that each pattern could be as equally useful to many other crafts, multiplying the usefulness of the book many times over. I then set out to not only produce 30 dynamic wildlife designs, (and 10 border designs) but to also show the reader how to adapt and manipulate the designs for use in other creative mediums.

    The 30 full page wildlife designs are rendered in both line and tone patterns. The book explains how each pattern type is best used and the crafts they can be applied to. It goes on to further explain how these patterns can be further adapted for use in specialty crafts, such as chip carving, relief carving quilting, stained glass etc. I also included a chapter on using the home computer to modify and manipulate designs in order to create many new patterns and increase their versatility. Of course, all of this information is not just applicable to the patterns in this book, it can be used in years to come whenever you are using patterns or making your own.

    Finally, to prove the theory, myself and some friends selected one design and applied it to several crafts. The gallery in the book shows the results and gives a summary of how the pattern was used in each case.

    My ultimate objective was similar to what I had hoped to achieve with the Pyrography Workbook: to jam the book full of solid, easy to understand information; to stimulate ideas; to provide quality material and to give the reader more than they could have expected. I hope I've succeeded:)

    Each design is applicable to a vast range of arts and crafts, including:

      - Pyrography
      - Relief Carving
      - Stamping
      - Scrolling
      - Quilting
      - Tole Painting
      - Engraving
      - Stained Glass

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