Pyrography wooden bookmarks


Badger on a wooden bookmark created by burning on wood

I recently decided to have a go at making some pyrography wooden bookmarks for my Folksy shop. Although they can be challenging to design, being long and thin, they're great projects. The ones I chose are about 3.2cm x 12cm, so on the small side but I'm really happy with how they turned out. I love the fact you can turn an every day item into a little piece of art.

Barn owl design on a wood bookmark

I usually do a barn owl first when I'm trying out a new type of project because it's a subject I'm familiar with and easy for me to draw a design from my imagination. All my bookmarks are unique and one of a kind because I sketch the design freehand directly onto the wood and then burn it with a pyrography tool. 

Otter in a realistic style on a wood bookmark created using pyrography

I have seen a few people saying you shouldn't use pyrography on plywood but I find it works well and you get a good burn. You have to be careful because the glue can release fumes, however it's advisable to always wear a mask when doing pyrography on any surface to protect yourself from inhaling the smoke.

wooden bookmark with realistic hare design created using pyrography

Hares are crows are also subjects I enjoy doing on my projects. I'm lucky enough to be able to observe both firsthand around my cottage on the Fens. The more times you draw a subject the more you develop your way of doing it.

Wooden bookmark with cawing crow design created using pyrography

 On this type of project which is likely to be handled frequently I used a satin artists varnish to seal the wood and protect the design. This will prevent the wood from discolouring eventually. My favourite varnish is Liquitex artists acrylic varnish which easily cleans with soap and water.

realistic style buzzard wood burning on a plywood bookmark.

I generally use three coats of varnish, giving the piece a light buff with an abrasive sponge after the second coat to ensure a smooth finish.

Realistic style woodburning of a Herdwick ram on a wood bookmark

I wasn't sure how well bookmarks would sell in the age of the Kindle but I've been pleased that one sold immediately and two others soon after, so there are other people out there like me who still enjoy the feeling of a proper book in their hands. These unique pieces of art are a perfect gift for any book lover and I hope to be adding some more to the shop soon.

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