Pyrography: For Those Who Need Fire to Create Their Art

I am, as my friends know, exceedingly fond of fire. (This is probably due to my obsession with dragons.) Fireplaces? The more the better. Bonfires? Of course. Backyard fire pit? Yes, please.

Thus, when I was offered the opportunity to contribute to Worldbuilders’ end of the year fundraiser (in service to the very worthy cause of Heifer International) I knew there was only one possible solution:

I’d have to burn something.

Around this time last year, my husband decided to make me a gift using pyrography, a technique of creating art using a superhot metal stylus capable of reaching up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. I loved what he made for me, but if I’m being honest the real gift was the wood burner.

Someday I’ll return it to him. Maybe.

Part of what I love about pyrography (besides the smell of burning wood and the deeply satisfying feel of sinking a red-hot stylus into wood grain) is the pure, total focus needed. I find most art illustration to be meditative, but pyrography is the only one I’ve tried yet which includes “risk of setting yourself or other objects ON FIRE” as part of the creative process. Trust me: this isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. When you must concentrate that fully on technique, there’s no time to think about any other worries or stresses. This is top-shelf level mindfulness. I find it incredibly soothing.

I used Lars Grant-West’s gorgeous dragon he created for my debut novel, The Ruin of Kings, because honestly, I love that damn dragon. (Lars did a fantastic job, didn’t he?) I look forward to seeing this piece as one of the many great prizes available during the fundraiser.

Worldbuilders is a geek-centered nonprofit supporting humanitarian efforts worldwide. The annual Worldbuilders End-of-Year Fundraiser, which supports Heifer International, begins Tuesday, November 27, 2018.

Here it is:

Jenn Lyons pyrography dragon

Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, three cats, and a nearly infinite number of opinions on anything from mythology to the correct way to make a martini. Her debut epic fantasy novel, The Ruin of Kings, is scheduled for release from Tor Books on February 5, 2019.


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