How to Wood Burn a Mandala – Pyrography Art

How to Wood Burn a Mandala – Pyrography Art


This is Tarrin Lupo from TarrinLupo.com and I just love these wood burned Mandallas. I want to see how these Mandalas were
made. I interviewed Kate to find out how these
are made from start to finish and what the process is. Hi my name is Kate .I make wood burns mandalas in my free time. I have a store on Etsy and I just wanted to walk you through
the process of how I create these wood burned Mandalas. First you need to start with a piece of
wood. They’re all different types and what I’m
showing here is a birch plywood it’s very easy to burn on. There are
other shapes and sizes and types of woods. You’ll find that some are softwoods, some are hardwoods. The kind with rings the annual rings are
kind of harder to burn on because as you go through each ring it kind of stops the tool for moving a
little bit. I got a lot of my wood pieces at
Michaels you can go to the store. Get it online. Also a good selection on Ebay and Amazon. I’m a lot of them come with stickers
take the sticker off before you start working and don’t use Goo be Gone that’ll sink into the wood and ruin your
end product. I’m so just sand with the grain until
the sticky stuff comes off. Before burning a design of course you need to
either create or print off a design that you’d like to burn. Cut it to the right
size of your piece of wood and then use transfer paper which is a carbon-based
paper to trace the design onto the wood. You want to put the dark side of the
tracing paper down, and then put the design that you’ll be tracing on top of
that. What’s very important is that you secure
both the design and the carbon paper onto the wood with tape. Fold the tape over and put it on the
back so it’s easy to get off and you would be taping both the carbon paper
and the design at the same time so that they don’t move around when you’re
tracing. Of course you’ll need a wood burning
tool before you start with burning. There are a bunch of different types I
got this one as a gift about 10 years ago it’s called a versatile tool I think it
cost between 35 and 40 bucks at Michaels. You can buy any type like this online
comes with a bunch of different tips in this particular model and as I said it’s
lasted a good ten years of heavy use you can see the color change their
that’s how much I’ve used it and it’s still going strong. This particular wood burning tool has a
fixed temperature of 950 degrees Fahrenheit. When your wood-burning you get a
constant stream of wood smoke directly into your face, and when you’re doing
this all day long. That can really affect your lungs so I
wear a protective respirator mask. it’s very inexpensive online this one is
a 3m and it costs about ten to fourteen dollars online. As well as a protective respirator you’ll need to protect your eyes from
the wood smoke that’s constantly going into your face.
Depending on the type of wood you’re using you can hit a piece of SAP or bark
with your wood burning tool and these will become superheated and splatter
into your face. I use a protective goggles that wraps
around my eyes a third safety measure to keep the smoke out of your face is to
have a small extraction fan next to your working surface. Make sure the fan is blowing up word and
not directly onto your working surface the fan will instantly cool your
wood-burning tip. This particular fan extracts smoke from the front and blows
it out the top away from your face. I wait about five minutes for my wood
burning tool to heat up and then I’ll test it on a tester piece of wood. When it’s hot enough smoke will rise
from the wood right away, and you’ll get a dark mark. When it’s not hot enough you get a lighter mark as shown here this is also a nice place to test your
ideas before you start actual work on your design. As you’re working the tip
can become unscrewed before you turn the unit on make sure to tightly screw the tip in.
After securing the wood-burning tip you can turn the unit on. Ensure that the
cord is not dangling keep it away from kids and pets that could pull the unit
off. it is a thousand degrees and will burn
you. When the wood burning tool is not in use always secure it on the stand that it
comes with on the wood burning tool itself think of anything metal as being
950 degrees do not touch it. The handle stays pretty
cool, so just rest it on the handle. Avoid
resting the unit on the metal parts this will conduct the heat through the
stand and burn whatever is underneath it. With the
Mandela designs I start in the center of the piece and work my way out bit by bit. There are no do-overs in wood
burning. So take your time be methodical. One huge and very important tip That I have come across in the last 10 years of doing this. When your wood burning you always want to toward yourself to get a smooth line Curved lines are the hardest but any line is pretty hard if you don’t know what you are doing. Always pull toward yourself as opposed to pushing or going side to side. You won’t get as good of a clean line that way. So I will just pull this way and this way, like that. So when I wood burn I am very methodical about how I do it. It increases your speed of wood burning when you do the same pattern over and over. For example now I am going to burn this way, and this way. This way and this way. Then I am going to come back around and do the other side. That, that, that and that. I find it goes much quicker if you do one repetitious movement over and over because you get better and better at it as you go around. It depends on the design your doing, I am doing a Mandala obviously repetition is in the Mandala design. Indian chant music As you burn the wood, you will get some wood debris forming on
your wood surface just scrape those off using the flat end of a knife. If you
make little teeny mistakes you can scrape them with the grain of the wood
using a little knife like this but they can’t be very deep or it will cause big
grooves in the surface of the wood. Meditation Music This is done now, the front and the back. From start to finish it took about 8 hours. That includes getting the piece of wood you are going to burn on. Either creating or finding a design to transfer to the wood. Transferring the design via carbon copy paper. And Then burning the design, finishing and shading. Spraying it with clear polyurethane. Finishing the back and putting a hanging loop on the back as well. The whole thing took about 8 hours. For a beginner it would probably take double that amount of time. But I have done this a lot so I can do this a little quicker. If you want to see all Kate’s designs to
check out her Etsy store. All you have to do is click this little
tab that’s in the right upper corner here or you can check the description
below.

24 thoughts on “How to Wood Burn a Mandala – Pyrography Art

  1. Really beautiful. I loved wood burning classes with my Mom as a kid. I was addicted to the smoke smell I think!

  2. Some places like 'Home Depot will give you scraps and other stores where you can buy wood, small peces will give you scraps if you ask for pieces that they cannot sell.

  3. Could I paint these with acrylic paint when done burning. And then maybe glaze them.? Of course I believe I would have to gesso them first right.? Thanks for sharing your talent.

  4. gracias por su explicacion ,muy clara e instrutiva ,hermoso trabajo siempre quise hacer uno voy a intentarlo !!

  5. I've done all my pyrography with a $14 soldering iron. I tried an actual pyrography tool but I find a soldering iron better

  6. Very interesting – I love watching stuff like this – You are very talented – Thanks for showing this.

  7. I have the same transfer paper that I put dark side down and it’s not transferring properly. Is there s trick to get your design to transfer well?

  8. You can use woodprix plans. The best handbooks and very detailed instructions. You can learn much from them and make it yourself.

  9. that is quite nice! to save a step if you are printing the design from an online source you can us freezer paper. print the design on the wax side of the paper and tape it down and rub it with a wooden spoon to transfer the design

  10. perhaps a cheaper source for birch plywood is Lowes or Home Depot, a 2' X 4'  piece is only $14. you then have to cut it into the desired shape but its worth it.  the grain is a bit more pronounced too.

  11. I'm so inspired! Sam's Club has a nice woodburning set that I just bought. I now have the inspiration to get started, thankyou!

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