Pyrography - Wood Burning Art by Nedra Denison

What is the difference between Woodburning and Pyrography?

Pyrography (wood burning) is an ancient art form that dates back to ancient cave dwellings.  Pyrography is Greek for "fire drawing" is the art of burning images on a variety of materials such as wood, paper, leather and gourds. The tools for doing Pyrography have advanced through the ages, instead of using heated sticks we are now using electric or solar heated tools.

What is the difference between woodburning and pyrography? Well, it's simple, Pyrography is burning done on a wide variety of materials whereas wood burning is burning done on wood. Pretty simple actually.

Pyrography is still rare among fine arts media yet it's exotic beauty continues to fascinate most of us.  The warm flesh tones, textures and deep earthy hues of burning work well with portraiture which is one of my fascinations and I prefer burning on wood because of its aesthetic qualities.

Wood carvers often use wood burning for their carving and wood burning can greatly enhance a carving project. Used to create fine line detailing or sepia tones of shadowing, with just one tool and a few basic strokes this craft will open a new dimension to your finished work.

Once you catch the "burning fever" you will soon discover that a beautiful design can be created using just this tool. Wood burning is a lot more than just a dark brown outline on a piece of wood. From pale golden shading to dark textured areas, there is a wide range of tonal values that can be made with just one wood burning tool.

Relic's recently found

Well, 1 1/2 years after moving back to Texas I discovered a bin containing some of my relics dating back to my early days doing pyrography. Back then I was working from patterns because I didn't know any better. It was also easier to use patterns as I was learning how to use a burner & while I was experimenting with techniques. It is kind of fun to look back at what I did back then & what I have done since! One of the first things I noticed in my first few burns is that they lacked depth & looked "flat". One of the pieces I remember using in my class to show students the differences as you improve & learn how to bring things to "life".

I have added some of them to my galleries along with the date they were burned. These were all done when we lived in Texas the first time so they have come full circle (TX to WA to NM & back).

I have also listed them for sale at the same price I was selling my work back then. If you see one ou like please contact me.

You will find some in the following galleries at the bottom of the pages: Birds of Prey, Miscellaneous & native american style.

About my pyrography

When I first started burning I primarily used basswood because it is easy to burn with a fine grain that makes burning very smooth. I used northern winter cut basswood which is light and clear and provides a very neutral background.

As I gained experience with my burning I began experimenting with other woods and materials. I have fallen in love with soft maple and maple burl, both darker and harder but they provide a lot more "personality" and crisper detail. Burning on hard wood takes longer and a bit more skill but I get clear, crisp detail which helps turn a good burning into a great burning with a lot more character.

You can watch how I create a woodburning from start to finish. I have taken photos of several works I've done and shown how to create a burning from start to finish. Click here to view the work in progress!

If you would like to view more of my work, check out these galleries: my Picturetrail gallery and my Fine Art America gallery.

How you can purchase one of my original wood burnings

If you would like to purchase one of my original wood burnings or would like to discuss a commission, please contact me

Copyright Information

All of my artwork is copyright protected. It may not be copied, reproduced, used as a pattern, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the artist. 


Please click on the photos below to view each Gallery

Animals & Wildlife Pyrography. Miscellaneous pyrography that does not fit into other categories. Lighthouses of America Collection.
Animals & Wildlife Miscellaneous Themes

Lighthouses of America


Pyrography Portraits of famous and not so famous people. Native American and Western Pyrography. Mothers Day Rose II Pyrography by Nedra Denison.


Native American Style & Western Art

Floral Art


Birds of Prey. Learn about me, my interests and my art.

Birds of Prey

About Nedra and her awards

Come join my Pyrograpy Gourd Art group now on Facebook! 

This is the "original" Pyrography-Gourd-Art group that was founded on Yahoo in 2003.  It is a registered domain name that is owned by me, Nedra Denison & my company Sawdust Connection.

Others have copied & used the name but this is the original group that migrated to Facebook on August 12,2015. We are still young & growing all over again but it's more active than the original group was on Yahoo.

The Facebook advantage is that you can get quick responses to questions you might have. That is a definate advantage over Yahoo groups.

This group is open to ALL people interested in Pyrography &/or Gourd Art. Whether you are just starting out or a professional you are cordially invited to join us!

Learn, network, share information and resources. Click on the link below & come join us!

Click to join us!  Pyrography.Gourd.Art on Facebook