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Setting the craft scene ablaze - pyrography is a trend that is slowly rising in popularity by taking ordinary materials and turning them into something extraordinary.

If you've never heard of pyrography before, it's an art form that dates back as far as the 17th century and involves precision-burning freehand drawings, designs and decorations onto a wooden surface using a heated point. Your creative piece is therefore born out of the dark burn marks created and, with a little flair and practise, you can master shadows, shading and create stunning portraits and landscapes on your timber of choice.

But the most burning question to start with is - which wood do you choose?

Making sure you purchase the right wood for your latest pyro-art project is absolutely pivotal in determining how successful the finished results will be. In this blog, Woodshop Direct have put together 4 timbers that are not only easy to work on, but will showcase your masterpiece in the best possible light.


A more expensive choice for pyrography, but probably the best wood to work with. Maple has a light to medium colour and a very subtle grain which will accentuate all the intricate details of your drawing you've spent hours perfecting.

When working with maple, we would recommend that a high quality heating tool is used or one that can reach high temperatures due to the sheer hardness of this timber.


It's like maple - only cheaper! Poplar is a popular choice for everyday pyrography projects. You'll benefit from the light colour tone and unobtrusive grain pattern which is ideal for working on and the burn patterns you create will show up wonderfully.

The only downside to poplar is the occasional risk of sap and resin spots or colour streaking, but this should only be considered a minor concern when buying.


Jelutong is a versatile choice, not only for pyrography, but for a wide range of different artistic woodworking projects such as carving, pattern work, whittling and model making. This wood is ideal if you wanted to combine multiple artistic disciplines on the same piece of timber.


If you're looking for an even more economical option, beech is a good alternative to maple and potentially poplar as well. It comes with a desirable pale colour, but the 'dash' grain pattern may cause aesthetic issues and sap seepage could occur when heated.

What Wood Types Should I Avoid?

Stay away from any dark, grainy or resinous woods, as well as timber that has an uneven or rough surface - all of these qualities will prove to be difficult or even impossible to work on.

Also stay away from any woods that have been treated with a finish or have any sort of synthetic materials in their composition because, when heated, they could emit toxic chemicals which could be harmful if inhaled. For this reason, we'd advise that you also stay away from reclaimed wood.

Post By Ed Mason