Hello friends! Let's start off by stating that I'm not a writer. Do I like writing? Yes, especially about things that I am super interested and find great happiness in. One of those things is Woodburning. Not in the ‘Hey, I'm a pyromaniac!' kind of way but the pyrography way.
What is Pyrography? According to Wikipedia it's exact definition is:
If you research the term, you will find lots of crazy talented people that draw, shade and almost paint with the burner. I tip my hat to those amazing artists. It simply boggles the mind! I like to use the burner to outline and illustrate. Then I paint with watercolours inside those lines. Water and fire guys, water AND fire.
My first burner was the Walnut Hollow Creative Woodburner Value Pen from Michael's for $17. I found that for a beginner that wants to try it out to make sure you even like burning, it works ok. But as soon as you start burning more, you will find that the handle gets super warm and you might get some pain in your fingers/wrist. Or at least I did. After a few months or so of fiddling around with techniques and different tips (multi pack tips are around $15) I upgraded to the Walnut Hollow Versa Tool ($43 pictures above). It has a fancy little grip that really makes working for a long period of time way more comfortable than before. It also comes with some fancy tips - which include some my favourites! It also has this super fancy temperature dial, which can be used at low temps if cutting foam etc. but mine was always at high. I found the dial to be in the way and i’d knock it down to a low temp accidentally and loose my mind purposefully. Personally, had I known that (hindsight 50/50 and all that jazz) I would have just found DAT 50% OFF MICHAELS MAGIC COUPON and bought the Versa Tool first. A super big plus is that all the tips and metal letters are interchangeable and work the exact same on both Walnut Hollow burners.
Guys, fun tip time. Read the manual and don't try and take out the tips before it cools. It happened to me and I broke my most favourite tip in half. Half of which was still stuck in there. I might have cried, its hard to tell, “i’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING".
After a long family discussion, (jk it went something like 'hey, can we go get me a professional burner? Yep? LETSGO) I treated myself to the most amazing little machine ever. I feel so darn spoiled I might blush while writing this. I took my butt, my husbands butt and my smallest child’s butt down to Lee Valley and purchased a fine Canada Made product called the Razertip SK. It's so darn fancy that it takes a whole whopping 8 seconds to heat up. Did I mentioned I'm so smitten with it? (This is probably a good time to mention that I am not endorsed or affiliated with said Razertip in any way, I'm just a super fan/nerd). This beast is the 10 amp Detail Burning System of my dreams. There is a dual pen option but i’m not totally sure why you would need that if it only takes 8 (EIGHT!!) seconds to heat up. Turn it off, unplug your pen, insert new pen, turn on, take a sip of cof… oh it’s hot again.
It is a little bit expensive compared to the walnut hollow/plaid varieties, and you have to buy the pens separately but, what we decided (we = husband) was to buy the writing nib and the interchangeable pen until I figure out which ones I mega love and then just buy the pen form of those. Luckily, it also comes with a fine line shader nib which is super versatile and makes my mountains so amazeballs. So far though, the writing nib is my jam. They have around 350 different pens so like, have at 'er. They are around $35 each which is a slight problem in my economic climate (I want all the pens) but I can't see myself breaking any anytime soon so totally worth it in the long run (I have my eyes on some fancy ball points, and a coil one for feathers. Y'all know I like a good feather)
My art is also my business so it was super important to me to have an efficient machine that allows more to be done in as little of time as possible. I can confidently say that the Razertip SK totally hits the nail on the head.