‘What have you been up to today?’ my friend asked.
‘A craft workshop.’
He rolled his eyes. Craft has an unfair (although shifting) reputation as being old fashioned and irrelevant, more WI than people of the world.
‘We burned wood and drank wine.’
Now he was more interested.
Pyrography literally means fire writing, and is one of the most enjoyable, accessible and accessible crafts I’ve explored. With origins dating back to cavemen and the Chinese Han Dynasty, it involves using a heated tool to burn the surface of wood and leather to create patterns. Nine of us gathered together with London Craft Club to learn how to do so, trying different techniques, drawings and tools to embellish the goods provided. Although not easy to create beautiful designs, it’s pretty simple to get somewhere in just a two hour workshop, and whilst some of us stuck to stencils and patterns, others got more artistic and drew entire scenes. The smell of autumn bonfires was soon enveloping the room and the satisfying images began to appear.
The other awesome benefit of pyrography is that what is produced is often very practical. I’m now the proud owner of kitchen spatulas, pegs, a chopping board and a key ring – handcrafted versions of which I would not be able to buy for the workshop price, let alone be taught how to do. The only danger is how I’m eyeing up everything I see as a potential canvas. Doors, watch out…
London Craft Club run workshops all over the city, featuring a range of different tutors and activities, for all abilities.
Photos from London Craft Club.