Woodworking Workshop


Pyrography, or wood burning, is an art form that has been around for nearly as long as mankind. This particular piece, a burned map of the world, however, would only have been available sometime after 1492, or perhaps earlier if you happened to live in a Nordic country.

Historical geography considerations aside, this map was burned onto scrap wood found on the side of the road and cut to size using a miter saw. As the saw in question wasn’t wide enough, two cuts had to be made to separate each piece. Once the six pieces were cut, an appropriately-sized map was printed out, then cut to fit on each segment.

The appropriate map section was duplicated on each of the pieces using a “wetting process” that appears to involve tracing the paper as it disintegrates. Once these drawings were transferred, earth’s land masses were traced with a burning tool, permanently marking them on the wood.

Finally, the wood was stained; cherry was used first, then Jacobean was added to darken the water. The results look good together as shown, but I suppose they could also be separated, as many pieces of contemporary art are, for a different effect. Be sure to check out the process in the slideshow below.

This map reminds me of the glow-in-the-dark world map coffee table that I wrote about in January. Like that map, Antarctica is given no respect there either.


Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

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