Beautiful Map of the World, Burned Into Scrap Wood

Woodworking Workshop
Beautiful Map of the World, Burned Into Scrap Wood


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.

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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.

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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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