Thursday, May 1, 2014

Serenity Pyrography

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Last month I posted about my beginning adventures with leather pyrography - burning designs into leather.  The designs I had previously posted were all made with a cheap soldering iron (the kind you can buy at most big stores).  A few months ago, though, my awesome parents got me a professional pyrography tool for my birthday.  It is so freaking amazing.  Here's a couple of the projects that it's been used for so far.


Patience Bracelets

First, a good friend of mine came over to make some bracelets.  Here's a picture of her smiling for the camera as she wets the edges of the leather to polish them smooth with an edge slicker.


First, she practiced calligraphy on paper with a calligraphy pen, and then moved to practicing on leather scraps.  All the marks done on leather are burned into it with a tip that mimics the long skinny rectangle tip of a calligraphy pen.  Isn't it neat how it just looks like writing on the leather?


A better look at the leather strips that were made into bracelets by adding buckles and holes.


Serenity Pyrography

And now for the titular image of this post... Serenity!  I burned the Firefly class starship (from the Firefly TV series, for those of you not familiar - who should immediately go watch the entire thing...) into a piece of leather.  The detailed version here was done completely freehand by looking at an image of Serenity on my computer.  First, I very carefully drew the outline with the pyrography tool on a low temperature setting, so it faintly burned the outline into the leather.  For this entire drawing, I used a fine pointed tip tool.  After the outline was done, I sketched in the various lines in the interior of the ship. Once the basic shape was finished, the temperature of the tool was turned up, and lines were darkened in most places.  Then the temperature was turned up even more, and I added the shading.  All told, this took me about an hour to burn into the leather.  The picture doesn't do it justice - I am thrilled with how this turned out.  Not only does it look amazing, but it also has a fun texture, because it is burned - not inked - into the leather.


The cats were being adorable behind me on the futon, so I have to slip in a photo of them.


After I finished the first Serenity drawing, I knew I wanted to try my hand at simple outlines.  Rather than drawing freehand again, I printed off small images of Serenity in four different sizes.  Here I have one gently taped (with rolls of tape on the back of the image) to the leather.


When I had the paper on the leather, I drew the outline at a very low temperature - I didn't want to burn the paper!


I went back over my outline on a much higher temperature after the paper was removed.  I repeated this with an even smaller image of Serenity, this time filling in the entire ship by burning the leather at a higher temperature with a wider tip.


I am so excited to continue playing with my pyrography tool!  These drawings of Serenity are actually one step in another project I've been working on for a while - figuring out how to mimic the fabric galaxy print making on leather.  My hope is to burn Serenity onto a galaxy-painted leather.  :)  I'm ridiculously pleased with how this is turning out so far!  ~Kell

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