The Art of Pyrography || Cherry Ferris

I would add this to my ever-lengthening list of 2022’s innovations, but I’m pretty sure pyrography has been written about before, albeit more as a craft, maybe a curiosity, than as art. This is the first book to cross my desk, anyway. It’s also worthy of note that this appears in Search Press’s The Innovative Artist series, which betokens both a broad coverage and a move of the technique into something more mainstream.

As you might expect, this is not a beginner’s guide, nor should it be. I think we can accept that those exist and that this is as much a showcase for an experienced practitioner as it is a book of instruction. That said, there’s plenty of technical analysis to get your teeth into here. Someone wanting to pursue this as art will find a great deal to occupy and challenge them and the results are simply stunning. The blurb announces that it’s suitable for beginners too, but they always say that. Yes, Cherry does explain the fundamental techniques as well as what equipment you need and how to use it, but I think I’d start with something a lot more basic and with rather more simplified exercises. You aren’t going to achieve the sort of detailed, coloured work that Cherry demonstrates without a very thorough grounding first and, without belittling the fundamental work done here, I don’t think this is the book for it. This is basic techniques for the more experienced worker who mainly wants to make sure they’re on the right track and learn from a master.

Small rant over, this is an astonishing book that will open your eyes to work you probably didn’t think possible. The detail and subtlety of shade and colouring that Cherry achieves is remarkable and looks more like painting or drawing. There’s much to learn and this is a book you’re going to want to spend a lot of time with – I’d go so far as to say that, if you price a book by the number of hours spend between its covers, this is definitely well below minimum wage.

Will you ever manage to achieve the same results as Cherry? Well, it wouldn’t be for want of trying, on your part or hers.

Click the picture to view on Amazon

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