A to Z 2014: Xylopyrography

(An A to Z 2014 Challenge entry)


“X” might be the hardest letter to come up with. I had planned to cheat a little and talk about a recent art eXhibit I went to, but then Jak was like, no way, don’t cheat your way out of this.

So then, I set on a mission to look up words that start with “X” other than x-ray or xylophone. I found this rousing list, and way down at the bottom, there was actually a fourteen letter word that started with “X”: Xylopyrography. And just like many of you, I was like WTF is that? But it did have “pyro” in it, so someone like myself who loves a little fire here and there, was drawn to it.

Xy`lo*py*rog”ra*phy\ n. [Xylo- + Gr. ?, ?, fire + -graphy.] The art or practice of burning pictures onto wood with a hot iron;  called also poker painting. 

So after I read that definition, it intrigued me to look into it more. I was drawn to the art of it all. Which nicely ties into my original cheat idea — using “X” to talk about art.

There isn’t much out there on this topic. It appears that Fresh (and a little Funky!) has tackled this topic before too, so you can hop on over and check it out. (Looks like it was the 2011 A to Z Challenge).

Here are some awesome examples that I stumbled upon. (For copyright reasons, these are not pieces I am claiming as my own, but were found in Google search. This is merely an educational piece).





These are stunning pieces. As an artist, I cannot imagine the work involved in creating these. Who knew a 14 letter word would bring me such beautiful results?

Have you ever heard of xylopyrography before? For A to Zers, was “X” a challenge for you? What did you write on? (Feel free to link below!)

Posted in A to Z Challenge, Learning
4 comments on “A to Z 2014: Xylopyrography
  1. Raquel says:

    Okay. I have heard of this before but I’ve always called it wood burning!! My husband and I did a lot of experimenting with xylopyrography a few years back– we even sold a couple of our pieces. I still have one that I did. I’d love to frame and hang it somewhere. The problem I found with it, however, was the smell of the wood burning gave me immediate headaches. It’s not something I could do for any length of time, which really limited my abilities and skill setting.

    My Z was a little rune called Gebo. Sorta cheating. Ish.

    PS Wood burning sets are super cheap, at least the beginner ones. I’d say def try it! For $5-$8 dollars, it’s a totally fun experiment.

    • kborman says:

      Interesting. Sounds like a fun and cheap experiment, but I could see where they might cause headaches. I always thought wood burning was called as such too. But guess we learn something new everyday!

  2. Raquel says:

    Okay. I meant X, not Z. My Z is def not a cheat 🙂

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