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When you think of “burning” and art, you probably first thing of book burning and censorship, or you think of giant flaming sculptures like the one at Burning Man. Crontrolled word burning is actually an art form in and of itself, however, and it’s called pyrography, which literally means “writing with fire” in Greek. It’s also known as pokerwork, because the artist typically uses tools resembling hot pokers to get the right temperature (and therefore, the right shade) for their creations.

As with water marbling, which we featured last week, wood burning is an ancient form practiced by many different cultures such as the Egypt, several African tribes, and China. It’s also a folkart in many Eastern European cultures as well. It became popular in Western Europe during the Victorian era, and while the process is often automated now, there are still a lot of great independent artists who use more traditional methods, such as Julie Bender, Daniel Tate, and Donna Lee. Check out what her work looks like below!