It’s not very dirty and it’s definitely not a secret, but I’ll let you in on it. I don’t know anyone else who does wood burning (though I know there are plenty of you out there). I started doing it a few years ago when I moved to Waco and didn’t know anyone. It evolved into a fun Etsy business (which is partially why I started this blog), and now I usually just do them as gifts.
Sometime they’re done by hand with a cheap wood burning pen (top C), and sometimes they’re laser cut (bottom B). I started getting them laser cut to cut costs so I could get more Etsy buyers. I likened it to illustrated cards. Handmade, but mass produced. You can pretty much get anything laser cut if you vectorize it. This allows for more detail in the art (not that this B is a good example of detail). Of course the benefit of doing it by hand is exactly that—it’s produced by your very own duck-watching-whisky-drinking-grandpa hands. It’s harder to do and it looks less polished. Luckily rugged is so hot right now.
I’d love to improve my work. If anyone knows of any seasoned wood burners, please let me know! If you know of better wood or a nice pen you swear by, I’d like to know about it. I’m just an amateur, but I hope this inspires you to give it a shot. It’s quite fun and nothing beats the smell of burning wood. Not a bad Mad Men activity either. Try it out and send some pics!
NOTE: You can get the wood planks for Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, as well as the wood burning pen. Most cities have someone who does laser cutting, and they just might vectorize your art if you pay them enough. I recommend Texas Tape and Label if you’re in the Waco region.