WRITING WITH FIRE

A BRIEF HISTORY OF PYROGRAPHY

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Pyrography is derived from the Greek words pur (meaning fire) and graphros (meaning witing). People have probably “written with fire” since fire was discovered. Cavemen may well have used charred sticks to draw on the walls of their caves! However, no examples survive for us to see.

In early times pyrography, as today was principally used for the decoration of artifacts, examples of which are likely to have been lost, principally as it was classified as a folk art rather than paintings and sculptures. Dried gourds used as domestic vessels are one of the most widespread artefacts that are decorated with pyrographic techniques and this spreads the net of possible areas where it would have been common practice to all tropical and sub-tropical and many temperate parts of the world.