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Definitions of Processes:

Pyrography- n. pl. py·rog·ra·phies

1. The process or art of producing designs on wood, leather, or other materials by using heated tools or a fine flame.
2. A design made by this process.

From The Free Online Dictionary

Historical information from

A more indepth definition firstly:

Pyrography is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object such as a poker. It is also known as pokerwork or wood burning.

Pyrography means "writing with fire", from the Greek "pur" (fire) and "graphos" (writing)[1]. It can be practiced using specialised modern pyrography tools, or using a metal implement heated in a fire, or even sunlight concentrated with a magnifying lens.

A large range of range of tones and shades can be achieved. Varying the type of tip used, the temperature, or the way the iron is applied to the material all create different effects. After the design is burned in, wooden objects are often coloured. Light-coloured hardwoods such as sycamore, basswood, beech and birch are most commonly used, as their fine grain is not obtrusive. However, other woods, such as pine or oak, are also used. Pyrography is also applied to leather items, using the same hot-iron technique. Leather lends itself to bold designs, and also allows very subtle shading to be achieved. Specialist vegetable-tanned leather must be used for pyrography, (as modern tanning methods leave chemicals in the leather which are toxic when burned) typically in light colours for good contrast.

Pyrography is also popular among gourd crafters and artists, where designs are burned onto the exterior of a dried hard-shell gourd, usually with dramatic results[citation needed].

Historical Background:

The process has been practiced by a number of cultures including the Egyptians and some African tribes since the dawn of recorded time. Pyrographer Robert Boyer hypothesises that the art form dates back to prehistory, when early humans created designs using the charred remains of their fires[2]. It was known in China from the time of the Han dynasty, where it was known as "Fire Needle Embroidery"[3]. During the Victorian era, the invention of pyrography machines sparked a widespread interest in the craft, and it was at this time that the term "pyrography" was coined (previously the name "pokerwork" had been most widely used)[4]In the late 19th century, a Melbourne architect by the name of Alfred Smart discovered that water-based paint could be applied hot to wood by pumping benzoline fumes through a heated hollow platinum pencil[5]. This improved the pokerwork process by allowing the addition of tinting and shading that were previously impossible. In the early 20th century, the development of the electric pyrographic hot wire wood etching machine further automated the pokerwork process. Pyrography is a traditional folk art in many European countries, including Romania, Hungary, as well as countries such as Argentina in South America.






1. The art of creating or decorating objects of wood by carving with a sharp hand-held tool.
2. A carved wood object.

From The Free Online Dictionary

Greater Definition and some historical background from

Wood carving (xyloglyphy) is a form of working wood by means of a cutting tool (knife) in one hand or a chisel by two hands or with one hand on a chisel and one hand on a mallet, resulting in a wooden figure or figurine, or in the sculptural ornamentation of a wooden object. The phrase may also refer to the finished product, from individual sculptures, to hand-worked mouldings composing part of a tracery.

Some of the finest extant examples of early wood carving are from the Middle Ages in Italy and France, where the typical themes of that era were Christian iconography. In England many complete examples remain from the 16th and 17th century, where oak was the preferred medium in this case

Figural carving seems to have been widespread. The carving to represent one's god in a tangible form finds expression in numberless ways. The early carver, and, for that matter, the native of the present day, has found a difficulty in giving expression to the eye, and at times has evaded it by inlaying this feature with colored material.


Description of Tools for Pagans :


Definition of Athame: 

Athame: A Knife or Blade used in Spiritual Work by different groups (Witches, Wiccans, Pagans, etc.).

An Athame is used for a variety of purposes such as, but not limited to: Draw aand Undrawing a Circle of Sacred Space in which to Worship. Can be used to draw signs of protection or purpose in the air. Can be used in a similair manner as a Wand, (See below). Individual practioners use these knives in ways according to their craft. As a general rule, Athames are meant for Spiritual (e.g. Not physical, not cutting herbs, not stirring brews.) application. The Athames here are made of wood and therefore are meant to be used in a spiritual fashion. A Bolline knife, or even a simple knife would be used for the

physical part of your work.


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Replies to This Discussion   may be good as well for telling of this.


I always thought that it was more of the common knife one used when 'working'. Hence a single edged knife vice a dagger for ruitals. Hence the common wood or bone handle would be more of the personal athame to someone for the every day. For of the olden days that would be more of what one would have as a tool to do things with, in the everyday living of the ways.


Then a special of coven for the group to be rotated between members during the year. Then again the older knowledge maybe not fully learned either by me.

 That is the thing about Pagan/Witch/Earth-Based philosophies, they truly vary from not just Tradition to Tradition, but Practioner to Practioner. I've found reference to either the  "Dark Handled Knife" being the special one set aside for spiritual matters, while a "lighter handled one" would be used for the "chore work" and seen it reversed as well. (Not in an metaphysical sense, just that most folk seem to do it their own way.)

 That having been said, there are Pactioners and Traditions that go the whole "nine yards" with adherence to this way or that way. I think truly those souls would probably have very presciptive rules governing all aspects of their tools, and would have individuals trained in those ways. So I truly make what I make for those who would like it, and who would have benefit from it.

 I read and look at a variety of works, there are things I want to try out when I can get more tools. I personally love the inticacies of Celtic, Hindu, and Renaissance style, and look forward to incorporating some of those elements when I have the materials  to do so. History has given us a wealth of beauty, often overlooked in this modern age. I believe that it is possible to have some of the beauty of the past in this time, we simple have to find ways to wed the two.

Yes, the many styles and ideas of things is a grand way of things. Wondering where this all came from the places and points within History that brought forth the use and being of what is told of this day. Those foundational ideas history and places many do not look for  nor relies exist. That would be good to tell of and explain upon perhaps for to know where something came from and became what is told of today. For many times the book store is as far as they go never looking further past the $19.99 special tell all printing.

 There are those who "make it up as they go along", and those who "eck out" as much as they can from various sources of historical record. The bookstore is filled with a vast amount of "knowledge" some of it excellent, so of it, not so much so. The problem is when people become dependent on someone else deciding the only right way for them, rather than listening for the truth of the "inner bell."  My truth, may not be another's truth, and my way not theirs, but I may indeed provide someone with a bit of the puzzle.

 Knowledge can come from sources as varied as National Geographic to the Seth Sessions, but one singular source is never going to give you the entire picture of life and your place in it. As a matter of fact it is doubtful that we will ever see the entire tapestry of of soul's life in this waking place. Not even sure that this mortal form could handle that spectrum.

Very true but the starting or finding of where to start may be diffrent form one to another. And the telling of the is what another uses to find theirs. From learning all and what where and how. One draws the they use. The foundation of is as important if not more so for it show who, what, where and how of it. Hence the asking of the basing upon the you have done here. For each one is a treasure and to be understood a wonder into itself.



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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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