The employment of water stains with "pokered" designs has become very popular with a good many pyrographers, and although, to a certain extent, it eliminates some of the chief attractions of Poker Work - viz., the contrast of the rich, etched line with the natural colour of the wood. Yet the effect, when the tints employed are in keeping with the soft tones produced by the scorched surface, is excellent.

The materials and implements necessary for staining are few and inexpensive. The following assortment will be found quite sufficient for all ordinary purposes: - A bottle each of mahogany, rosewood, walnut, oak, satinwood, green, yellow and scarlet stains; three brushes of varying sizes, and French polish.

Possible disappointments can be guarded against if the few following directions are carefully observed. In the first place, it is out of the question to expect good results if the wood to be decorated is not well seasoned and, comparatively, close grained. The best woods for the purpose are chestnut and sycamore. It is very important to have the surface of the wood properly prepared. The wood must be thoroughly sandpapered; start with No. 1 1/2 and finish with No. "O," and not until a perfectly smooth, satin-like surface has been obtained should the staining be commenced.

The design having been burnt in with the point, a damp sponge should be passed over the surface. When dry it will be found that the grain of the wood has risen slightly, and it will again be necessary to rub it smooth, care being taken not to obliterate any of the etched work.

The background should be first filled in as equally as possible. Start with the outlines, filling in the small spaces with the colour a little dry, and then working outwards towards the border with more flowing colour. After sufficient time has been allowed for the stain to dry, the pattern can be proceeded with according to taste. It is not essential that the background should have an unbroken appearance. Often it happens, where a piece of wood is close-grained, that the stain settles on the surface in a slightly patchy manner; but this, by a little skilful manipulation of the brush, can be turned to good account by making it represent graining of the wood; so far, indeed, from being a blemish it may be made to add much to artistic finish of the work. Great attention must be paid to the edges of made-up articles, which, being cut across the grain, will soak up the stains in a surprising manner unless they have been well sandpapered. W. D. Thompson.

(To be continued.)