The multitude of indifferently executed small articles which followed the introduction of pyrography is beginning to disappear. People are considering the art more seriously and applying it to more dignified uses. Pyro-carving is one of the new methods of decorating furniture which is both beautiful and practical, two qualities which do not always go together.
Illustration: Table and Seat Decorated in Pyro-Carving
The library set illustrated consists of a table, 30 to 50 in., with two benches, 14 in. wide, of the same length. The supports are made of selected white pine, which must be absolutely free from pitch. The pine is soft enough to work easily with the point and stands wear much better than basswood. The tops and braces are made of curly fir. All of the material must be 2-in. lumber, which dresses to about 1-1/2 in. All surfaces, except the faces of the supports, are given a well rubbed coat of oil with a little burnt umber, the stain to be applied directly to the wood without a filler.
On the outside of the supports the design is drawn in with pencil, the background is then cut out smoothly with a chisel to the depth of an eighth of an inch, leaving the decoration in relief. It is then burned deeply, the background in straight flat strokes, the outlines having the effect of a sloping, dark edge. The shadows are burned in as deeply as possible and the shading is put in with the flat of the point.
A wax or eggshell oil-varnish finish is most suitable for this set, but any other finish may be applied, as the builder may desire, to make it harmonize with other furnishings.