Razertip Feather Formers
Friday 04 March 2011
Do the new hot wire tips from Razertip ruffle any feathers? Woodcarving finds out
Bird carvers encounter some hurdles to achieve the right look, texture and proportions of feathers; indeed feathers are notoriously difficult to get right and is one of the most commonly discussed areas. But help is at hand in the guise of a new range of feather formers from Razertip.
These hot-wire tips are used in conjunction with a pyrography unit and are designed to create the fine filament striations in feathers by means of fine strands of wire that are wound in a spiral. This spiral section is supported by two straight wire sections, which are the location devices to fit in the handpiece of the pyrography machine.
Depending on the size of the bird and feathers, there are a few different sets to ensure you get the right effect and reach into the necessary places.
We all know that every tool requires a bit of practise to get the best from it and these tips are no different. Once fitted in the relevant handpiece, select the right heat setting; this is where you need a sample piece of wood or birch-faced ply to work with.
The heated tips need to be stroked across the wood to create the relevant striations, but select too low a heat setting and the tips don't mark it, and select too high a heat and there is just a burn mark and no striations. One also has to consider the travel rate of the tips across the work. Varying speeds create different shading effects but move too slow and you can end up with a scorch mark. All this sounds complex but it isn't. It is no different to a normal pyrography tip.
After playing with them for about 5 minutes, I was able to create the striations easily and consistently. The lovely thing about these is that if you do need to darken an area you have gone over, you just place the tip over that patch, stroke the tip across the surface again and it relocates into the previously marked striations. The various shaped tips offer access to difficult areas and allow you to work in a comfortable position.
These tips are simply superb. They are wickedly effective and make life so much easier. Yes pyrographing feathers is only one route to create them, but if this is your chosen route, do take look at these.