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Sharon C. Bechtold – Pyrographer

“Every slice of wood hides an image within its grain waiting to be revealed.”


The pyrographic process is an experience like no other.

The smell of burning wood relaxes the mind and body. Fast burns contrast with slow burns trailing whisps of smoke. Texture created by the burning adds a tactile aspect to the artwork. A delicate dance between the artist, materials, tools and process ends in the final orchestration of image.

Learning the process is as simple or complicated as you make it. The basics can be mastered quickly but the possibilities are endless. No other medium offers the opportunity to create beauty as quickly, or destroy it as completely.  It all depends on YOU!

As a third generation artist I grew up around a variety of art materials, tools and the encouragement that have been instrumental to my development. After completing studies in commercial art, fine art, and photography, I worked as a graphic designer in the family business.

My oil paintings, watercolors, and pyrographs, have won numerous awards and been represented by galleries throughout the Chicago area. Since 1988 I’ve taught art both at the adult level and children’s classes. Since 2000 I devoted myself to Pyrography, developing my own unique style, based on classical art principles, in order to render a realistic image guided by inspiration.

I thrive on teaching others to discover their own talents and abilities. In truth, other than the world around me, my students are my greatest inspiration. They challenge me to see the world in new and exciting ways. Boredom does not exist in pyrography.

I have been writing and teaching pyrography since 2003, have been a regular columnist for Chip Chats, the official print magazine for the National Woodcarvers Association, a regular feature writer for Carving Magazine and a feature contributing writer for Pyrography Magazine.

I am a featured instructor for many international events including GOW Gathering of Woodcarvers, International Woodcarvers Congress, Carv-Fest, and many more.

As an artist in residence at Life Force Arts Center in Chicago I exhibit and teach regularly and hold the status of Illinois State Artisan with my work being represented by museums throughout the state. I  am the published author of 6 books and am represented by Art galleries throughout North America. My artwork resides in collections throughout the world.

Bottom line…. yeah, I know pyrography – I love pyrography – and I can sure as heck teach it to YOU!