Woodburning by Betty Auth book review | Book Addicts

Woodburning by Betty Auth

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Woodburning by Betty Auth is a cool book with some interesting and visually appealing projects made of wood.

8 out of 10 stars.  I love wood and am in awe of the artists at art fairs who work with wood in great detail.  Burnishing is the act of burning patterns into wood, making them three dimensional.  It’s a beautiful art and if you are good at it, you can make all of your ordinary furniture extraordinary.

Getting Started

The book begins with a description of the materials you’ll need, basically a burnisher with various tips, then describes the processes used in the book (e.g. transferring paper templates to wood so you can burnish them, adding color).


  1. Butterfly treasures box (a beautiful wood box with a butterfly burnished on top)
  2. Holiday ornaments (burnished wood chips with metal chains added)
  3. Heartfelt bird home (a burnished bird house)
  4. Fish bowl (a bowl burnished with a fish inside)
  5. African safari planter box (a wood box burnished with elephants and zebras)
  6. Piney woods table (an end table burnished with pine cones)
  7. Nana’s cherry box (a wood box burnished with cherries, beautiful)
  8. Memory album (a wood album cover burnished with patterns)
  9. Patterned frame (a wood frame burnished with architectural patterns)
  10. Ladder-back chair (a ladder-back chair burnished with mountains)
  11. Folding screen (a wood folding screen burnished with an asian flower design)
  12. Playful pins (star, heart, and hand shaped wood chips burnished and jewelry added)
  13. Drapery rod and finials (a drapery rod and finials burnished with patterns and flowers)
  14. Seaside bath accessory (a miniature desk burnished with seashells)
  15. Found materials (a driftwood piece burnished with a woman’s face)
  16. Lotus flower plate (a wood plate burnished with lotus flowers)
  17. Victorian shoe last (wood shoe stretchers burnished with birds and butterflies)
  18. Cat’s delight gourd (a gourd burnished with a cat and fish to look Native American)
  19. Gourd lamp (a burnished gourd turned into a lamp)
  20. Colorful fruit tray (a wood tray burnished and colored with fruit)


A section with stencils and patterns used in the book so you can photocopy them and transfer them to wood.


Suppliers of the supplies used in the book’s projects.

8 out of 10 stars. The author has been wood burnishing since 1953 and the book was written in 1999, so she had been burnishing for 50 years.  I don’t expect to have her skills overnight, but I enjoyed looking at the different projects possible with just a wood burnishing tool, a variety of tips, stencil patterns, and added color.  I will be trying several of these in my own home and my kids are really excited. The author goes into great detail with each project so even if you choose to do a different design on a different object of wood, the techniques are all there.

Reviewed by Jill.


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