'It's writing with fire' - The artist burning stunning portraits in wood

Mike Lawrence with a portrait of Winston Churchill, and one of Captain Mainwaring from Dad's Army.

Mike Lawrence with a portrait of Winston Churchill, and one of Captain Mainwaring from Dad's Army. - Credit: Supplied by Mike Lawrence

He has what you could call a 'burning desire' to create art. 

Trimingham's Mike Lawrence aka the Hairy Artist has abandoned paint brushes and pencils for an altogether hotter medium - a heated poker with which he burns detailed impressions onto wood. 

Mr Lawrence, 54, said he had only got into the art form called pyrography a couple of years ago and quickly developed a passion for it. 

A pyrography portrait of the Joker created by Mike Lawrence.

A pyrography portrait of the Joker created by Mike Lawrence. - Credit: Supplied by Mike Lawrence

He said: "The name translates as 'writing with fire'.

"I've been an artist for a while now - doing coloured pencil drawings and watercolour portraits - and then I got this basic pyrography set and thought I'd give it a go. I can control it pretty well - I've only had a couple of minor burns so far!"

Mr Lawrence creates his artworks on hardwoods such as beech, but he has also experimented using thick paper designed for watercolour artists. 

A pyrography portrait created by Mike Lawrence.

A pyrography portrait created by Mike Lawrence. - Credit: Supplied by Mike Lawrence

He said it took him around eight hours to complete a basic artwork, and "longer burns" could take up to 30 hours to finish. He draws his inspiration from works of fiction, as well as nature and historical figures and objects. 

Most Read

Mr Lawrence said: "I started off by doing a few wildlife pictures because that was where my background was. 

"But straight away I saw people's interest in film, actors and memorabilia."

Mike Lawrence, who creates pyrography artwork. 

Mike Lawrence, who creates pyrography artwork. - Credit: Supplied by Mike Lawrence

Depictions of characters such as Captain Mainwaring, Yoda, Gollum, Frodo and Luke Skywalker are among those featured on Mr Lawrence's Instagram feed

But he has also sought to capture iconic scenes from the real world, and has done portraits of Winston Churchill, a Highland cow and a Harrier jet, among others. 

Mr Lawrence and his wife Sarah, also an artist, moved to Norfolk almost five years ago from Bedfordshire, after he had a career working in security. 

Mike Lawrence, who creates pyrography artwork. 

Tools of the trade of Mike Lawrence, who creates pyrography artwork. - Credit: Supplied by Mike Lawrence

He is taking part in the North Norfolk Studios event from May 28 to June 5, when his studio will be open to the public as part of a 'Mundesley' art trail - which consists of one of several groups of artists taking part. 

The event is separate from North Norfolk Open Studios, which takes place in autumn. 

For more details on the upcoming event, visit northnorfolkstudios.co.uk