Learn about Pokerwork

Pokerwork refers to a way of decorating wood by burning a design into it. Even if the wooden object has very little burnt design, with most of the design having been painted, it is still called pokerwork. Thus, a vase may have a very small area at the top with a burnt design, and though the rest of the vase may be painted, it is still classified as pokerwork.

Pokerwork as a technique is not restricted to wood, although wooden objects predominate. The technique is straightforward: a piece of metal is heated at its tip and pressed onto or drawn across the wooden surface.

Repeated application produces a pattern. Coloured to colour the design instead of stain, and frequently stain is then rubbed into the wood that is finally have varnish applied to their surface instead of polish. polished or clear varnished. More sophisticated ways of In other words, they look like factory products instead of burning have been invented for pokerwork today, being individually made. Many Australian and Japanese including the use of a laser beam, but the principle is articles retain their original paper stickers, showing the exactly the same. manufacturer's name. look on the base for these. more...
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A pokerwork vase, depicting a cockatoo in flight. Height 37 cm

A pokerwork fire screen decorated with parrots, early 20th century, 67 cm high, 61 cm wide

A pokerwork dish with koala decoration and original Humphrey paper label together with a koala decorated jewel box, dish 11.5 cm diameter

Two pokerwork fruit bowls with gum blossom decoration, one with original Hielco ware paper label, largest 27 cm diameter

A pokerwork serving tray with poinsettia floral design, early 20th century, 50 cm across the handles

An oval pokerwork serving tray with magpie decoration, early 20th century, magpie decoration is exceptionally on Australian pokerwork, 46 cm across the handles

Jenolan Caves souvenir pokerwork vase with rare kangaroo decoration, 11.5 cm high

A pokerwork kookaburra bowl, early 20th century, 19 cm diameter

A pokerwork plate with two kookaburras on a wattle branch, souvenir of Jenolan Caves, 24 cm diameter

A pokerwork vase with painted scene of Mt Wellington, titled 'Hobart', 12.5 cm high

A pokerwork fruit bowl and circular box decorated with poinsettia flowers, the bowl 22 cm diameter

Two pokerwork vases decorated with landscapes on red backgrounds, tallest 20.5 cm high

A pokerwork kookaburra panel, early 20th century, 32 x 22 cm

A tall pokerwork vase with gumnuts and leaves, early 20th century, 31 cm high

A fine pokerwork vase decorated with kookaburras, 12.5h cm high

A tall pokerwork vase decorated with two kookaburras, 30 cm high

Two pokerwork waratah vases, early 20th century, tallest 9 cm high

A pokerwork waratah pattern nut cracker and bowl, together with a circular mirror, mirror 25 cm diameter

A pokerwork picture of kookaburras, 33 x 64 cm, framed 51 x 82 cm

An impressive pokerwork vase with hand painted boating scene, 46 cm tall

Two pokerwork nut bowls with crackers, the largest 22 cm diameter

A pokerwork vase decorated with two kookaburras amongst gumnuts and leaves, 26 cm high

A pokerwork vase decorated with hand painted kookaburra, 35 cm high

A rare Australian pokerwork vase decorated with hand painted kookaburra and koala amongst gum leaves, 40 cm high

A pokerwork kookaburra pattern smoker's stand and pair of bellows, the stand 68 cm high

Two vintage Australian pokerwork vases, one decorated with a kookaburra, the other with Australian landscape, H30 cm approx

Pokerwork kookaburra bookends painted with kookaburra amongst wattle, on a fine flame ground, carved with geometric patterns, each with a brass swing hinge to the base. Condition: good, some age related wear to the edges. Height 13.5 cm

New Zealand kauri folk art pokerwork tray., the centre with a portrait medallion depicting a Maori chief surrounded by butterflies and floral decoration. Length 54 cm

An Hielco pokerwork vase, with brass slip. Depicting Australian bell flowers and blue sparrow, height 24 cm

A pokerwork and case tray, with glass sheet lining. C.1930's. 34 x 53 cm

A pokerwork bowl, depicting eucalyptus leaves on body. Diameter 22 cm.

Early Australian pokerwork vase. Blue wren & gum leaf decoration. Provenance: Australian collector. Height 23 cm

Pokerwork kookaburra vase of turned elongated form, showing a kookaburra amongst gumleaves. condition good, one scratch to the body, general age related Ware. Height 30.5 cm

Pokerwork kookaburra vase painted sitting amongst gumleaves. Condition good to fair, some minor scratches & wear. Height 35 cm

Australian pokerwork vase and trivet, Height 13.5 cm approx