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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.
Australian pokerwork has irregular burn marks. Pokerwork was very much a 'cottage industry', a real Japanese copies that have flooded the Australian folk art, practised by both men and women in their market have more regular burn marks, often have paint homes.
From: Carter's "Collecting Australiana", William & Dorothy Hall, published by John Furphy Pty. Ltd. 2005