Fractal / Lichtenberg Pyrography Policy

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The Association of Woodturners of Great Britain Fractal/Lichtenberg Pyrography Policy


The purpose of this document is to clarify the policy relating to the creation of decoration using Fractal/Lichtenberg pyrography.


Both the American Association of Woodturners and GMC Publications Ltd have adopted a policy against the use of this technique.

Following a recent fatality in the UK (see the AWGB Trustees have reviewed the situation, the AAW and GMC policies and agreed to implement this policy with immediate effect.

The problem with Fractal or Lichtenberg pyrography is that it is dangerous; there are no safety standards published for the process and the AWGB recommend the technique isn’t practised.


Therefore, and with immediate effect, the AWGB, will not limit discussion of the subject in any of its media (Revolutions and the Forum) but the discussions must be limited to the pros and cons of the process and the development of safety standards.  The AWGB will not publicise pictures of work created by the technique until such standards are in the public domain, nor will pieces decorated with the technique be accepted into AWGB exhibitions or competitions.

In no circumstances will the AWGB publish, or permit to be published, any instructions on how to build/manufacture the equipment necessary to create the effect and that until such safety standards are available and adopted, the AWGB will not permit the demonstration or sale of Fractal burning/Lichtenberg burning/ techniques  or equipment at an AWGB sponsored event. Furthermore, the AWGB will advise all its Members, Branches and Clubs to do likewise.

Individual Responsibility

The AWGB cannot force any of its Members, Branches and Clubs to adopt this policy but it strongly recommends that it is followed.  If any Member, Branch or Club decides to demonstrate the process the AWGB strongly advise that they contact their insurance company to check that appropriate insurance cover is provided.

The future

The AWGB will continue to monitor advances in the production of equipment associated with this technique and will amend this policy if appropriate.


AWGB Trustees 23 August 2017