Not a question of poking holes in something, but using a red hot poker to burn a design on wood or leather.
Bear in mind pre television, in particular men used to scratch build all sort of things from often scrap materials, really there was little alternative bar dollies, teddy's and lead soldiers and farm animal there was little option to buy toys and items for the home.
Trench art was another way of making waste material into usable objects, and about this time electricity was becoming more common means soldering irons could be heated to make designs on wood etc.
On the whole this poker work was on smaller items such as boxes frames etc, occasionally a side table or similar may be decorated, but generally smaller present type object.
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