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Technique of the Week: Pyrography

Posted on August - 12 - 2015

To introduce our brand-new tradition “technique of the week”, Scoop Art is placing the spotlight on pyrography, a medium that  has had a firm presence in Latin America throughout the years. Only until the 1970’s did this technique start being recognized more as an art form created by passion rather than an “artisan” product created through domestic labor. Some artists who use this medium include Salvadoran artist Alex Cuchilla (shown below) and Mexican artist Gerardo Borbolla.

Pyrography, stemming from the Greek word pur meaning “fire” and graphos meaning “writing”, is the process of decorating wood or other surfaces by burning an image with a heated tool such as a laser cutter. Depending on the intensity of the heat and the movement of the hot tip, different tones can be achieved such as in this artwork by Alex Cuchilla, which mixes both pyrography and oil painting as techniques.  

For this Salvadoran artist, this technique (also referred to as pyrogravure) proved to be a valuable discovery in his search for new mediums to work with. The potential that this technique had was transformed into unique pieces that speak about relevant social issues in today’s Latin American culture. Take a look at more pieces from the series “The Big Request” here.

By: Daniela Serra

la-gran-petici-n-1.jpgAlex Cuchilla “The Big Request 1”

Photo: Alex Cuchilla