San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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January 22nd, 2009
Local artists displayed at Jo on the Go

By HAP MANSFIELD
Scene Editor

“Wood burning” is one of those terms that conjures up images of a sign over someone’s lake cabin that reads “Lil’ Bit O’ Heaven” or “Fred ‘n’ Irma’s Fishin’ Shack.”

But that is not the true art of wood burning that is technically called “pyrography,” and literally means “writing with fire.”

Pyrography is an art that goes back to the beginning of recorded history. The cultures of countries as diverse as Egypt, Romania and Argentina have used it in traditional folk art. It is, simply put, the process of burning a picture into an object.

Photography could equally be called a process of burning a picture, although the fire it uses is called light and the object is film.

Jo on the Go’s monthly art exhibit series currently features the work of two Texas State alumnae, Topher Sipes and Claude Dylan Ramey, who use the mediums of fire and light to make art. Their work will be on display through January. Jo on the Go is open seven days a week from 7 a.m.-8 p.m., located at 312 University Drive.

Topher Sipes is a professional illustrator and designer with a degree in communication design. His displayed work chronicles his experimentations with pyrography. A few of the featured pieces are from the Emina Project, a graphic novel collaboration with local sculpture and photography student, Kellen Stanley. At topher.carbonmade.com you can see more of his diverse projects, from his aptly disturbing Chuck Palaniuk poster to his lively illustrations.

Claude Dylan Ramey is a professional graphic designer with degrees in communication design and photography. His featured photographs are engaging compositions found in unpredictable places. His subject matter ranges from small found objects to Italian vistas. More of both his photography and design work, which include magazine covers and even Jo’s flying coffee cup logo, are at clauderamey.com.

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