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by Kathleen Menéndez

Pyrography News From Around the World

Newsletter No. 29, Page Two of Three


Page One:
- Introducing Dragos Ciutacu
- Vladislav Kostenko: Fine Knives
- François Peeters: Pyrography in Bas Relief

Page Two:
- Antique Plaque of a Young Lady at Graduation
- Abdulwahab Mihoub: Looking Back and Going Forward
- Michael Janson: Experimenting with Variations on a Theme
- Abby Levine: Delving Into Political Satire

Page Three:
- Adriano Colangelo: Applied Art
- Dino Muradian: Music Fest in Germany
- Paul Chojnowski: Solo Show in New York City

Antique Plaque of a Young Lady at Graduation

Young Lady at Graduation
by unknown artist, c. 1920

Pyrography on round wood plaque, 15-3/4 in. diameter

Image found on e-Bay

It's Graduation Time

The antique plaque above shows a young woman holding a bouquet of roses and wearing the traditional cap and gown that signify graduation. At this time of year in many parts of the world, the tradition lives on as young men and women once more don cap and gown to march up to the stage and receive their diploma.

Abdulwahab ("Houba") Mihoub:
Looking Back and Going Forward

by Abdulwahab ("Houba") Mihoub, 2004

Pyrography on wood panel

Image courtesy of the artist

Houba Brings Pyrography to the Sahara and the Sahara to the World

While Houba continues his endeavor to 'look back' with nostalgia to record the traditions and past of his beloved city of Touggourt in the Sahara Desert in Algeria, his work is progressing beautifully and his career is pressing forward.

He was first introduced to the readers of WOM in the May 2002 issue of Pyrograffiti 17 and, within months of that, already reporting new successes in Algeria and France in Pyrograffiti 20.

He is back again, bringing many new works (Rest above being one of them) depicting the Sahara Desert and his city of Touggourt for posterity. He has once more had a television interview and recently enjoyed another successful exhibition in Algiers. He and his wife Farida have another project in the works as well, but we'll leave that as a surprise for a later issue of WOM.

Michael Janson: Exploring Variations on a Theme

by Michael Janson

Geometric pyrography designs on paper

Image courtesy of the artist

A Birthday Present

Posing with his stepdaughter Olesja in the picture above is Michael Janson. The occasion is Olesja's birthday and his present to her is the framed pyrographic art work behind them on the shelf in her room.

Michael and his abstract works on paper are displayed in the Michael Janson Salon in the E-Museum of Pyrographic Art and were introduced here in WOM in the summer of 2001 when he explained his methodology in Pyrograffiti 12. He later contributed his own article on working with computer variations of original pyrographs in WOM a year ago in Pyrograffiti 22. He has once more been experimenting and his new Pyrogeometric work--Olesja's birthday present shown below in a close-up view--is the first part of that experiment.

by Michael Janson

Geometric pyrography designs on paper

Image courtesy of the artist

Latest Experiment

From a digital image of his original Pyrogeometric work on paper, Michael generated four computer variations, each with a distinct look and character. Here is Michael's introduction to the experiment: "This work consists of 49 different patterns, each of which forms a square 7 cm by 7 cm. I want to explore the brown-scale possibilities of pyrography. It's impossible (I think) to qualify this [the original] pattern as one belonging to a specific culture."

The display of the original and the four computer variations with Michael's commentary can be viewed in the Michael Janson Salon No. 2 in the E-Museum.

Michael concludes his experiment with these words: "One picture generates numerous others. But it can be seen through 'layers' of transformations in each case. Thus, playing with the pictures, we learn to see the Creator's Plan through the infinite forms of objective reality."

Abby Levine: Delving Into Political Satire

by Abby Levine

Pyrography, Japan color, and enamel on wood cutout assemblage

Image courtesy of the artist

New Directions

Multimedia artist Abby Levine is back again in WOM where she was first introduced in May of 2002 in Pyrograffiti 17 with some of her colorfully painted wooden constructions, such as a big souvenir 'postcard' of Big Bend, Texas and other souvenir, historical, and biographical pieces for which she is so well known. By November that year there was already an update on Abby in Pyrograffiti 20 as her works and those of other artists in the Big Bend area were getting a lot of publicity in the art world.

Since then she's been branching out in various directions. She created her first installation at a place called Project Rowhouses in Houston last October. It turned out very well, and got her an interview on the radio (Pacifica station on a show called Go Vegan Texas).

Here are Abby's own words about her current art, which in format is similar to what she was doing before, but which, as the example above shows, has changed in focus and content: "My work has gotten more political over the years. I usually make painted wooden constructions, which use a sort of metamorphic visual poetic to convey my ideas. I attempt to cloak my somewhat rigid ideology in humor, so my pieces often function as candy-coated pills or Trojan horses. Lately I've been concentrating on the evils of the current U.S. Administration."

"I also did a number (over twenty) of wall decorations [painted only] for a special needs school in Albuquerque. I really enjoyed doing them since I've been doing all these nasty political pieces lately. They were a real change of pace."

"I recently hosted an art tour from Dallas, . . . and enjoyed showing the people in the group my work and fielding their questions."

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2004, Kathleen M. Garvey Menéndez, all rights reserved.