June 2019 – September 2019


An exquisite pyrography exhibit inspired by Costa Rican Carretas patterns on both animal and human bones by Tanya Herrera.

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“I am a 35 yr old first generation Costa Rican American, born and raised in the Bay Area. I have made art for as long as I can remember, It was the only thing I wanted to do as a kid. I experimented with traditional mediums throughout middle school, high school and into college, challenging myself to ask, “what else is there?” I continued working with a wide variety of modern art techniques until the age of 25. I discovered pyrography when trying to find different methods to make an impression of a stencil on a piece of wood, since then I have been burning pyrography in the traditional method for the past decade (10 years on wood, 7 years on leather and 5 on bone).

I have chosen to keep the antiqued technique alive by recreating my work for a modern age, all the while intentionally reducing my carbon footprint through repurposing materials. I’m still constantly building on skills and talent handed down through genetics creating every piece I make to reflect the rarity that is me.

Working with bone was a bit of a surprise to me, the idea of burning bone in the first place was introduced to me by a friend and I thought he was crazy until I tried it and fell in love with the look. Appropriately working with animal bone felt fitting being an animal caretaker and huge animal advocate. With each piece of bone that finds its way into my studio; I first I scrub them clean and then spend time creating a mutual respect by meditating on each soul. So many questions run through my head when I work with a piece of bone: How did they live, how long, male or female, did they have babies, but mainly I pay respect the soul that was once alive.
With this show I have pushed my limits further by working on my first human bone, a female hip. Her bone told stories about her long life and having already known it’s a female was the start of my meditation and process with this piece. Every piece of bone I acquire has passed on by natural death, and I am grateful and honored to work with the every single one. I feed the positivity in me and the soul that once was into each piece of bone with the fire of my pen. “