Fay Helfer (b. 1984) is a visual artist from St. Martin/ St. Maarten. After graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design with an MFA, she has worked in the San Francisco Bay Area, always inspired by nature and nonsense and embracing a spirit of impermanence, randomness, and ‘why not’?
Pyrography - Also known as wood burning, pyrography means ‘writing with fire’. It’s the art of marking wood or other materials with a heated point.
Natural Pigments - Colours sourced from nature, such as plants (indigo, beet, turmeric, saffron, berries), minerals (zinc, ochres, malachite, lapis), and animals (bone char, lac, cochineal).
An Expression of Impermanence (Anicca)
As a medium, pyrography and pigments on wood is much like a tattoo on flesh. The markings burn into the wood, chemically changing its surface properties, and the pigments get absorbed into the wood, dyeing the surface layers. Like tattoos, this seems permanent, but destruction is always an option and atrophy/decay over time is inevitable. The essence of existence is impermanence.