On June 13, 2021, a fire swept through an area near Pinyon Pines, sparing the Makerville studio, which suffered smoke damage, but destroying the rustic-modern residential trailer on site.
“For several days afterward, we weren’t sure what had burned and what hadn’t as we were not allowed on the property,” says studio co-owner Kurt Cyr. “During that time of uncertainty, I began to formulate the idea of creating something tangible and concrete out of the destruction as a way to move forward in a positive way.”
Arriving for his first look a week after the fire, Cyr says he found scorched earth covered in ash and burnt remains of yucca, pinyon pines, and sugar bush. Bits of charcoal he gathered from the ravaged landscape became his medium for a healing series of hand-drawn patterns: the more charred the piece, the softer and darker the line.
“The lines created with a chunk of charcoal are erratic — thick and dark, scratchy and thin — both in a single stroke,” he says. “It is impossible to control the line the way you can with a manufactured charcoal pencil. That lack of control gives way to a natural nonchalance.”