April 17 to Aug. 14, 2015, All Day
Materials Lab Pyrolysis opening

Pyrolysis is produced by Olive & Otis, a design collective formed by Senior Lecturer Joyce Rosner and designer Michelle Bedrosian. 



In 2011, the Bastrop County Complex Fire burned 96% of Bastrop State Park, destroyed homes and businesses, and uprooted people and their lives. Pyrolysis alludes to the transformation of a once thriving eco-system that was reduced to charcoal. Pine needles gathered from the loblolly pines in Bastrop are encased in paper pulp and used to create a new topography, which references the landscape in section and elevation simultaneously.


 "The works we produce are snapshots into an ongoing process of experimentation with materials and techniques rooted in traditional craft. We think with our hands; thus we work with our hands. It is the inherent beauty that comes from the interplay of hand and material that drives our work. We discovered long ago that it is often the piece in the act of exploration– the rough, unfinished model– that captures the essence of this beauty. Our work, therefore, is one of creative problem solving where the process is not a means to producing an object; rather the object is a means of representing the process. This act of exploration is as essential to us as breathing and can be viewed as a translation of our travels and experiences into form. The subjects of our work are derived from the patterns encountered in our daily lives and serve as the topography that our work strives to record. It is through this interplay of hand and material that we develop a narrative tension between the subject and its recorded evidence, thus establishing an ambiguous reading: hard or soft; static or fluid; positive or negative; module or whole; art or design."

WEST 2015

The exhibition will be a part of the West Austin Studio Tour, held May 9-10 and 16-17. WEST is a free, annual, self-guided art event occurring over two weekends in May, providing the public with an opportunity to meet the makers: the local artists and artisans who leave a lasting imprint on Austin’s vibrant, dynamic culture. Tour-goers are invited to discover new artistic talent, see working studios, learn about artists' tools, techniques, and inspirations, and explore unique exhibition spaces and local businesses.