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P.E.I. artist showing pyrography work at Cornwall Library Art Gallery

Jason Johnston’s pyrography exhibition at the Cornwall Library Art Gallery includes his interpretation of a guitar used by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.
Jason Johnston’s pyrography exhibition at the Cornwall Library Art Gallery includes his interpretation of a guitar used by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. - Garth Hurley
CORNWALL, P.E.I. —

New Dominion artist Jason Johnston likes to burn wood.

“It is something that is a little different from the norm,” he said of his work in pyrography (woodburning). “There is something like almost a 3D effect to it when people look at it because they can see the burn marks from where the images were burned in.”

Johnston, who is exhibiting his work in pyrography at the Cornwall Library Art Gallery until Friday, Nov. 27, is known mostly as a pencil artist and an acrylic painter, Johnston was looking for a new medium for his artistic expression “because I kind of get bored sticking to the same thing for a while.”

This is one of Jason Johnston’s pieces in pyrography being shown at the Cornwall Library Art Gallery until Nov. 27. - Garth Hurley
This is one of Jason Johnston’s pieces in pyrography being shown at the Cornwall Library Art Gallery until Nov. 27. - Garth Hurley

A conversation with his father-in-law about a wood-burning kit he received for Christmas as a child sparked Johnston’s interest in pyrography. 

“A light went off in my head, so I started looking for what kind of wood-burning kits are available nowadays. I started off on barn wood and then I kind of just taught myself what to do from what I found on the Internet, just did a little research and started on some live-edge wood and it has kind of took off from there.”

The wood he uses comes from various sources – slab wood from a mill on P.E.I., kiln-dried wood prepared specially for him from Ontario and reclaimed barn wood from Reclaimed P.E.I.

“Whatever I can get my hands on. Sometimes I would be walking through the woods and pick up what has fallen off the trees.”

P.E.I. artist Jason Johnston is shown with some of his work in pyrography at the Cornwall Library Art Gallery. - Garth Hurley
P.E.I. artist Jason Johnston is shown with some of his work in pyrography at the Cornwall Library Art Gallery. - Garth Hurley

For the Cornwall showing, the majority of the wood used is live-edge, kiln-dried basswood while a Razertip burning unit, accompanied with a mini-blow torch, and acrylic paint were used in creating the pieces.

Johnston, who has been drawing for more than 20 years and is the artform he is mostly known for, said he has no favourite medium.  

“I can’t really say which one is my favourite because it varies from time to time.”

Johnston said the pieces he is showing at the gallery are for sale, and half of them have already been sold. More of his work can be viewed and purchased through Instagram and Facebook.


Librarian Pam Wheatley said Johnston’s work is a welcomed addition to the gallery. 

“Jason’s woodburning pieces are a unique art form that we haven’t seen before in the Cornwall Library Art Gallery,” said Wheatley. 

“Our purpose is to showcase the talents of amateur and professional artists in the local community, and we are very pleased to share Jason’s work.”

She said the annual youth art show will return to the gallery in December where any young artists in the area can each show one piece of their work.

Phone the library at 902-629-8415 for more information.


Need to know

  1. Who: Jason Johnston.
  2. What: Artist – pencil drawing, acrylic painter, pyrography (woodburning)
  3. When: Pyrography exhibit at Cornwall Library Art Gallery until Nov. 27.
  4. Where: Johnston lives in New Dominion with his wife, Emily, and daughters Eva and Lily.

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