|All of Jan's life, she felt as if she had seen
the world through the eyes of an artist. Her mother was an accomplished
sculptor; she encouraged Jan's creativity from an early age.
She started clay and drawing classes at "The "Junior Museum"
and "Northwest College of Arts and Crafts", while still in grade
Jan continued these classes and more at the Portland Art Museum
School when she was in High school. She continued her education
at The Evergreen State College" where she received a four year
degree. From the first moment Jan played with her mother's sculpting
clay, she knew this was the media that could express all her
imagination could conjure.
When Jan was interviewed by Garden Showcase Magazine, they explained,
"What you see here is myth made reality by the hand of a sculptor.
The sculptures she creates are rich in form, texture and meaning."
According to Jan, she is fascinated by legends from around the
world. Northwest Native American and those from Japan are a
great source of inspiration for her.
She found a wealth of wisdom, humor and imagery in these varied
cultures. "A storyteller is one who creates the atmosphere in
which wisdom reveals itself," says the great storyteller, Inookitook.
Jan likes that her sculptures have a story to tell. This way,
they transport us to their world. The sin of greed is so poignantly
punished in "The Legend of the Miser of Nisqually." a story
from the Puget Sound in Washington.
Legends played such an important role in our ancestors' lives.
Helping our souls," as Ben Okri points out, "fly upwards toward
the greater light." In the creation of Jan's sculptures, she
battles constantly with, and surrenders, to the unique qualities
In her conversation with the clay, it's important to her that
the clay is allowed to speak. During the firing process, often
at 2300 degrees, the clay moves and shrinks, sometimes cracking,
to reveal the layers beneath, exposing its organic nature.
Jan sees these not as cracks and flaws, but as statements of
the true nature of the material and of the tortuous process
of firing the sculpture must survive. As DeKooning tells us,
"Tracks of the work should be left visible."
Jan loves to research the culture. With this knowledge in mind,
she approaches the figure. She then balances the need to portray
the culture of the legend accurately and still allow the spirit
to emerge as the strongest element.