Tag Archives: Heather Jansch

Heather Jansch. A Whole Other Meaning to Driftwood Art…!






I seem to be on an artist run here… I keep finding delicious work to post.  How could I not show this?  Is this not the most wonderful way to re-use driftwood?  OMG.

This is the work of UK artist, Heather Jansch.

First of all, bummer that she lives so far away… Bummer that we all cannot have these in your front yards (or backyards).  Bummer that we can’t take a bunch of sticks and do this.

As an aside, when I had my gallery, I remember people would grab some wonderful piece put together by some ingenious artist and the customer would say, “My Grandkid made something just like this…”  Uh-huh.  Yup, we’ve all made driftwood something or others.  We’ve maybe even put rocks in a pattern that resembled something else in nature.  But, I’m fairly certain that not many people can see the artform in a pile of shore sticks…  Hats off, Heather!

What also struck me about Heather, besides the WOW of the art, was her website.

Bronze

If you go there, and please do, you will get a sense of true “its all about the art”.  She shows you where she works and invites you into her home.  She doesn’t boast that some pieces have ended up in extraordinary places.

Poseidon

You don’t feel like she isn’t touchable.  In fact, you feel really peaceful.  One after another, the photos of the pieces just keep on keeping on and you feel a constant state of WOW.  Woweey.  Wowsa.  And another?  Wowww.  I mean, how do you create expression without eyes?  How do you evoke emotion with sticks?  No paint, no face, no nothin’.  Just driftwood.

I thought her Q and A page was rather sweet.  Instead of saying, “Oy.  I’m so sick of people asking me that…” she just lists the top question and answers.  Of course, I wanted to know the same things as everyone else — and probably you — so I’ll tell you what I garnered from my expedition to her website.

First of all, the sculptures don’t stand by themselves.  What I mean is, she doesn’t weave the driftwood into itself so that it all just stays there and supports itself (which is what I thought…).  There are frames hidden inside.  These frames allow Heather to apply the wood, stand back, and then see if this piece of wood is right for that application.  Once the piece feels right, she uses screws to secure the wood to the frame.  Then, the screw heads are covered up with filler and stain.

Next I learned that she tries to recycle copper for the hooves.  If that doesn’t work, she does use lead.  Oh, and she tries to use as much recycled everything as possible.  Let’s see… oh yeah,  she doesn’t just do horses and she will do commissions.  And, yes, she loves what she does…

If you are a table top book person, Heather has a table top book for you!  Actually, I don’t have enough table tops to accommodate all of my table top books.  They tend to stack in my tiny house.  Anyway, wouldn’t it be lovely and quite the conversation starter, to have this book on your coffee table?  Or, bring it to a shower or a party or whatever. I’m sure the artsy crowd would love this!  Here is a link to her book.

But, the most endearing quality, to me, was the job posting she attached to her website.  Heather is looking for a sculptor’s assistant.  HOW FUN WOULD THAT BE?!  You have to be able to use power tools, chainsaws and not be afraid of ladders, but other than that, how cool!  So, if you know of anyone who might fill the bill, go to the website and look under ‘opportunities’.

I’ve attached several photos here.  Some are very large pieces and some are smaller.  But, you really cannot decipher which is which since there are no oranges or Buicks in the frames for reference (thank goodness!).

I’ve also added a shot that is a bronze work.  Oh, I simply love bronze and this is no exception.  You can still feel the open nature of the ocean yet you also feel the weight of the bronze countered with the weightlessness of the driftwood.  mmmmmmm…

I also loved Poseidon.  Not just because he is a scrumptious and robust bronze but because of the name…  I wrote a while back that evidently the god, Poseidon, created the first horse to impress his girlfriend.  Not many people know this since Poseidon is generally associated with water.  But, if you can believe the Greeks, Old Posei created the equine out of desperate love.  So, I quite admire that Heather named one of her creations after this myth.

Thank you for letting me stroll down artist lane again this month.  I seem to be doing that a lot.  I hope you enjoy these images at least half as much as I did and hopefully, more!

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A Beautiful Thing in a Field! The minds-eye of Douglas Van Howd.






DOUGLAS VAN HOWD

I’m going to tell you a story of what happened to me on the way to my Hubby’s new office today…

Hubby’s new office is in a really nice environment, out in a quiet and somewhat rural section of the industrial part of town.  You know the area… it is the place where they put the light aircraft field and the fabricators.  Anyway, Hubby wanted me to help him with his wall hanging and whatnot setting.

So, I drove out there.  La de dah.  Ho Hum.  Just driving along…and as we approached the driveway to his building…

OMG.  What is THAT?!!!

“What is what?”

THAT.

“What?”

That HUGE UNBELIEVABLE HORSE SCULPTURE next door in that field???

“Ooooooh, that.  Ummm, I don’t know.”

You don’t know?!  There is a huge, unmarked bronze sculpture within spitting distance of your office and you don’t know?  It is bigger than my horse trailer, made of BRONZE and you haven’t really paid any atention?

“Well, I think it belongs to that building over there.  And besides, I do pay attention.  We have a Peacock here and some hens.”

You know, it is bigger than some airplanes I’ve seen… and it is gorgeous!

So, I get out my camera phone and walk over there to take these shots.  As you can see, the huge bronze is  unmarked and just sitting there.  I expected it to come alive and rush off into the nearby woods.  It was incredible and I was in awe.  I mean, the piece actually feels like is is breathing!  It is so lifelike!

I needed to research this.  So I did.  And, it was pretty easy, actually.  All I had to do was turn around and there was this huge Gallery and Foundry (you need a foundry of your own with pieces this size…).  “Douglas Van Howd” was the name on the building.   Whoda thunk something like this would be in my little town.  Wow!

I drove home and clicked on his website.  Van Howd has been sculpting for years and much of his work is very famous.  In fact, he was the official White House sculptor during the Reagan administration.  You’ll probably recognize some of his work when you peruse his site.

OK, now back to the huge sculpture.  Well, I learned that Douglas grew up in Nevada and has a love for the Wild Mustang.  This sculpture is called, Spirit of Nevada.  He created the seven horses running free (five mares, a foal and a stallion) “to honor this last remaining symbol of the Old West frontier.”

Ahhh, a man after my own heart…  Van Howd created this huge sculpture and many smaller versions in limited editions — which are held at his gallery.  The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm (though we often close for lunch between noon and 1pm) for lucky local readers…!  But, the big’un is just sitting in the field across from his Gallery.  I’m guessing he owns that field?  Dunno.

I’m wondering if the statue will move one day?

The artist and his lovely creation...

Oh, I would hate to see it go.  I sure hope it is still standing when the wild horses are gone.  It is a lovely statement.  Lovely.  The wild horses of Nevada need a Champion.  Thank you, Douglas Van Howd.  Thank you for putting something glorious and powerful in a field near the place where I live.

And, purely speaking from the heart, if my dream of creating a truly wild place for the last Mustang herds to live and flourish comes to fruition, THIS sculpture is what I would want out front…   But wherever its final destination, one cannot help but marvel at the splendor of the wild horse.  Remarkable.
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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!