This is the work of UK artist, Heather Jansch.
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.
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.
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!
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
July’s Bucket Fund will benefit the charity THE GOLDEN CARROT SANCTUARY. To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate $5, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)