Birch bark, printmaking, glazes, found wood and metal
A round wood form with images of birch trees, enhanced with a simple piece of birch bark from Wisconsin woodland. The artist’s intention is to provide a calm focal point, allowing the mind to wander and dream. It is adhered to Lake Michigan driftwood with square nails from the 1905 farmhouse of Jahnke’s great grandparents. An old shingle found on the shore of the Mississippi River adds the finishing touch of rustic character to the piece.
Jan Jahnke, former instructor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Influenced by her studies in Ojibwe spiritual culture, Jahnke invokes impressions of the earth and that which has passed before us. Color schemes are created using water based paint, stain, and carving on wood and have a surprising amount of texture. Each piece within the Spirit Shield series holds found material to solidify our relation to that which has existed before, and the artist hopes to convey a sense of protection. Pieces are left unframed to allow a more tangible connection to the work.
Pieces measure approximately 30 inches in diameter