Jan Fitch

Jan Fitch was born in Hertfordshire, England and worked as a secretary and personnel officer until 1977 at which time she was given the opportunity to journey on a 38' ketch as cook/crew. She would sail from England to the United States. A year later, and having visited ten countries, the voyage ended in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland. Unknowingly, her career at that point would change to that of an artist - a carver of wildfowl.

During her stay there, she met a local woodcarver and was fascinated how he made the wooden bird look so soft. By saying "I wish I could do that" and with some encouragement, Jan decided to take evening classes in bird carving. Six months later she continued to travel by boat and practiced her hobby by carving for friends and acquaintances - any corner of the boat or space on the dock was her workshop. Two years after her initial introduction and some self teaching, Jan made woodcarving a full time profession.

Her love of carved wood is expressed in her lifesize and miniature pieces, capturing the behaviour of ducks and birds as seen in nature. Using basswood, she intricately shapes the wood with a knife. The piece is then textured using grinding stones and a burning tool to simulate feathers. The completed carving is painted with acrylic paints and quite often set in a habitat scene.

A few years ago, Jan decided to carry her knowledge of wildfowl into another medium - cast paper sculpture. The image is designed as a bas relief sculpture and in turn, created into a limited edition cast paper print of the original. Each piece is hand pulled and has it's own unique characteristic. Jan either leaves the sculpture as pulled from the mold, or she would pencil or paint the birds with realistic detail. Always searching for new ways to portray the birds around us, Jan recently started to use clay to sculpt her birds, using nature as the "frame". Weathered driftwood is created by mother nature and by sculpting a bird onto it's surface, a unique "One of a Kind" is produced.

Jan lives on Wolfe Island, Ontario with her husband and two cats. She exhibits her art work and judges in woodcarving shows and competitions throughout Canada, the United States and Great Britain where her work has received much acclaim. Amongst her woodcarving awards are many Best of Shows including those at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and the Ward Foundation World Championship in Maryland. She teaches part time for the Frontenac Board of Education and conducts seminars for carving clubs, colleges and in her own studio. She also designs and carves original woodcarving compositions to be reproduced for the Canadian, American and European market.

Jan can now be found working and displaying her art at her Kingston studio where visitors are welcome to visit and experience the beauty of her carvings and cast paper sculptures.

$825.00 each