Janet Whaley
Born in Wallace, Idaho where my Dad was a miner, and electrician, our family of nine children lived in Western towns including Pendleton, Moab, then finally to Missoula in 1959 where my father could do what he loved best—go fishing.  As a result, we kids were introduced to some of the rivers, lakes and streams of Montana.   This early introduction to Montana’s natural beauty combined with my love of exploring myths and fairy tales, especially the mermaid myth, shapes my work.
 
Myths are sometimes benevolent, sometimes scary, but always powerful.  Mining the depths, not always the sweet legends, but also the regions that speak to the heart-- are what interest me.  My inspirations have been William Blake, whose drawings and poetry combine the visual and spiritual; and the wood-and linocuts of the graphic novel artists of the 1920’s and 30’s including Franz Mastereel, Lynn Ward and Laurence Hyde.    
 
My goal is to create a functional object that offers its owner an opportunity for reflection. Perhaps a cup that when used is admired both for its functionality and for the story depicted on its surface. Or a sculpture that resonates with its surroundings is meaningful to its owner.
 
I work in porcelain using handbuilding techniques combined with wheel throwing.  Once shaped, the clay is my canvas and I draw, paint, and scrape—sgraffito—spontaneously. I apply color with underglazes, slips, glazes and lusters and fire the work to 2380 degrees.
 
My pieces depict the day-to-day activities of living as well as myths and fantasy. The admiration I have for my surroundings--pets, wildlife, wildflowers--as well as relationships including love, family, motherhood, and grand-motherhood are overarching themes. And, aspects of multigenerational interaction are often present in my work.  My studio has windows where I can look out at the Missoula Valley and its surrounding peaks. Sometimes I look up from my work to see a deer staring at me through my window… 
  


 
Persimmon Gallery
537 Electric Ave
Bigfork, MT 59911

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