June 14, 2014

Volcano Woman by Phil Janze

Reflecting the artist's personal crests - Gisgaast (Fireweed) and Frog - this intriguing cuff bracelet depicts Volcano Woman. Volcano Woman is a mythological figure who originates from Northern BC and Haida Gwaii. She is a symbol of the land and is closely associated with Frog, who acts as her familiar and communicates her messages. In one myth, Volcano Woman materializes and destroys an entire village over the senseless killing of a single frog. She is a maternal figure, but she is also a powerful and often vengeful figure too.


In this wide cuff by Gitxsan jeweller Phil Janze, Volcano Woman is facing forward, identified through her labret and lava tears. Frogs form at the ends of the tears, connecting her to nature and all forest creatures. Her hands are presented palms up, perhaps communicating a warning to those who needlessly harm the natural world. The ends of this stunning bracelet are decorated with a floral fireweed motif. Fireweed is often abundant in wet and acidic soils and is found in open fields, pastures, and particularly burned-over lands; the name "Fireweed" derives from the species' abundance as a coloniser on burnt sites after forest fires. This connection to fire and lava adds depth to the symbolism behind the cuff. It measures 5 3/4" long by 1 1/2" wide and is priced at $3,500.00 CAD.


Phil began working in metal at age 13, later graduated from B.C.I.T. and was invited to the jewellery program at Goldsmith's Hall in England. His many widely exhibited/published works include: silkscreen prints, carvings, totem poles, masks, and gold and silver repousse jewellery. Phil was recognized by the Canadian Jeweller's Challenge in 1982-84 for creating one of six finest pieces in Canada. He is the only Aboriginal artist to have accomplished this, to date. Phil also won top prize in jewellery making from the Indian Northern Affairs Canada Purchase Show in 1984. In 1989, he made a 34" round copper Sun mask using the repousse technique. This was the first large-scale repousse sculpture to ever be created in contemporary Native art. In 2012, Phil received the British Columbia Creative Achievement Award for his artistic contributions. He is represented in public and corporate collections in Canada, U.S.A., Europe and Japan, and is acknowledged as a master of Northwest Coast Art.

No comments: