contact name: Janel Jacobson
Janel's web site LINKS list will bring you to several websites by favorite carvers - http://www.janeljacobson.com/links.html
In The World Community Of Carvers
I am owner, administrator and moderator of The Carving Path Forum on the internet. My small sculpture and netsuke web site catches the interest of many carvers, world wide, who desire information about carving tools, materials, techniques, others to share experiences with, discuss philosophy and more. The Carving Path forum is my response to years of writing helpful, individual answers to the numerous inquiries I receive by email. My hope is to reach and welcome carvers from around the world, whose work of many diverse disciplines involves small scale carving, while providing a friendly, informative and accessible place for communication and learning. The forum’s web address: http://www.thecarvingpath.net/forum
International Netsuke Society - http://www.netsuke.org
International Netuske Society Forum - http://forums.netsuke.org/tool/mb/netsuke
The INS hosts a forum for people who are collectors, carvers, or anyone who might be interested in learning more about netsuke by asking questions.
A piece of nature is not born of human stories but has its own story,
and it is for us to imagine or remember as we gaze upon it.
I have carved inspirations from nature for more than three decades. The material of choice has changed, but the thoughtful observation of the setting and detail of my subjects has been key to the vitality and continuity of my work. Currently, I am working in very dense, hard, fine-grained woods to create very small and detailed sculptures. The nature of my subjects, being small in life, inspire me to work in a small scale, composing real or imagined situations.
My career spans thirty six years of creative work, first as a potter, then a porcelain carver, and now a carver of wood. I have always, only, been self-employed as an artist. Grants and Awards have been given for the excellence of my work. The miniature sculptures in porcelain and wood are in public museum collections and in numerous private collections, and have been the subjects of magazine and newspaper articles, and one public radio interview. One highlight of my museum exhibitions was The Inaugural Renwick Invitational: Five Women in Craft, The Renwick Gallery of The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in 2000, “The first in a new biennial exhibition series introducing the work of exceptional artists established in their respective craft fields, worthy of greater recognition”.
While making pottery for a living, my earliest work, time was taken to draw, and then to draw and carve on stoneware and then on porcelain clay pots and tiles. These stimulating exercises became the earliest works of my second major period of artistic expression, carving images from the surface of porcelain vessels while the clay was damp, to be fired with a celadon glaze to enhance the shallow relief carving. As compositions evolved from shallow relief concepts to more three-dimensional subjects, a branching off of carving techniques emerged into very small porcelain sculptures. In 1995, I took up a piece of boxwood and carved the first, small, wood sculpture. The explorations in various hardwoods and other carvable materials have grown in scale and scope from small netsuke and ojime, to stand-alone small sculptures.
1970 Began making utilitarian stoneware and porcelain pottery.
1972 Received a B.A. Degree in Art from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa.
1971-1972 Student Assistant - Ceramics Studio, Luther College
1972, 1974, 1977 Studied throwing, hand building and drawing under Bauhaus Master Potter, Marguerite
Wildenhain at Pond Farm in Guerneville, California.
1972-74 Rented studio space in potter’s studios in Saint Paul, Minnesota; Hampshire, Illinois;
helped to manage a pottery production studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1975 Established Sunrise Pottery in Sunrise, Minnesota. Pottery was sold from the studio and
at regional art fairs.
1986 Stopped pottery making to carve porcelain lidded boxes, shallow bowls and small vases.
1981-1997 Porcelain carvings were exhibited in Shows, Solo, Invitational & Group Exhibitions.
1990 Began to carve small sculptural porcelain netsuke and ojime, continued shallow relief
carving on boxes, bowls, vases.
1995 Began carving wood: netsuke, ojime and netsuke-like small sculptures, and stopped
2005 The internet forum, The Carving Path, was begun by Janel Jacobson, owner/administrator.
Fellowships & Grants
2008 Enduring Vision Award – Bush Foundation
2004 The Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant
2000 Individual Artist Grant: East Central Arts Council
1998 The Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship Grant
1995 Individual Artist Grant: East Central Arts Council
1991 The Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship Grant
2004, 2006 & 2008 Bush Artist Fellows Program Finalist, but not recipient
2005 Overall Excellence, American Craft Exposition, Evanston, Illinois
2004 The Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
2004 Excellence In Wood, American Craft Exposition, Evanston, Illinois
2003 Artist of Distinction, Minnesota Crafts Council
2003 Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, D.C.,Merit Award
2003 Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, D.C., Craftsmen’s Choice Award
2002 CraftBoston, Artists’ Choice Award
2000, 1995 Individual Artist Grant: East Central Arts Council
1998, 1991 The Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship Grant
2000 Philadelphia Museum Of Art Craft Show, First Prize Award
1999 Philadelphia Museum Of Art Craft Show, Second Prize Award
1997 A celebration of Sierra Woods, Invitational: Objects of Art and Utility, Juror's Award
1997 International Netsuke Society Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii, The Broken Thumb Award, "...which is presented to a living carver who has come up so quickly and superbly that a threat of a broken thumb is promised by envious contemporaries."
1995 Philadelphia Museum Of Art Craft Show, The Byer's Award for Excellence in Ceramics
Solo, Featured Artist, Invitational, Group Exhibitions In Galleries (Partial Listing)
2007 Contemporary Netsuke: Masterful Miniatures, Museum of Art and Design, New York City, NY
2007 Turned Wood Small Treasures, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2006 The Edges of Grace, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA
2004 Celebrating Nature: Craft Traditions/Contemporary Expressions, Craft & Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA
2002 Minnesota Museum Of American Art: Minnesota Biennial 2002, Saint Paul, Minnesota
2002 Turned Wood Small Treasures, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2002 Carleton College Library, Regional Artist Showcase, Northfield, MN
2001 Collectors of Wood Art Forum: Minneapolis, Minnesota, del Mano Gallery of CA
2001 Chiba City Museum Of Art, Chiba, Japan, Contemporary Netsuke: The Kinsey Collection
2000 The Renwick Invitational: Five Women in Craft . The Renwick Gallery of The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution featured a collection of 15 pieces of both porcelain and wood, carved by Janel Jacobson.
2005, 2004 American Craft Exposition, Evanston, IL
2004 West Palm Beach Fine Craft Show, West Palm Beach, Florida, Crafts America Shows
2007, 2005, 2004, 2001, 1999, 1997, 1995, 1993 International Netsuke Society wood & porcelain
2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1996 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA
2008, 2003 Wood, Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, D.C.
2003, 2002 CraftBoston, Boston, MA
1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show,
1995, 1993, 1991, 1990, 1989 Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington, D.C.
ACC Craft Fairs:
1990 Baltimore, MD, Minneapolis, MN, Atlanta, GA, San Francisco, CA
1989 Baltimore, MD, San Francisco, CA
1988 Minneapolis, MN
1990, 1989 American Craft Exposition, Evanston, IL
1989, 1988 Original Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, Ann Arbor, MI
1989 Richmond Craft and Design Show, Richmond, VA
1988 Crafts At The Castle, Boston, MA
Stoneware To Early Porcelain Years:
1975-1988 Regional Art/Craft Fairs, Stoneware and porcelain pottery, carved porcelain vessels. Many laborious, outdoor events were attended each year, to sell utilitarian pottery. Carved porcelain was shown to better advantage in indoor settings, to more selective audiences from 1988 and on.
1972-1992 Minnesota Renaissance Festival exhibitor
1981 Juror for the Festival participant selection
1981 Purchase of carved porcelain by the Craft Acquisition Program
1982 Awarded Master Potter status
1983 Awarded First Place Honor for Design and Construction of a two-story post and beam shop structure. (I designed and constructed a two-story Post and beam building to use for display of pottery, storage and for lodging of helpers.)
1978-1987 Minnesota Crafts Council Festival exhibitor
1986 “Artist In Our Schools” North Branch, MN Five days of pottery making demonstrations at the schools.
1985 Governor’s Award: “Given In Recognition Of Excellence”, at Clay Minnesota Show
1983 Quad Cities Arts Council, Rock Island, IL, work shown with other former students of Marguerite Wildenhain.
1982 NAGALLERY Exhibition, Northfield, MN, Decorative and functional stoneware and porcelain pieces were shown at this two-person invitational.
1982 Speaker for the Isanti County, MN Arts Guild.
1982 Participated in “Arts In The Schools” program in Pine City, MN.
1981 Minnesota Ceramics: An Invitational 1981-1982, Saint Cloud, MN, and traveling exhibition. Carved porcelain and carved stoneware were displayed.
1981 Lake Superior 1981: 5th Biennial National Craft Exhibition and four-state traveling exhibition, University of Minnesota Duluth, carved porcelain.
1981 Clayworks ’81, Art Center of Minnesota: carved porcelain
1980 Minnesota Potters Dinnerware Competition for the Governor’s Mansion. Stoneware place-setting awarded second place honors, and toured the State of Minnesota.
1980 Jewish Community Center of Minneapolis, MN: Quality Craft Show Carved porcelain and carved stoneware exhibited
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Renwick Gallery Of The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Brooklyn Museum Of Art, Brooklyn, NY
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
The International Museum of Ceramic Art, Roger C. Corsaw Collection, New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY
Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, WI
Galleries: See Exhibitions listings above
2008 FineWoodworking.com: Small Scale Wood Sculptor, Janel Jacobson, Wins Award http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/ProjectsAndDesign/ProjectsAndDesignArticle.aspx?id=30991
2008 Minnesota Public Radio: Three artists recognized for their enduring vision, by Marianne Combs: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/06/09/enduringvisiongrants/
2008 Fine Woodworking magazine: Readers Gallery October 2007, No. 193. pg 84
2008 Star Tribune: Metro Section: Mature Artists Revel In New Award…, June 10, 2008
2008 Pioneer Press: Section B: 3 Artists Win $100,000 Bush Awards, June 10, 2008
2007 Star Tribune: Travel Section: St. Croix River Valley; Happy Holiday Trails, Nov 25, 2007
2007 Minnesota Public Radio: Grand carving on a small scale, Interview with Janel Jacobson, by Marianne Combs: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/07/25/netsuke/
2007 Fine Woodworking magazine: Readers Gallery, October 2007, No. 193. pg 84 Fine Woodworking.com
2007 10,000 arts: Minnesota’s Creative Quarterly, a supplement to the Rake and MN artists.org, Winter 2007. p. 22::
2007 ZOOM IN a+E Issue 11: Carver Janel Jacobson http://www.mnartists.org/ejournal/accessENGAGEIssue11.htm
2006 Fuld's Netsuke and Ojime Index: http://internetsuke.edgeworkstech.com/fuld/default.asp
2004 Craft Arts International, Celebrating Nature, Kevin Wallace, Issue 62, 2004, pp 106::
2004 International Netsuke Society Journal, Robert O. Kinsey, Twenty-First Century Netsuke, Vol 24, No. 3 (Fall 2004) pp. 35
2004 Sculptural Pursuit, By Janel Jacobson~Artful Business: Carving Time From Wood Sculptures to Take Care of Business Vol. 3 No. 1, (Winter 2004) pp. 31-33::
2003 Sculptural Pursuit, Diana Dietvorst, Janel Jacobson: Celebrates Nature’s Smaller Treasures Vol. 2 No. 4, (Fall 2003) pp. 25-29:: Written interview.
2003 Wood Art Today, Dona Z. Meilach, 2003: p. 232::
2003 Ornament: Smithsonian Craft Show 2003, Pat Worrell, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Winter 2002/03) , pp. 22-27::
2002 Ceramics Monthly: “Ripples”, Marguerite Wildenhain and her Pond Farm Students, Billie Sessions, Vol. 50, No. 10, December 2002: p. 48::
2002 Woodworkers Journal: “Shop Talk” Lee Gilchrist, an online articleVol. 26, No. 5,
October 2002: p.18::
2002 Woodworkers Journal eZine: “Today’s Woodworker” http://www.woodworkersjournal.com/ezine/todaysww.cfm
2001 Contemporary Netsuke: “The Kinsey Collection”, Chiba City Museum Of Art Catalog, Chiba, Japan: 2001: p 42::
2001 Gallery, Women In Woodworking "Janel Jacobson: It's a Small World After All" an online article. http://www.womeninwoodworking.com/gallerytour4/tour1.htm
2001 American Craft: “Five Women in Craft”, Sarah Tanguy, Vol. 60, No. 6 (December 2000/January 2001): pp 70-71::
2001 American Style: “East Meets West”, Lee Lawrence, (Spring 2001): pp 72-75::
2001 Minnesota Monthly: Fair-Weather Nomads, Katy Reed, (May 2001), pp. 40-43, 149-150::
2000 Smithsonian: The Torch, The Renwick Invitational: Five Women In Craft, No. 00-3 March 2000: p.1 & p.8::
2000 East Central Arts Quarterly: Vol. 21, No. 2 (August 2000): p. 1:: Joanne Frank.
2000 American Craft: “Contemporary Netsuke”, Joyce Lovelace, Vol. 60, No. 3
(June/July 2000): pp. 46-49, 68-69::
1998 American Craft: “Gallery.” Vol. 58, No. 4 (August/September 1998): p. 82::
1998 East Central Arts Quarterly: Vol. 19, No. 1 (June 1998): p. 1,4::
1998 Arts Board News: Vol. 12.4/13.1 (Summer Fall 1998) p:5::
1998 Star Tribune: “Fine Arts, Hot off the Press: Artists with local links”, (Sunday, Feb. 15, 1998):p. F4:: Mary Abbe.
1998 Star Tribune: “Entertainment: Visual Arts, “Japanese Carving Show: Nothing But Netsuke”, (Sunday, June 7,1998): p. F3:: Mary Abbe.
1997 Wood Shop News: Craft Fair Circuit, Daniel Mac Alpine, (February 1997), p. 22::
1996 The Best Of Pottery: Jonathan Fairbanks & Angela Fina, 1996: p 73, Janel Jacobson “Autumn Aria” carved porcelain photograph, Rockport Publishers, Quarry Books
1995 Minneapolis/Saint Paul: “Living Art”, 23, No. 6 (June 1995): p. 46-48::
1991 American Craft: “Gallery.” Vol. 50, No. 6 (December 1990/January 1991): p. 76::
1998 The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN, Netsuke: The Japanese Art Of Miniature Carving, Catalog.
1997 Ornament: “Janel Jacobson. Stirring The Dawn”, Carolyn L.E. Benesh, Vol. 20, No. 3
(Spring 1997) Twentieth Anniversary Issue, pp. 42-47, cover photo and feature story::
This article describes Janel Jacobson during the years of her change from carved porcelain to wood carving.
1997 Contemporary Netsuke, “Miniature Sculpture from Japan and Beyond”, Robert & Miriam Kinsey, 1997:p.29:: Bowers Museum Exhibit Catalog, Santa Ana, California::
1997 Contemporary Netsuke, “Miniature Sculpture from Japan and Beyond” CD, The Shin’en Kan Foundation, 1997::
1996 Ceramics Monthly: “Up Front.” 44, No. 2 (February 1996): p. 12::
1993 Ceramics Monthly: “Up Front.” 41, No. 9 (November 1993): p. 20::
1992 Ceramics Monthly: “Up Front.” 40, No. 1 (January 1992): p. 22::
1991 Ceramics Monthly: “Calendar. Solo Exhibitions.” 39, No. 3 (March 1991): p. 60::
1991 Ceramics Monthly: “Up Front.” 39, No. 3 (March 1991): p. 16::
1990 Ceramics Monthly: “Philadelphia Craft Show: Ceramics Monthly Portfolio.” 38,No. 5(May 1990):p. 39::
1990 Ceramics Monthly: “News and Retrospect.” 38, No. 1 (Jan. 1990): p. 70:: Wm. Hunt
1989 Ceramics Monthly: “Monarch National: A Ceramics Monthly Portfolio.” 37, No. 9 (Nov. 1989):p. 45::
Resume update: July 20, 2008
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