Heather Jansch

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Heather Jansch has worked with driftwood for over thirty-five years. In 2000 her sculptures featured in ‘The Shape of the Century -100 Years of Sculpture in Britain’, alongside such luminaries as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, at London’s Canary Wharf millennium celebrations. Her life-size horses went on to receive worldwide acclaim and set a global trend for driftwood sculpture.

“I’m delighted to take part in this show supporting Young Minds, my passion for horses and making sculpture has been essential to maintaining my own mental health so my advice is to follow your dreams whatever they may be.

I still find driftwood an exciting material and love the sense of adventure it gives me even though it’s not always easy to get right; occasionally it can take years, but nothing leaves my workshop until I am entirely satisfied. I work on several pieces concurrently because often a problem with one sculpture is solved by an offcut being unexpectedly perfect for another. At other times simply turning over the stacked woodpile reveals something vital that I had missed or forgotten.

Driftwood is only suitable for interiors so larger sculptures are cast in bronze, a hugely complex process involving multiple moulds, but the results are stunning and worth the effort although the weight can pose difficulties on some sites. My Devon sculpture garden on steep sloping woodland is an example of when an alternative durable casting material such as resin, at half the weight, could solve the problem.”