Balancing elements, both classic and modern, North Carolina’s Jane Jaskevich carves out a quiet elegance in her figurative sculptures.
The artist: Born in Greenville, SC, she was the kid in grammar school who got voted to do the art on the bulletin boards. After that early art start, Jaskevich went on to earn a BFA from the University of Georgia (UGA) and a master’s degree in art education from Florida State University (FSU) in 1977. That year she started sculpting.
In addition to her sculpting projects, Jaskevich taught art on the college level in Winter Haven, FL, and Atlanta for 25 years. In between, she took workshops in bronze casting in Florida and marble carving in Italy.
The studio: The artist works mostly under the covered deck of her home on two acres in Weaverville, NC, where she moved in 2020 after living and working in Atlanta.
From her backyard studio, she has a view of her neighbors’ chickens and the mountains. And no one to complain about the noise or dust.
In the beginning: Jaskevich took a class in wood carving at UGA but did not start stone carving until graduate school at FSU. In a sculpture independent study with FSU fine arts professor Ralph Hurst, he gave her a stone to try carve. Then another.
“Later he told me he never did that but realized I would not ruin the stone,” said Jaskevich. “He started my love affair with stone.”
(Hurst, who died 2003, was a nationally renowned artist and sculptor, best known for carving alabaster.)
The art & materials: Figurative and animal sculptures using stone, wood and found objects. Lately, the face and body of her human forms are more about gesture and expression than personality.
The process: As a direct carver, Jaskevich does not plan what she is going to make, but she usually starts with the human figure and then:
- Draws with a big pencil the shape of the body on the stone and cuts away what is not needed. Many times the stone dictates the shape of the face or hair.
- Attacks the stone with a pneumatic tooth chisel. If a lot of stone needs to be removed, she uses an angle grinder with a four-inch diamond blade.
- Creates the torso and then looks for a smaller, different type of stone whose color offers an interesting contrast to what will become the head.
“I often have stone body parts sitting around the studio waiting for the perfect match,” said Jaskevich.
- Adds wood for the bottom part of the body.
- After roughing out the shape, she uses diamond burrs or a blade to create flowing forms. Italian riffle hand files or electric small diamond burrs are used to create small details. Seven grits of sandpaper are used to polish off the scratches.
What’s popular: Cypress female sculptures, which are a combination of cypress and two different stones ($4,000 to $7,000). Sculptures range from 26 inches to 45 inches tall.
Other favorites: Stone deer with real antlers ($6,000 to $8,000).
Any fun, special or unusual requests: Asked to carve Nefertiti’s nose from a piece of Egyptian stone brought home from a trip.
Big break (s):
- Being asked to exhibit at the Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk, NC, about 20 years ago by owner Pamela McKay.
- Having Alison West Brown of Clearwater FL, become her agent in 2019. Brown has promoted her cypress sculptures to new audience.
Where to see her work: jaskevich.com
Where to buy: Many galleries (see website), including:
- Art Cellar, Banner Elk.
- CityFolk, Lancaster, PA
- Interiors Market, Atlanta
- Mitchell Hill, Charleston.
Get social at:
- Facebook: Jane Jaskevich
- Instagram: Jaskevich_sculptor
- Website: jaskevich.com