To bring something into existence from thin air is pure oxygen

Heather Jansch News 2015

Home of the original life-size driftwood horses.






This year we had record numbers of visitors whose generosity put £483.24 into the NGS donations jar. Emma Ruminski from BBC SPOTLIGHT filmed here, we spoke about the bronze casting process and The Eden Project Horse. 


life size driftwood horse horse

There are planty of places to enjoy and the poolside is a magnificent place to picnic. 





My two lovely Pegasus reliefs will frame the entrance to a Swiss clinic to inspire trauma victims' recovery. I am so pleased that together they may serve such a purpose. They will soon be on their way. 
   pegasus painted driftwood relief


In the USA The Diehl Gallery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming will be showing some lovely small originals of mine.  Back here with the rain at this time of year there can be just too much green...Luckily the coast is not too far  


Here is a new blue shot from the seaside warmed by hazy sunshine.   


heather jansch original driftwood horse


Cavallo Branca 27 inches nose to tail.





original driftwood horse sculpture by Heather Jansch


Springer original driftwood/copper/bronze 26 inches nose to tail for sale. 


The Young Arabian in bronze. 


This is the most complex bronze we have yet produced. 123 different pieces of wood were cast separately to make the whole, I was driving back and forth to the foundry for nearly a month but it was worth it. 


life-size driftwood bronze  horse sculpture by heather jansch



Other small things are happening  apace...I have some wonderful new photographic equipment and am having a lot of fun learning how to use it.  


Small burnt wood drawing. Bull bison by Haether Jansch



Burntwood bull bison 4 x 6 inches.





Sophia, bronze, approximately 14 inches x 12 x 6 edition of 25. These exciting small heads are selling fast. 


At The Eden Project.  The bronze and the original side by side. 

To see more go to the driftwood bronze page.  



It is great to stretch my capacity; I am having a wonderful time exploring the characteristics of different breeds whilst at the same time considering the abstract element of form and space held in the interior of figurative sculptures. Other works such as the large heads, Equus, and the leapers like Sweet September depart more obviously from the literal whilst maintaining the quality that, to me, embodies the true nature of horse. As James Joyce famously put it; 

'Unsheathe your dagger definitions. Horseness is the whatness of allhorse'


Integrating a wider range of materials with driftwood and oak into the life-size sculptures has been a fascinating experience; there is more variety of texture and I have been able to escape the limitations made by a steel armature which has allowed a greater fluidity in the large works. 


'Dylan' - a fine young cob colt with a great deal of energy and a large personality. Here just before leaving from the foundry to go to Wales where some lovely clients have the perfect garden for him.



life size bronze driftwood horse by Heather Jansch







 Heather Jansch's Devon Gallery NUMBER TWELVE East Street Ashburton

Opens Fridays and Saturdays 10 - 5pm.


The gallery is in the small historic stannery town of Ashburton in Devon's Dartmoor National Park. Easy to find 15 miles south of Exeter on the A38 Ashburton makes a natural break in the drive to Cornwall, it is a busy, thriving, lively community full of interesting small shops making and selling selling unique products and delicacies. 


Heather  writes:


"It has always been important to me that art should be accessible but it is sometimes hard to make things affordable. NUMBER TWELVE has made me think on a smaller scale again and, at last, I have begun to draw in earnest after thinking about increasing my range of greeting cards. I began to doodle, there was something about the scale that excited me and I found it hard to stop.

In experimenting with the small 2D work I began to use my blow torch, now there are postcard sized original drawings on paper and burntwood works, traditionally known as pokerwork or pyrography. 


I have also been working on a new series of larger burnt works like this one in progress, 'After Equus' is slightly smaller than the driftwood reliefs such as 'Heartbreak Horse' and 'Out of a Winter Sea' (Teignbridge district council collection)






My Dutch photojournalist friends Pieter Paul Koster and Inga Oostenrijk came for a few days.

I was certain they would photograph the thoroughbred under the oak tree, it had caused a sensation at Darley Stud's stallion parade at Newmarket but I was wrong, something else took their eyes.




Something smaller..... 



'Sugar Babe' is a bronze edition of five and is almost a mirror image of the very first driftwood  bronze foal of mine 'Sugar Plum'. 


 Fine Driftwood bronze foal edition of 5 Jansch contemporary sculpture




Contemporary British sculpture Jansch driftwood bronze foal edition of 5


Slightly larger is 'Cherry Pie' a bronze edition of five.



I am hoping to find another property, somewhere with serious barns for storing driftwood from the beaches , a large yard, a few acres, birdsong, clear air and water where I can keep my horses close, have open country to ride through and make a new sculpture garden. 


Sadly one of my favourite driftwood pieces fell completely to bits in the winter, rotted out as eventually happens with all driftwood work left outside. It did incredibly well to last seven years before the gales got the better of it on my exposed site. Fortunately we had already made a mould and it has a new lease of life as Sweet September, immortalised in bronze and now selling strongly. The one above, 'Landing' was rescued just days before and will also be cast in  bronze. 

Safe inside and in bronze are the elephants, the smallest of all my sculptures. Editions of 15

Child is the calf who fits into the palm of my hand, Matriarch is the mother 11 inches tusk to tail.  





Some time ago I was visited by the wonderful warm-hearted and enthusiastic Lise Cormier.

Lise is the Chief Executive of Montréal International Mosaïculture and she made me a very interesting proposal.......

She came with the Director of Montréal Botanical Garden, Gilles Vincent and Ginette Marotte, the Vice Mayor to commission a contemporary horse sculpture for Mosaïculture 2013. 

They chose to have an oak life-size mare and foal.  I was very pleased to go and see them installed last June already looking at home among the very new planting in the Botanical Gardens.  


Original contemporary British Sculpture Heather Jansch at Montreal's Botanic Garden

Here is the mare, with another equine commissioned by a private client from New Orleans, patiently waiting in the yard for the shippers last May.  They were so similar that they could have been related."




Interview: Heather answering questions about the creative process click here


For a bit of sheer delight and amazing jewellery visit gorgeous Kate Higham.


Ashburton Cookery School 


The Ugbrooke Connection. 1999 to the present day.



In 1999 I had been making life-size sculpture for two years  and could barely turn my car in the yard for the accumulation of driftwood surrounding my house.   It would be hard to sell the property without a big clear out but I was unsure how I could do that without interrupting the flow of work.  My last major exhibition had been at The National Trust's Saltram House  near Plymouth  when my original life-size driftwood mare and foal were made in response to the magnificence of the Stable Courtyard.   

At the time I was the only British artist working with driftwood and The Press had gone wild; the massive coverage made the show a resounding success and demand was almost overwhelming. 


It was at this point that Lord Clifford came up trumps. 

Ugbrooke House, in common with many other great historic houses, has a traditional stable courtyard and Lord Clifford offered to rent it me together with the two cottages that formed the rear wall. I signed the lease in October.  It was heaven to have such an ideal working space and sculpture poured out of me; I took on a full time assistant and word of my horses spread. Acknowledgement followed when, as part of the millennium celebrations,  I was invited to take part in The Shape of The Century -  One hundred Years of Sculpture in Britain at Canary Wharf in London alongside all the greats; Moore, Frink, Caro, Hepworth. to name few. Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project in Cornwall, bought the full size driftwood horse that became known simply as 'The Eden Horse' which had been built in the Stable Courtyard. Shortly afterwards I bought my current property only two miles from Ugbrooke and started to make my sculpture garden. It is now in it's twelfth year and is starting to look to look quite mature. 


A caution: the copyright of any artwork belongs to the artist.  People may take photos of my work for their own enjoyment but not for commercial gain. Thank you to my followers who alerted me and for their concern, I have also been made aware of the number of people now producing driftwood horses.  Whilst I am grateful for the loyalty and indignation expressed, I have to say that I never claimed the discipline of working with driftwood to be mine alone and have always been very open about my working process.  


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