Articles

Featured Artist: Janet Girard

October 2006 Janet Girard and her rat Ikeola

Janet Girard is an artist I've had the pleasure of dealing with on numerous occasions. She graciously allowed me to interview her for a new aspect of the Better Holes and Garbage Website: the Featured Artist pages.

BHG
What sort of art do you do?

Janet
I work with many different art mediums, but I love working with glass and doing silver/gold fabrication for my jewelry creations.

BHG
How long have you been doing art?

Janet
I can't remember a time when I didn't enjoy drawing, painting & playing with shiny objects. Must have been a crow in my last lifetime! I started working with glass about 5 years ago and feel I've only scratched the surface.

BHG
What got you into it?

I'm one of those people who always need to be doing something and jewelry making was a natural outlet for my artistic restlessness.

BHG
Were you self-taught?

Janet
I learned my basic jewelry making from magazines and books. When I decided to become serious about making jewelry, I started doing work shops at a local Design studio. I would recommend this to anybody who enjoys working with beads, precious metals and wants to develop their artistic outlets.

BHG
When did you take an interest in rats?

Janet
My first real encounter with rats is when I rescued a baby wild rattus, Ike-ola, from the mouth of a young cat. I had planned to release her once she had recovered, but by then she had imprinted with me and it wasn't possible. Ike-ola is the one who taught me about the joys of having ratties as a companion animal!

Glass rat beads by Janet Girard BHG
Why did you start incorporating rats into your artwork?

Janet
Using rats in my jewelry design was just a natural progression. I think we all do our best work when dealing with subject matter that we are passionate about.

BHG
Have you faced any difficulties with rats in your artwork?

Janet
I would say the reception to rats in my artwork has been pretty positive overall. Of course those who have rats as pets have been incredibly supportive.

BHG
Do you have any favorite pieces or series?

Janet
Pewter rat turd earrings by Janet Girard Most artists have a favorite piece or series. It's really hard to pick just one. My Memorial beads are very important to me because of the comfort they offer a pet owner once their animal has gone to the bridge. These are the glass pieces I make that have a piece of fur or a whisker burned into the bead/charm. On the lighter side I have had fun with fine silver rat turds as design elements in earrings and necklaces. These are actual raisins from my ratties cast in .999 fine silver!

BHG
Do you have any favorite artists/artists that inspire you?

Janet
There are many artist that inspire me. I've met alot of artists through the RatList group forum and admire the work of so many great people there. Right now I am fortunate enough to be working with a group of female artists in the Los Angeles area. They are a constant inspiration & support to me in so many ways.

BHG
How should interested readers contact you?

Janet
Anyone who would like to contact me about jewelry, design ideas, or all things rattie can email me at jgirard@hipco.com or jagwear@hotmail.com. My website can be seen at http://www.jagwearjewelry.com. I am also featured on Debbie Ducommun's site and Claire Jordan's site.

All text, images, and content copyright Lori Weeder 2006 unless otherwise noted.