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.
What sort of art do you do?
I work with many different art mediums, but I love working with glass
and doing silver/gold fabrication for my jewelry creations.
How long have you been doing art?
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
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.
Were you self-taught?
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
When did you take an interest in rats?
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!
Why did you start incorporating rats into your artwork?
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
Have you faced any difficulties with rats in your artwork?
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
Do you have any favorite pieces or series?
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!
Do you have any favorite artists/artists that inspire you?
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.
How should interested readers contact you?
Anyone who would like to contact me about jewelry, design ideas, or all
things rattie can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.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.