Jan Havens creates hand-colored whimsical etchings of animals, birds and plants. Some of the etchings have words in the borders as the animals and plants have conversations about one thing or another.
Thirty years ago only a few of the etchings had words. Customers were enthralled with these pieces, so the storytelling developed.
To make an etching I draw backwards on a copper plate that is coated with a wax resist. Drawing through the wax exposes the copper. When I place the plate in an acid bath, the acid etches only the exposed lines. I clean off the wax and rub ink in the lines, wipe off excess surface ink, and print the images with a hand-turned etching press.
When the paper is dry, I paint the etching with opaque watercolor.
I discovered both etching and hand built clay while attending Barton College in Wilson, NC and continued in clay and relief etching through graduate school at Peabody College in Nashville, TN.
I taught elementary art and continued working in clay for fifteen years until I got talked in to creating an etched image for the annual Tennessee Craft fair. It appeared on t-shirts and other promotions and re-ingnited my interest in etching, which I continue to do today.