« Jana Diedrich  

Jana Diedrich
430 South Estes Street
Lakewood CO 80226

Artist Statement
I have to give half of the credit for this work to the 4th floor of the Denver Art Museum. I desperately wanted to take my work in a new and fresh direction, so for inspiration I started spending a lot of time at the DAM. So much time that the security guards would say, “Welcome back ma’am!” I was drawn to the 4th floor every time—one of the largest and most magnificent collections of Pre-Columbian pottery in the country. Everywhere you look you see vibrant reds and oranges, even more amazing to me as they had no access to a Meiningers or even a Hobby Lobby. Their works are highly decorated and elegantly askew. I decided I wanted to do a series of work inspired by their work. I wanted to use only the materials that these past artists would have had access to. And so I started researching. I began reading books and doing research online. I discovered red and yellow ochres—rich natural pigments that come from the ground, and burnt umber—not the color but actual umber that has been burnt. I discovered burnishing which means to rub the surface of an unfired pot with a smooth rock until it develops a semi-gloss shine. A burnished pot has a surface that glaze cannot replicate. For 16 years I have been creating stamps out of clay and using them in my work. I have hundreds of them. So you can imagine my utter amazement and delight to discover similar stamps carved out of clay sitting on the shelves next to the Pre-Columbian pottery. The DAM was displaying about 20 of these stamps. I took out my sketch pad and sketched every single one of them then went home and re-created these exact stamps. I then used them in my works here. It was amazing to use them and wonder who created them originally. I want to thank those from the past for inspiring me and hope that I could re-awaken their beautiful creations.