On Saturday, May 24, Janet Bailey Burch, of Crestwood, KY will create low-relief wood carvings of man’s best friend – dogs – from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Burch has been working in wood since childhood and earned a Bachelor of Industrial Design degree from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. Living on a farm outside Crestwood, she has spent many years working with horses – teaching, training, showing and judging – and her familiarity with animals is first-hand.
Burch has also raised a variety of dogs over the years, and after doing numerous dog portrait commissions, she has expanded her sculpting repertoire to include them.
Burch begins each piece by making a drawing. She traces her drawings onto Baltic birch plywood, and creates numerous sections to stack and layer. She cuts out each wooden section with a scroll saw and then laminates the pieces together. These multiple layers create a visual depth, causing the animal to appear three-dimensional.
Burch then sculpts the wood using numerous carving tools, including an X-Acto knife and a Dremel tool. She accurately sculpts low-relief details adding minute texture for fur and whiskers. After the sculpting is complete, Burch paints each animal with acrylic paint, which completes the realism of her carving.
Works by Burch are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea, Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the cafe open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.