Jeanne Drevas works with natural materials she hand gathers from the forest and fields of her previous homeland of Rappahannock County, Virginia and her new home in the Pacific Northwest. Through much experimentation with these untested materials, she has led herself back to the wonder of childhood and to our ever diminishing connection with nature. She spends days immersed in the hues and perfection of a thousand acorns, in the texture of tree bark, in mounds of fragrant pine needles.
The crafting of her work is of utmost importance to her as well as respecting the natural integrity of the materials she has chosen to use. She takes her humanness and listens to what each of these materials is telling her to do. It is a delicate balance, her DNA and theirs, her will and theirs.
Jeanne Drevas recently moved to the Pacific Northwest, after 40 years of living in the Blue Ride Mountains.
"I hand collect all my bark, white pine and tulip poplar being my favorite barks although I also use aialanthus, maple, fir, sassafras, elm and cherry. I work with very few materials that I feel are archival enough to withstand many years, decades. these include eggshell mosaic, broom corn(it has this silica coating that makes it strong and shiny), and honeysuckle and twigs, both very woody. Recently I've been using the human form as a starting place for many of my pieces. I strip bark off newly cut trees in early summer when the trees are full of water and life. I'm really not sure why the bark does come off, because when it's not summer, that bark is not going to let go of it's tree. There are an abundance of unwanted white pines (I have a whole overgrown Christmas tree farm) and tulip poplars so don't think I am wantonly cutting down trees. White pine bark is quite pliable when it is new or re-soaked after storage. with the flexibility of leather. when drying the bark I must make forms or stuff my pieces with crumpled newspaper to get it to do what I want it. And still it wants it's own way."