Jan Forkert Featured in Demonstration, Retrospective

Enamellist, watercolorist, printmaker, and silversmith – Ellison Bay artist Jan Forkert has been all of these through her long career. Fine Line Designs Gallery invites everyone to a small retrospective of Forkert’s work on Saturday, July 25 from 1 – 5 pm. Forkert will be on hand to demonstrate the forging techniques that are used to make many of her pieces, with emphasis on a new series of enameled and sculptured floral centerpieces.

Forkert traces her artistic spirit back to her parents – her mother was a watercolorist, her father a silversmith. She grew up loving shapes and form, and found both of these things in nature. “Almost everything I create has something to do with the outdoors,” she says. “My interest has always been in the native plants of an area. I literally pick plants apart while I’m outside – I’m always eager to learn about their inner workings.”

Being an artist for many years, Forkert says that the key is to keep a fresh eye. “Art is a challenge – you just have to keep moving on,” she says. “My metalwork started in a printmaking capacity, then I graduated to wall pieces, and then jewelry and now these new floral centerpieces. I love the unusual combinations of mediums.”

Forkert’s demonstration for the July 25 event will have to do largely with her new series of floral centerpieces. Each centerpiece is one-of-a-kind and includes a base combined with a vessel holding flower forms, butterflies, or dragonflies. After forging the shapes out of copper, they are then enameled and become part of a larger assemblage of shapes.

Even though the centerpieces are a new venture for Forkert, they have already won her accolades in artistic circles. One of the forms in the her “Centerpiece Assemblages” series, “Wind in the Lilies,” was recently selected to be shown in the International Society of Experimental Artist’s annual juried show in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania this fall.

The retrospective will also include printmaking, signature pieces of silver foregrounds with watercolor paintings, forged silver jewelry, enameled wall hangings, three-dimensional sculpture, and mixed media paintings. To express her appreciation to all of her supporters and patrons, Forkert is offering 10 percent off all jewelry and 15 percent off all wall pieces.

Fine Line Design Gallery, located on Highway 42 in North Ephraim, is open daily from 10 am – 6 pm and on Sundays from 10 am – 5 pm. For more information, call Fine Line Design Gallery at 920.854.4343 or visit