Text by Wolf Schneider; Photos by Jafe T. Parsons
You’re a sculptor in Loveland, which is a mecca for sculptors with several foundries, right?
Oh yeah, there’s a lot of us here. Anything you need to be a sculptor you can find here in Loveland.
Did growing up in Loveland influence you into a sculptor’s mindset?
Definitely. My family moved here from Iowa when I was 10. I feel like Loveland’s child. [Laughs]
Having spent time in Iowa, Colorado, and Maine—what is each state best for?
Iowa, for agriculture, corn, cows. Colorado, for the sunshine and culture. Maine, for the ocean, serenity, clam chowder, and lobsters.
I hear that every February thousands of valentines are sent to the Loveland post office for remailing with the town’s special seal?
Oh yes. Big deal! [Laughs] We’re into that holiday.
You sculpt a lot of children—do you convince your own kids to model?
You know, I started doing kids before I had kids. But they have modeled for me. And I also do more impressionistic, human-condition pieces.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Sugar Ray Leonard are all your collectors—who owns the most?
Oh, Kathie. I think she’s got the pieces in Greenwich, CT.
Tell me about the compound where you work. It’s 2.5 acres with great mature trees, an office in an old barn, a sculpting studio, a metal finishing building, and two guest houses?
Holy cow! Where’d you get your information?
Your sister Maggie. She’s the marketing maven, I gather. And I hear that five siblings plus your mom are all involved in creating and reproducing your sculptures?
Yes, I do the creating, but we all produce the work. We do the wax work, we do the mold-making, we do the welding, we do the chasing. We don’t do the patina work. We work hard.
Are you the boss or is your mom the boss?
Maggie would be the boss.
Is this mainly an enterprise of goddesses, like Avalon?
We were, and then my brother came last. We had to take down the “We can do it” sign. We like having a man around. He does the welding.
How big’s the studio?
It’s 1,400 square feet. It was an old, funky, low-ceilinged barn. There was a fellow with a construction business in here. When I bought it, he raised the roof and put in these big beams and steel plates holding up everything, and lots of windows opening up into gardens. I like to get the sense of the outdoors because most of the pieces are going outdoors. It’s airy and earthy.
What’s your favorite medium to sculpt in?
I use the oil-based Jolly King clay. It ends up in bronze.
What do you listen to while sculpting?
I like Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell. I love Leonard Cohen!
At 43 now, what quality have you decided an artist must have, and what quality will only do an artist in?
Artists must be resourceful and empathetic. They can’t be closed-minded.
What’s your mantra?
I just did a portrait of Emily Dickinson. She wrote about yearning—“We buy with contrast—Pang is good.”
That’s a most poetic mantra, Jane. So what makes you elated, and what makes you morose?
Oh, my mom’s peach pie is pretty damn good. Really, my family elates me. Morose—when someone is down and you can’t lift them up.
What’s the trait that’s served you best in your career, and what’s the trait you deplore in yourself?
Best—my tenacity. Worst—I’m pretty stubborn. I’m a Virgo.
On what occasion do you fudge the truth?
Well, I don’t think you need to repeat something negative.
Which artist, living or dead, would you most like to trade a piece of art with?
Giacometti or Arthur Dove.
Which artist would you most like an hour of advice from?
What’s the range that your work sells for?
From $200 to $130,000.
What kind of folks do you gravitate to, and what kind of folks turn you off?
People who are generous attract me. People who try to show they have money turn me off.
Who is the artist time overlooked that it shouldn’t have?
Oh, I love Philip Maior’s work, and I think it’s still going to rise.
DeDecker is represented by Claggett/Rey Gallery, Vail, CO; Nedra Matteucci Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM; Cavalier Galleries, Greenwich, CT, and New York, NY; Morris & Whiteside Galleries, Hilton Head Island, SC; and Westbrook Galleries, Carmel, CA.
Featured in “My World” January 2005