Phil Janzé (1950-2016)

By Alex Dawkins
Posted in News, on September 08, 2016

It can be easily argued that Gitxsan artist Phil Janzé created the most intricate and complex pieces of Northwest Coast First Nations jewellery in the twentieth century. After studying Northwest Coast design, Phil traveled to the United Kingdom to train at Goldsmith’s Hall in the late 1970s. It was here that he refined his techniques, and also developed new skills based on European metalworking. Phil was recognized in 1982, 1983, and 1984 by the Canadian Jewellery Challenge as creating one of the top pieces in Canada each year. Many of his most accomplished pieces never entered the market and were purchased directly by collectors. These wide cuff bracelets and large pendants usually displayed a combination of repoussé sculpting, deep chasing, and delicate stone setting.

In 2012, Phil received the British Columbia Creative Achievement Award for these artistic contributions. Lattimer Gallery represented Phil for over thirty years, and Leona Lattimer had an especially close relationship with him. Phil passed away unexpectedly on June 29th and his place in the Northwest Coast jewellery market will never be replaced.