Heritage — Gitksan
Phil Janze has been producing masterpieces in the Gitksan tradition of his grandmother for more than 40 years. His mediums include wood, silkscreen prints and gold and silver.
He began working in metal after he watched Stanley George hammer out and carve silver coins in Bella Bella, British Columbia in 1963. The first pieces Phil produced were engravings of seine boats, which were tied up at the Bella Bella docks. Phil was paid $10 for each coin he produced in those days.
In the years following his graduation from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 1970, Phil became serious about exploring his talents for jewellery and sought out the help of experts in the field. Though he never directly apprenticed to anyone, he spent many hours with jewellers who provided him with advice, encouragement and support.
Phil had already been producing many quality pieces when he was invited to Param organized by Haida artist Bill Reid. The three month program was a turning point for Phil. He was not only able to envisage his delicate and intricate pieces, but he was fully capable of creating them.
Phil has been recognized the world over for his elegant and thought provoking works of art. He is represented in public and corporate collections in Canada, the United States, Germany and Japan. Phil’s art is in many of the most renowned private collections around the world. He is acknowledged as a master of northwest art.