Monday, February 26, 2024

INTERESTING FOLKS: Jane Voorhees of Blairstown, an Artist who Inspires Beauty

A painting by Voorhees (left) and an intricate twig frame. Photo by MB Journe, Nov. 2022

Jane Voorhees is known for her beautiful silver jewelry, stunning pastel paintings and rustic twig accessories. Her work is intricate, with Old World craftsmanship.

In 1983, she and her husband Don moved to Blairstown to raise their family. It is evident that Voorhees’s paintings and twig work are inspired by the majestic woodland region. Her work is outstanding and can be seen at Peters Valley Gallery, located at 19 Kuhn Road, Layton, and Gallery 23, Main Street, Blairstown.

Voorhees in front of Gallery 23, Main Street, Blairstown. Photo by MB Journe, Nov. 2022

Meet her at Gallery 23 during “Jingle on Main, ” a crafter event for the whole family, Saturday, November 26, from 10am to 4pm.

Her jewelry can be described as fantasy pieces of art featuring beautiful woman, angelic cupids, handsome Indian chiefs, playful fairies, majestic wildlife creatures, bouquets of flowers and one-of-a-kind designs in gold and silver with glittering semi-precious stones. She calls her latest work rustic twig work which are frames and accessories expressing her love of nature.

“My mother taught me, from the time I was a little kid, to draw on everything,” she reminisced.

She was enrolled at the Yard School of Art in Montclair with Margaret Yard Tyler, an acclaimed pastel portrait artist for five years.

By the time Voorhees was 13 years old, she won first place in an art contest held in the park. The pastel portrait was of a soldier, a friend of the family. When the judges found out that the artist was a child, they didn’t believe it and disqualified her. Her parents and some judges went to battle for her, insisting it was her work. She still has the award.

Voorhees’s designs are delicately whimsy and skillfully rendered. Photo by MB Journe, Nov. 2022

“My family had a small resort in the Catskills, where I took a class in wax casting, that’s all it took, and I was smitten. I bought a used kiln and started making my own jewelry,” Voorhees stated.

Voorhees studied at Eastern Michigan University, the School of Visual Arts and received a B.A. from Livingston College at Rutgers University. Her supplemental education was in the form of an apprenticeship to jeweler Paul Gollhardt, enameling with Bill Helwig, and jewelry workshops with Chuck Evans, Rick Marshall, Marci Zelmanoff and Mary Ann Scheer.

From 1975-1977, Voorhees worked for Century Casting, a wax production jewelry casting firm in New York City. At that time most of the jewelry was gold with gems. She worked her way up and soon became the manager. Her boss was generous with his knowledge, and she learned much while she was there.

After some time, she started producing her own line of jewelry and has been self-employed
since then. She can be seen on Facebook and Instagram.

Visit Voorhees at
Peters Valley Gallery at
Gallery 23 at

Yelens Choban
MB Journe, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

MB has been a resident of Frelinghuysen for the past 22 years. She lives in an old farmhouse on the side of the road. She enjoys the simple life, puttering in her flower garden, practicing Qi Gong under her redbud tree, or creating art on the deck.
MB's experience as a journalist began when her son was quite young, she began writing for The Paulinskill Valley Chronicle, often bringing him to work with her. Her responsibilities were writing articles with photos, selling ads, and billing. This suited her, as a single mother not wanting to be separated from her small child.

She considers herself a lover of nature, often seen photographing its beauty. She has worked as a seasonal employee of YMCA Camp Mason for the past 17 years. She is a teacher and mentor of children, always emphasizing the YMCA’s core values - caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. She tries to listen carefully to each individual she interviews, getting their viewpoint. That is why she likes to write about the interesting people and places that make Warren County such a nice place to live.