The People:
Janice Anderson and Christine Gilbert

Janice Anderson and Christine Gilbert

Janice and Christine are sisters-in-law, Christine, the daughter of the long-time Brasstown carver, Verda Anderson, and Janice, her daughter-in-law. Both work at the Folk School preparing the school’s home cooked meals; Janice states that they carve, “whenever we get the chance.” Christine believes that their instructor, Murray Martin, “ a saint; she must have been, she had a lot of patience with all our kids around.” Janice states, “All the kids went with everybody...Murray kept toys for the kids to play with and Blanche Smith kept candy for them. I took a course with Jack Hall; that is where I learned to make cardinals.”

When Christine was a child she would “...sneak down to the basement and carve on some of momma’s things; that’s how I first learned to carve.” Janice began carving a few months after her marriage to Christine’s brother, Cecil. “Mrs. Anderson got me carving.” They both started with napkin rings and worked with doves, pecking birds to ducklings, then Christmas ornaments. Christine’s most difficult piece was Mary for the crèche scene, but she prefers to carve Christmas ornaments. Janice’s favorite is her Mr. and Mrs. Snow Man ornaments.

Both Janice and Christine think Helen Gibson is the best all-around Brasstown carver. Janice states and Christine agrees “J.A. Morris, too.” Both ladies have demonstrated carving throughout the region and have carved for the Folk School’s Fall Festival.

- Transcribed from John C. Campbell Folk School, The Brasstown Carvers (1990),
with text by Bill Biggers, photographs by Werner Kahn and Bill Biggers.
Used with permission of the John C. Campbell Folk School.