Jan Bolander

Cerebral Smooch



Combating cerebral crumble through creative craftmanship... with a kiss for luck!


I am 67 years old. I have been an artist all of my adult life. For nearly the last 20 years I didn't practice art. Color gradually disappeared from my presence and empathy. The urge to create became a quiet folding, cloaked by daily life. I did not see it fading.

On August 15, 2018 I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of Parkinson's Disease. According to the date that I first recognized the atypical tremor in my left hand, science estimates I have had Parkinson's at least 17 years. The disease has settled in my right brain, and I am coincidentally artistically left-handed. Treatment began immediately and it took months to find the correct medicine and dosage that worked with my symptoms.


During the time of pharmaceutical trial and error, I unpacked my tools from years ago and set up a metalworking studio. I anxiously recalled my college classes of the 70's and the purpose they gave me back then. I unwrapped stored paintings and collections to refill my blank walls and tabletops. This is when I realized that daily life did not take away my love of art those 20 years ago. Parkinson's Disease had silently and methodically begun changing my brain. It was at that moment that I knew I need to fight back against what was controlling my very presence and empathy.


For around a year now, I have steadily worked as a bench jeweler and more recently added the title of Eco Printer. I am passionate about both streams of art. I work hard to improve my skills and continue to grow in each discipline. I am a beekeeper and along with my husband, an organic grain farmer. I am a grandma and a ukulele player. My life is full and my outlook is forward.


What Parkinson's took away from me all those years ago, the diagnosis and treatment plan are giving back.