N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--July 1997


If you go into the bathroom of Brothers Pizza on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, you’ll find a N.C. State Wolf painted on the tile wall. If you go to the state library, you can check out a slide show on the history of the rose. And if you go to the Governor’s Mansion, you’ll find some hand painted coffee mugs.

Each is the handiwork of Jane Edwards, the chief probation and parole officer in Franklin County. She is a busy woman who won the Franklin County Artist of the Year Award in 1996 and just received the state probation and parole association’s top award at it’s convention in May.

Edwards joined the department as a probation officer in 1973 to help administer a testing program. When it was discontinued, she was assigned to Henderson to supervise female probationers in a five-county area. Eventually, she was assigned to Franklin County and became the chief probation and parole officer there in 1989.

"My most successful case was a young man who was overweight and a drunk. His brothers and sisters were doctors and lawyers. He hadn’t been successful and was convinced he wasn’t very bright," Edwards said. "I took him to Voc Rehab where they tested him and found that he was actually very smart. They showed him the results and it turned his life around. He stopped drinking, lost weight and went to college."

"I’ve always believed that if you can help people believe in themselves, you could help them change their lives," she said.

Edwards has always been active in professional organizations and communications. She started the first correction association newsletter in North Carolina, worked on the state employee association newsletter and helped start a newsletter for the state probation and parole association.

Always busy, Edwards began china painting after a series of knee operations. "I liked sculpture and watercolor painting, but with my knees I had to find something I could do sitting down," she said. "I’d work all day, go home and work on my china painting all evening and fire up the kiln filled with china when I got ready to go to bed. I accumulated so much, I had to begin selling some of it and then just began going to shows." Now she teaches a class on china painting at Vance-Granville Community College.

China painting can be done on inexpensive or very expensive china. Paint is applied thinly with a soft brush. The paint doesn’t dry, until it is fired in a kiln. Out of the oven, the china is sanded and cleaned with alcohol. The process is generally done three times and by building color on color, the painting appears iridescent.

Edwards who is retiring says she will continue teaching china painting, remain active in professional associations and hopes to re-establish the rose garden at her home.

NC DOC Correction News- July 1997
NC Department of Correction News
NC Department of Correction Homepage