white homing pigeon

In Good or Bad Company, the Critters of Giles County

My unexpected woodchuck guest who happened by the workshop last week unwittingly became the star of his own blog article. In turn, his comical presence motivated me to tell the tales of a few more of my Appalachian animal acquaintances. Living in a remote area does distance me from any excess of human population, but […]

wax model by Jeni Benos with carving tools

Tool Making & Wax Carving

Virtually any jewelry supply catalog has a variety of wax carving tools to choose from. However the vast majority of them are exceedingly large. These are wonderful for roughing out a design quickly. Although, they make it virtually impossible to achieve fine detail or navigate the awkward angles sometimes required by a complex piece. Only […]

Gecko Print By Ericka Hoffmann

Print by Ericka Hoffmann to Support Women’s Charities

I think it is virtually impossible to read about the various projects listed on the Girls Not Brides website without feeling driven to help in some way. This wonderful charity works diligently to educate and assist young women in developing countries. In these impoverished societies the female children are normally affected to a far greater […]

Horse necklace made for charity hanging on a branch

The Angeliki Horse for Charity Necklace Celebrates One Year of Giving Back

Just one year ago I released a necklace in memory of my great grandmother Angeliki in order to both raise money for women’s charities and raise awareness of issues facing women worldwide. In doing so I was awakened to some disturbing facts about just how prevalent issues of abuse and human trafficking are internationally and […]

Harry Kotowski

From WWII Radar Parts to Jewelry – The History of My B.C. Ames Lathe

Few tools can claim such a fascinating history as the B.C. Ames lathe that I have used regularly in my business for many years now. The machine began it’s long life in the B.C. Ames factory in Waltham MA where my grandfather, Harry Kotowski, worked. This company primarily produced precision gauges that were know to be […]

pliers, snips, a torch, sterling silver wire, and findings.

The Art of Fabrication

There are numerous processes by which jewelry is made. The work in my collection is crafted either through fabrication or the lost wax casting process. This article will outline some basic techniques used to work with non ferrous metals. Non ferrous metals include brass, silver, gold, platinum and those that do not contain iron and […]

Jeni Benos casting jewelry

The Lost Wax Casting Process Explained

Over the years I have found that one of the most commonly misunderstood methods of jewelry making is the lost wax casting process. I am frequently asked exactly how casting works. One popular misconception is that the mold is made in wax. Naturally questions soon follow regarding the ability of this material to withstand heat […]