Silver bead in a bag with anti-tarnish tabs

Preventing Sterling Silver from Oxidizing

Sterling silver is a wonderful metal for jewelry.  Silver’s bright luster will enhance any outfit beautifully.  Patinas can be added for striking contrast.  It is also a much more affordable option than gold making it quite collectable and perfect for gifts.  However, keeping silver at its very brightest can take a little extra care.  In previous posts I have given […]

a rough wax carving and a finished jewelry item

Humble Beginnings, The Wax Carving Process

Someone recently asked me how carving wax starts out.  First of all, there are a number of varieties to choose from.   Your specific application and personal preferences will naturally influence which type you choose.  Some artists prefer to add material to their model as they create it. I, however, almost always work subtractively.  Carving wax is primarily purchased in thick […]

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 […]

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 […]