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 […]

brown bears fighting

The Pictures I Didn’t Get

Wildlife photography involves quite a bit more than a thorough understanding of your camera and it’s various settings.   Sheer luck is certainly one aspect that can’t be denied. Opportunities arise where the conditions just aren’t conducive to shooting a high quality picture or in some cases the camera is sadly out of reach. I think […]

page from Artemis Journal with Jeni Benos Photography

“Dancing Spirits” is published in highly regarded Artemis Journal!

  Many in the New River Valley are familiar with the Artemis Journal, a book published annually showcasing some of the talented poets and artists of southwestern VA and beyond. This year the publication is celebrating its fortieth year! I’m thrilled to be a part of this amazing book with one of my fine arts […]

sterling silver chains boiling in pan for cleaning

My Best Advice for Cleaning Sterling Silver, Some Facts About the Alloy & Why I Don’t Plate

Occasionally I am asked about jewelry care and cleaning tips for sterling. A few customers sometimes ask if my silver will tarnish. So I will start off by explaining that all sterling silver does tarnish over time. The quality mark for the alloy is .925 because it is 925 per thousandth pure silver and is […]

Osprey with a beer can in his nest

The Osprey, A bird with an appreciation for the finer things.

Among the most widespread birds of prey in America is the Osprey. Whether they simply pass through areas during their migrational pattern or reside permanently, they can be spotted everywhere in America. Through my photography I have noticed that bubble wrap appears to be a staple in any dapper osprey’s nest. I have always assumed […]

A Tricolored heron canopy feeding with his head tucked under an outstretched wing

Creative Hunting Techniques of the Tricolored Heron and the Snowy Egret

I have always been captivated be the natural world. As a child I spent every moment I could in the woods capturing salamanders, toads, and any other various creatures I happened across. Today wildlife remains my favorite subject for photography. From interesting insects to great brown bears; my time spent outside or on vacation is […]