Sunday, April 22, 2012

Button Swap Update

I received my package of goodies from my swap partner, Karen, and here they are. Two funky vintage metal jeans buttons, an elegant black round, and a romantic carved rose. So many possibilities!

I grabbed some artwork, French seam binding, and textured copper washers, and I can already see a piece or two taking shape.

Reveal is on May 13!

Friday, April 20, 2012

One Free Namechange Pass.

Apparently I'm not the only one. Not the only one who starts out thinking her blog and web-based life might go one direction, and then find out by doing that it's really meant to go another. Since I only have a few readers, and I'm related to most of you, I thought now might be as good time as ever to rename the blog, set up the new website, and get a new Etsy shop that matches everything. Never been a real matchy-matchy sort of girl, but apparently it's a good idea when it comes to this sort of thing, and I understand the unspoken rule on this is you get one free pass to change a name, but that's it. So, jenna's jewelry lab is going away, and Twin Birch Studio is taking it's place forevermore. The look will change, the URLs may change, but I'm working to preserve the links that are already established. **Crossing my fingers and toes that I don't lose all three readers I have in the process.** Stay tuned.

In other news... I've been playing around with reactive glass combinations-- love the black line that forms between the glass with copper (blue) and the glass with sulfur (vanilla, yellow, and orange.) See? Chemistry really IS cool.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sea Treasure Ring

I spent my Monday nights this winter at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts taking a terrific jewelry fabrication class. My teacher, Nancy Konig, had us cutting, soldering, bezel setting and polishing several pieces of jewelry right from the start. But what had me most excited (and intimidated) about the class: we would have the opportunity to do a lost wax casting. I must be living right because the week before we were to start the wax carving, the February issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry came out, and one of the articles featured Anh Nguyen's beautiful cast silver Sponge Colony Rings.

Of course, we were supposed to start with a simple dome ring, but this thing just looked too cool. Never having done anything like this before, I sucked up  most of my intensely patient teacher's demo time for the ensuing three weeks, and the magazine article was a reassuring guide. I finally finished polishing my ring up last night, and am pretty pleased with my freshman effort! I enjoyed the process of carving the shank, building up the wax, smoothing it all, even spruing and polishing. I've got a long way to go to get the finish as smooth as I want, but I'm seriously in love with this process and can't wait to make more.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Drawing to a close

Our beautiful warm weather tour is drawing to a close and I am happy and sad and sunburned and relaxed. We spent time with family and old friends, and I am especially grateful to have seen my dear friend Marta! She has known me for half my life, and has always been a big supporter of whatever creative endeavor I have undertaken. Marta was pretty tickled when I brought out some fused glass jewels and had her take her pick. We are bringing home handfuls of shells and shark's teeth and good memories, and leaving a few glass pieces with my friend at the beach.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Button Swap and Blog Hop

So happy to be in Cindy Wimmer's Button Swap and Blog Hop. My swap partner is Karen from bd-enthusiast.  Looking forward to pulling together a great set of buttons and goodies for Karen to design with, and to receive what she has selected for me. There are 90 participants in this swap, so that's a lot of hopping. Click on the graphic above or check out Cindy's blog at for the full list of participants and check out what they are up to!

Warm glass sunsets

Spent the last few days relaxing at the beach, spying turtles and iguana, and adding bails to a few glass sunset (or sunrise) pendants.