My name is Jennifer and I like old things.
I am a maker, engraver, artist, equestrian, history nerd, world traveler and a master antique hound.
I believe history is important, whether it is the history of the world or your own personal history. Every piece I create is designed to encourage thoughtfulness of the past and translate it into today. I gain my inspiration through my travels and experiencing the places and artifacts of history. By utilizing techniques from the past and taking my inspirations from history, I create pieces that are filled with heritage and memories.
Ever since I was young, I was fascinated with history and would travel with my family to museums, historic sites, and national parks. From that young age, I was instilled with an appreciation for history and the outdoors. I was also obsessed with horses and would beg my parents for riding lessons and grew up trail riding, fox hunting, and drawing them constantly. Over the years, none of those obsessions have changed, in fact they’ve only gotten stronger.
I graduated from college in Virginia with a degree in historic preservation and while in school I got my first horse, Holliday. With him, I was introduced to Civil War reenacting and he was my trusty cavalry mount for many years.
As he aged, soon came the day we had to say goodbye to Holliday. I was looking for a piece of horsehair jewelry that I could have made that would keep him close to me, but I wanted it to be modeled after Victorian Era mourning jewelry, which is the same era as the Civil War. I couldn’t find anyone making it and that’s when the first bolt of lightning struck! I enrolled in a jewelry class so I could learn to fabricate the settings and then, through trial and error, I learned the hairwork aspect of it. I then created a small business creating memorial jewelry with horsehair and pet hair. I soon wanted to learn how to hand engrave the pet’s name on the back in the traditional manner.
With that curiosity I was introduced to hand engraving. I found a local engraver who was willing to teach me and spent some time with him learning the ins and outs of the trade. There has been a great renaissance in engraving with the introduction of air assisted engraving machines and there are numerous engravers producing fantastic art with them. While I tried to get the hang of engraving with that machine, it just didn’t feel quite right. Engravers have been using simple gravers powered with their hands for centuries and creating beautiful work! Why couldn't I do that? So I ditched the new age machines and returned back to the historic methods of engraving where I am the most comfortable.
I continue to build my artistic style by exploring the old techniques of engraving, printing, and jewelry making, as well as learning the history behind them. Through a process of self discovery, trial and error, and the help of numerous mentors, I am able to craft a skillset that is unique and completely my own and it is something I look forward to sharing with you.
2021 - Halstead Grant Finalist