Thank you all so much for you generosity! We were able to raise $300 in one day!!!! I'm amazed and humbled and I so appreciate your willingness to do something right now about this serious emergency overseas. Children should not be raised in this kind of brutality. I hope that Unicef can send the funds where it's most desperately needed. I hope we can do more... but for now, Thank you! Enjoy your ornaments & I hope whenever you unpack them and put them on your tree you remember the good you've done for kids.
I am doing an ornament fundraiser for the children of Aleppo & the angels who are trying desperately to evacuate them to safer places. This is an emergency & no child should ever see what these kids are seeing. Heartbreaking. Donate directly to Unicef or White Helmets (The White Helmets pull people out of rubble, people buried alive). Stop everything and give anything. Buy an ornament and I will donate 100%!
PEACE and LOVE to you all.
One of my biggest fans is a friend of mine who introduces me as her "friend who makes incredible things but is a big juicy slice of humble pie!" I had to think about this humble pie business because I'm on the internet constantly tooting my own horn. I was told once that "if you don't toot your own horn, you'll sit in a corner among 600 other jewelers twiddling your thumbs!"
In real life social situations, however, I will glaze over my story to get to the good part... a stranger's story! I just love the tip of the ice-burg stories that people are willing to share in small bursts. I love the highlights reel. Come to think of it, I like sports, but have never really sat thru a full sporting event. I like the highlights. I like to look up and watch the replay of something spectacular! I like meeting new people and while a good business person will take advantage of the opportunity to share their accomplishments with a captive audience, I do have a habit of rushing past my story to get to theirs. I know I learned this in school where I would rush through my presentations and then sit back and enjoy all the others!
Humble Pie. It's maybe a nice way of saying "she's so nosy she'll forget to share HER story!" haha
Well, this blog is for all of you that I met at a cocktail party and especially those of you who told me deep dark secrets (a gift I can hardly repay because my secrets are silly and insignificant). But, if you are like me, and you were disappointed by my interrogation and hoped to hear more of my story, then you shall find more right here in the months to come!
I was invited to participate in a week long retreat at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg Tennessee last year with twelve wildly talented educators from across the nation. I was intimidated to say the least. The resumes of these other creatives far exceeded my own. But, in typical Jennie Milner fashion, I jumped at the opportunity. I didn't question whether or not Ana Lopez had mistaken me for another Colorado artist and dialed my number accidentally. This "leap in" plan has always served me well. When the metals professor at The University of Northern Colorado (Cece Wire) called desperately seeking a replacement effective immediately I said "yes." The reason I say "yes" and then figure this stuff out is because making jewelry is NOT brain surgery (we do use some of the same tools, however). We are in a luxury market making things that aren't going to save anyone's life! We aren't even teaching anyone to save lives. The best we can do is teach the people who are saving lives how to step out of their own worlds and let us touch their hearts with the universal language of art.
Why would I doubt for a minute that I have something to add to the jewelry conversation? So I don't doubt. This doesn't mean that I don't scare myself, shrink into the wallpaper as soon as I'm in the presence of greatness and become a total nerd who sleep walks and sleep talks to my poor roommate during the entire experience. This gives new meaning to "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission" ("Is it okay with you if I wake you up at 3am and talk to you as if we've been in an hour long conversation already and then not remember it at all in the morning?").
Anyway, the work we made that week is extraordinary! The show opens today at ZOOM Symposium in Milwaukee Wisconsin and if I didn't have kids and graduations and birthday and the end of the school year and a credit card to pay off for the initial experience, I would be there to see it! I'm proud of us. It was all about making space to create. We left children andfamilies to attend & we needed the time to push our work into an unknown space. If you are in the area this week, go see the show at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
Thank you Stephanie Voegele (curator), Ana Lopez (organizer), Haley Bates, Jeff Bowie, Motoko Furuhashi, Jill Gower, Yevgeniya Kaganovich, Anya Kivarkis, Natalie Macellaio, Becky McDonah, Mary Pearse, Phil Renato, Lauren Selden and Cappy Counard! I hope I get the pleasure to see you all again very soon!
Check it out here: ZOOM SYMPOSIUM
J.C. Milner Wall SculptureRead More
Drawing-a-Day #25/2016Read More
Half of you have been begging me to do this for a long time and the other half are asking me "what in the world is an adult coloring book?" Am I publishing adult content? Is this something we should be talking about publicly?
So what is an adult coloring book? It's a few things. It's permission for adults to color without having to gag on some Disney princess while you do it. It's a recommended stress relief technique that has proven very successful for many people. Ask around, everyone is coloring! When the doctor asks stressed out adults "what do you do for self care?" You can get an expensive mani-pedi, or you can salt scrub exfoliate with Aveda products, but none of these things can be done in less than 20 minutes in a coffee shop on your lunch break. Self care needs to be a habit & it seems coloring is catching on like Elsa & Olaf at Halloween (only waaaaaay different).
Adult coloring books are as much about stress relief as they are about content. Some coloring books are challenging and intricate and kids would cry if they got hold of one. Adults too, in my opinion. Repetitive mathematical shape stacks are no fun. I'm sorry Aztec pattern lovers, you will not find this sort of thing here. So, what I've tried to do is eliminate math totally from my work and my life. I find that very helpful. I draw whimsical scenarios and some are quite complicated. I prefer a group of average ladies standing by the pool waiting for something (who knows what?) looking in all directions with swirly waves that a person could literally color fifty shades of teal.
If you've followed me for a long time you know that I love to draw every day. Unfortunately, I also love to color my own drawings (gouache is my preferred medium)... so when I was asked to make coloring books, I looked into my 17 years worth of sketch books and not one drawing was print ready. So I began the purposeful task of recreating 40 drawings in the proper format. I'm already working on the next 40 drawings... so don't worry, if you power through these Zines, more are on the way!
I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them. Please visit "New Work" for Zines available now. If you wish to buy 40 or more, please email me about wholesale pricing!
Ring BlingRead More
High School for me (and most other people, I realize) was a tough time. I was a minority (yes, I'm white), I was naive, my school was undergoing historic strife including teacher strikes, gunman on campus (that was my locker partner), drug busts, gang violence, and if that wasn't enough, East Colfax where my school was situated was routinely closed in an effort to prove that prostitution wasn't the highest paying job available to women.
So, one of the highlights of those four years was my Mom's hairdresser. He moonlighted as a special effects make-up artist. One day he called me to do the weirdest thing I've ever done. I was to join him for a polo match where we were the official "face painters" for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. I made a wish that day (as wishes were on my mind as we raised thousands of dollars for kids who needed more than one wish). It was very selfish. I was a teenager! I wanted life to take me away from poverty, violence, and frustration and deliver me into more opportunities like this one. I felt like the luckiest kid alive that day. I was trusted. I was talented. Prince Charles was there. Money was flowing like a chocolate fountain at a champagne brunch! Possibility was present.
My wish came true. I find myself in the strangest most exhilarating scenarios often, but there's still this pull to give others the perspective that Shamus (the hairdresser) gave me that day. To let others see that you can be trusted, talented, and entertained by your job & you can be rewarded. This is why I teach. Lapidary Journal gave me an opportunity to teach what I do best (make silver boxes) and let me explore wish-making at the same time. It's a very simple beginner project... but it came from the heart. The top of the box is open, so you can write your wish on a piece of paper and tuck it in. What would you wish for?
Click on the picture above to follow the link to the video downloads. There are six other J.C. Milner projects and hundreds of other videos to download. If you aren't interested in making it yourself, I would be more than happy to make it for you! A new perspective is priceless and wishes DO come true!
"We had to believe in impossible things" says the intro to Ted Radio Hour and this I listen to a lot. More importantly I listen while I'm working. So today, I broke the capture for the pin back off of this brooch at the very last stage! So... a whole new back plate had to be made & I had to figure out how to attach it to the already finished & resined piece! I think it didn't just turn out nicely, I think it's 10 times better than the original design! In fact, I'll do it like this from now on... Believe in impossible things and be pleasantly surprised!
So, the story of this brooch begins with a little bird who built a house in a little town and she planted flowers and she takes it all with her everywhere she goes! It's all a part of who she is!
Thank you, to everyone who has called me the night before Mother's Day or on the eve of a loved one's birthday and asked me to send photos of my new work! Thank you for being patient with me and meeting me all over the place to collect your hand-made J.C. Milner Metalworks art jewelry.
This method of purchase, exhilarating as it is... is now easier, AND everyone can purchase items hot off the press from anywhere in the world!
I can upload new work right from my bench to this new site & you can trust that your information is safe with me! I hope you like this new online store. I will update often and if you find yourself gift-less the day before Valentine's Day, please know that I haven't dismissed the old method of coming through for my people at 10PM in the grocery store parking lot! I still love the adventure of it all and I love seeing the expression on the face of a person who loves my work! It's really the best.
When you purchase here, feel free to email me with comments (and selfies) when you get your items! I will look forward to this new change and I hope you will visit often!