Art Tools - A Community Funded Mural Project

This mural is scheduled to be painted on the back of Artworks in Loveland, Colorado starting the week of October 14th, 2017!  We will paint DURING the Loveland Art Studio Tour!

We have a lot of work to do to fund this project in one month and we need your help to share it with everyone you know. 

Here are the reasons Loveland is supporting this project and MATCHING all funds donated!

1.  A mural will cover some tagging in the alley which makes the space seem unsafe and unwelcoming - a mural can liven up the space to make it inviting

2.  The community can enjoy the alley to it's fullest potential during festivals and other events where outdoor space is a premium.

3.  The alley is a nice place to have a phone conversation buffered by the street noises & lots of area business staff use this alley for this exact purpose.

4.  Loveland Integrated School of the Arts students get to paint with the artist for free & when students get to work with professionals, they get so much more than creative time, they get business advice, information on proper materials handling & disposal, the art of asking for outdoor public art permission, and they get photos to add to their portfolios for school credit & college preparation.

This is a big step for Loveland, a town known for it's art!  The stores are full and there are very few "for rent" signs which means the downtown area is thriving.  We are ready to take the next step to being not just "a place to be" but being "the place to be!"  Let's do this together.

Please share this link with everyone you know - if every person in Loveland helped fund this project it would only require thirty cents from each person!

Give what you can and share, share share!  THANK YOU




Children of Aleppo Part II

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.

Zoom and the Advanced Retreat

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


Make a Wish (That's code for Make a Rockin' Box out of metal)

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!

Build a Little Birdhouse in Your Community - A Story About 2nd Chances

"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!