MsJenAmaze: How it Began

I’ve always wanted to entrepeneur. The seed was planted in middle school when I read a novella that involved an inspiring woman who owned a local and well loved cafe. I wanted to be some kind of shop owner ever since (right now it’s an online shop)! I think, in great part, I wasn’t able to realize or admit that was my dream because I didn’t think it was possible. I didn’t have money to invest, I didn’t have a support system of people who thought I could do it, all I had was this vision that kept creeping back in and getting me excited. I honestly don’t know what makes me happier, the ability to create art for income, or the challenge of building and marketing my own business from virtually nothing!

I remember, very vividly, the day that I became the artist I am. It kind of started when I began sewing doll clothes, at about 10 or so. But it really took root when I was around 11 or 12…

I was sitting around, being very bored, as usual, when it occured to me to make something. Make what? I don’t know, think of something! With what materials? I don’t know, think of something! I thought of a recent project in school I did that involved turning a wire coat hanger into a circle. So I did that. What to do with it? Make a windchime! I rummaged through some rarely used junk drawers in the dining room. Old silverware! Perfect! I grabbed them, some string, and a few random junk drawer items and made, what I thought was, the coolest windchime ever to exist on the face of the earth.

I didn’t realize I was an artist then. I was still very identified with being an academic student. But that’s when my inner artist was clearly born. And that’s where most of my creations start… from a restlessness, a boredom, a desire to make something happen, to be inspired!

When it finally came down to it, I realized I had to stop asking for others to validate my dreams and just go for it. Since I’d always been a maker and I’d always wanted my own small business, I just shoved the two together and here we are! I am so pleased and surprised by how much my business has already grown and taken roots!

I really wanted to write this just to tell everyone how I named my business, but then all that happened ^^^. Haha. Anyway, the long of the short, I didn’t name myself Jen Amaze, it was actually coded for: Jen (is) a maze. Because I’m so complex and cool like that. I was just bored one day and wanted to make myself a fake name on Facebook, for fun and anonymity, so I settled on Jen Amaze because I like double entendres and it sounded good. But then some friends started calling me by that name and my ego enjoyed the way it sounded 😂

When I was in highschool, some of the more formal teachers would add prefixes to the student’s names and would call me Miss. I liked the way that sounded, too. So I just squished it all together to create an easy social media handle: MsJenAmaze. It wasn’t being used anywhere on the internet, so I was able to use that name everywhere, which is important for branding business. It’s easy, it’s catchy, it’s my name, it was good enough for me. I may decide to rebrand in the future. Or not. Who knows?

Polishing Your Metal

What you need:

*A polishing cloth and SUPER FINE 0000 STEEL WOOL

When I started making jewelry with copper, I LOOOOVED the way the copper looked and shined after it was oxidized and polished. For such an inexpensive and abundant metal, it sure is beautiful and a pleasure to work with. However, it oxidizes FAST, which means it turns black and brown after a week or so of being worn (sometimes faster). It can also turn your skin green (temporarily) which most ladies don’t prefer. I felt like I would be cheating people out of an easy wearable piece if I didn’t figure out a way to ‘hold’ that shine longer and prevent the green. So I played with different sealants. While they worked well for earrings, for other things that you’d wear on your skin it is just not worth it! It ruins the whole point of skin on skin healing contact with copper! No sealant is going to last long enough, and they can just feel kinda weird to sensitive skinned people. So I’m throwing out sealants all together! Except on some earrings, sometimes, and it will be noted in the description.

That being said, it’s mostly REALLY easy to polish your copper. For the most part you can just get a polishing cloth on Amazon, or Michaels, from your local jewelry shop and maybe even a hardware store or 2. These are great for daily and weekly maintenance. You can polish your jewelry every day if you always want to be on your top SHINE. Or whenever you feel like.

After a while you might need a more intensive ‘scrub’ to get that oxidation off. For that I LOOOOOVE Steel Wool SUPER FINE 0000. I might not use it forever because it leaves a hardly noticeable ‘brushed’ metal effect, which not all pieces are meant to have. It’s a style preference. But right now I use it a lot because it’s very accessible, cheap, and super effective to polish up metal fast and beautifully. Just take your cloth (or steel wool) and use a circular motion, or ‘scrub’ in one direction, until you get the look and shine you want. You can do this on your copper and silver pieces, but the .925 sterling silver I use wont need it very often. *It is recommended to polish silver with a polishing cloth

There are LOTS of methods, actually, for cleaning metal and some of them are metal dependant. There are different chemical compounds you can buy, and most of them will work as advertised. Some are more natural then others, and you’ll want to do your research because I don’t use them and can’t make a recommendation. There are also ‘kitchen concoctions’ you can google and try. You might do different things for your copper pieces then you would for you silver or gold. For now, and for my jewelry, I’d recommend keeping a polish cloth and some SUPER FINE 0000 STEEL WOOL (easily found at all hardware stores). It must be SUPER FINE or it will leave scratch marks, ew!

If you are a fine jewelry collector and lover, you’ve maybe figured out that an ultra sonic machine will do the best job cleaning your gems. But you still have to POLISH them first to get that tough black/brown/green off. Alternatively, your local established jewelry shop should have some jewelry cleaning options and services for you.

So now that I’ve explained myself, if you see a free small polishing cloth or a chunk of steel wool in your order fom my site or Msjenamaze.Etsy.com, now you know what to do!

Hello, I’m Jen…

… from Chico, CA. I’m an artist and self educated metalsmith. I’m currently working on my bachelor’s degree. When I’m not in school or working on creative projects, I’m taking care of my son, making vegan food, researching various topics (from health to politics and spirituality) and enjoying the outdoors.

I’m easy to get a hold of on social media and email. I enjoy being challenged by custom ideas, so don’t be afraid to ask! The worst I’ll do is say, “I just don’t have the time, tools, or skills for that.” By now, or sometime soon, I should have some customizable options available for easy purchase… a few ‘build your own ring/necklace/earring’ options. Currently I have a nice variety and selection of ‘build your own lightercase’ options available here.

If you really want to support my work and see what I’m making in real time, you can find me spreading the love on Instagram @msjenamaze, on my Facebook page, or on Pinterest! Right now I’m mainly selling through my Etsy shop, but I can do PayPal, Venmo, Google Pay and Facebook payment, for a slightly discounted cost. Get in touch via facebook, instagram or email at msjenamaze@gmail.com!

***Eventually I’ll sell directly from this site 🙂

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