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J Meden

Jean Menden
By Mail:  3220 150th St.
                Boyd,MN 56218

By Phone:  320-769-4691 

www.jmendensilver.com

Jewelry has been a passion of mine, since junior high art class. One memorable day, we were given an assignment to create an original design for jewelry. While the others whined and struggled I was in my glory. My design was so complicated it took me a week to cut it out with a jewelers saw! I sure wish I could find that pendant now. It would have a place of honor on the first page of this web site.
Then about 10 years ago a dear friend gave me a Native American woven pair of earrings. I loved them and wore them constantly until they just fell apart. The design and how they were made intrigued me, so I got some books and tried bead weaving. It was so much fun working with those itsy little seed beads.
  Yes, a small bracelet took me all week, and the pieces I made ended up mostly as gifts for friends and relatives. As time went on, I polished my new skills branching out into stringing/weaving more challenging pieces, necklaces and earrings.  From there I began to experiment with making my own findings with sterling wire.
Finished pieces began to find buyers. Little by little the business I called BeAD HABIT developed.
  Way back in 1977, a trip to Norway kindled an interest in working with sterling silver. The Norwegian silversmiths are "out of this world"! As I think back to that trip ideas flood into my head. They became the inspiration for developing a Norwegian style of filigree work. When I say "style" I mean I have used the concepts of Norwegian filigree work but developed it into a thicker, more substantial "statement" piece of jewelry while still maintaining those traditional Rosemaling type shapes. One day a brochure for the Milan Village Art School classes came in the mail. They were offering silversmithing. It sounded so exciting, I immediately signed up. For two years I took all of the classes offered and a new career in silversmithing was born. I owe my knowledge of tool use and basic smithing skills to Tom Johnson the master silversmith and teacher at the MVAS.
  Next, my husband, Tony, and I planned and built a shop in the corner of what was once a granary on our place. I scavenged around for the best tools I could find for my money, began reading books and tutorials on the internet to further perfect my skills. I discovered another wonderful teacher of smithing, Don Norris from Estes Park Colorado. I took his classes, and even had him come to Minnesota for a private lesson at my place last fall. Combining Don's eccentric methods and ideas with my own designs and techniques has evolved into my business as a silversmith and jewelry designer.
  Yes, I still enjoy working with gemstone beads. I like to combine strung jewelry with the items I make in my shop. In fact, there's a "stringing corner" in the TV room where I can work and watch TV. The beauty of those gorgeous little gemstone treasures fascinates me as much as ever. Last spring I retired from 25 years of teaching, and thanks to a lot of hard work plus the support and encouragement of my husband, parents, daughters, and good friends, I am now a self employed jewelry artist.
  Home is rural Minnesota... Lac Qui Parle County, between the towns of Dawson and Boyd. Sharing it with me is my husband Tony, two Golden Retrievers, three cats, and three horses. (My other passion) Come and see me and my work. Visitors are always welcome.