‘Pepper Berries’

Pennsylvania artist Jenn Bell, whimsically puts the petal to the metal with luminous copper and enamel artwork. Rich with texture and patina, Bell handcrafts each piece by fusing crushed glass to a sheet of copper. Bell then hand-forms copper wire and fills its pattern with colored glass to create this sweet, pepper berries design.

Each original pieces comes ready to hang.

“My eyes have always wanted to put things in places, my hands to build things.”

As a graduate from Kutztown University, she studied jewelry design, but made horrible jewelry. It was between classes that she played with metal, and she loved it.

One semester, she noticed an enameling class started two hours later than her 8 am jewelry class. At first introduction, she hated enamel, but loved the idea of those 2 hours and afterwards figured out that she and enamel “made nice.”

“It was all I wanted to do, I enameled everything…it didn’t make the jewelry any better though.”

After graduating, she bought a kiln. Fast forward through waitress jobs and mind-numbing office-type work, moping her way around Scranton, she continuously tried to figure out how to make people buy her bad jewelry, a craft that she didn’t agree with nor did it agree with her.

Some time later, a friend opened a small gallery and asked if she wanted to hang some of her work. At first, hanging jewelry didn’t make any sense, but the word “sure” sprung out of her mouth along with, “bartender, get this man a drink!”

For Bell’s first project in that enamel class she took some time ago, she made tiny tiles – and of course, tried to hang them on people’s necks, just trying too hard to get it to work. She thought “what if I did that, but bigger…and hang them on walls…” and she did. Now, that’s what she does.