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Jenny's love affair with glass - and making jewelry - goes back farther than she can remember. Even her first play blocks had holes in them. Jenny's interest in glass grew as she moved from Native-American style beadwork into metalwork. "I wanted to learn glass when I first enrolled at the University of Oregon in 1984" she says , "but they only offered metalsmithing. So I took that instead, and learned many skills I still use today - like making two earrings that match." In 1992 Jenny had her first class in glass beadmaking, or' lampwork', at the Pratt Center for Fine Arts in Seattle.

Lampwork is an ancient method of making beads, by melting rod glass in an open flame, and forming it into beads freehand, at roughly 14-hundred degrees. While many glass bead makers see the bead itself as the finished product, Jenny sees it as part of a process. "Because I am a jeweler first, and a bead maker second, my work is somewhat different" from that of most other glass artists. Jenny envisions a completed work, then prepares components as parts of a whole. She also draws inspiration from the traditional Venetian glass beads. "I've always adored the antique beads, and like to capture that warmth. And because I use the Italian glass, I'm drawn to classic color combinations." But she isn't limited by the old -- her updated versions of ancient 'eye' beads are decidedly space-age, fittingly called "Sputniks" after the early Soviet space capsule. Some of the beads are made from dichroic glass, a scientific spectral glass used in the space shuttle and supermarket scanners. Even traditional 'latticino' twist becomes 'DNA' in Jenny's hands. Once cooled, the beads are strung with silver, semi-precious stones, pearls, crystal, cut glass or antique beads for a sense of balance. "I especially love to mix the intricate, sterling silver from Bali with my bright glass beads." In addition to her hours at the torch and jeweler's bench, Jenny spends three- quarters of her working time behind a microphone at public radio station KLCC in Eugene.

Since 1988, Jenny has been the mid-Oregon voice of Morning Edition, a news program from National Public Radio. "I really love radio" she says "and it gives me some freedom to pursue my art. But I still hate to get up so early in the morning!" Jenny is also an armchair musicologist, who puts her African music collection to work as a substitute host for Tropical Beat, KLCC's world music program. In addition, Jenny does freelance voice work, and sings whenever possible. As for the personal stuff? "No kids, no dogs, no husbands - just careers, and a lot of laughs". Jenny and her friends - - the Retronesians - - relax with cool beverages and swinging tunes in their own backyard Tiki Lounges. "Tiki is a state of mind, located somewhere near the intersection of Tahiti and the '50's" says Jenny. Maybe that explains all those tropical flowers in her beads!