Every month we feature artwork by a different local artist. February’s Artist of the Month is Jennifer Benz. Her beadwork is displayed in the glass cabinets next to the Twice Sold Tales bookstore in the library. Beadwork doesn’t do well hanging on a a wall.
Here she is in her own words:
I like rocks…and fabric…and yarn…and BEADS! I have been a fiber artist all my life. Being one who believes in tradition, I encouraged my Grandmother to teach me to crochet and embroider before I turned 7. Some years later, I convinced my Mom to teach me to sew.
Growing up in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming and Oregon, I found a respect and love of Traditional Native American Beadwork. Girl Scout camp introduced me to my first Seed Beadwork class and I have ALWAYS been a lover of rocks, which led me to Gemstone Jewelry.
I have been in the Jewelry Business since 1987 and Sewing for the public since 1992. I combined my talents to start designing and beading gowns soon after. I enjoy sewing dance/drama/and Halloween costumes and have found a love for all things spandex. I learned to quilt along the way and published my first quilt pattern in 2010 for Canby Quilts.
I enjoy giving back to the community through my art. As a member of the Zoar Lutheran Sewing Circle, I help to sew quilts for Clackamas County Children’s Services Division.
I am continuing the tradition of teaching the handicrafts that I have grown to love to the younger generation as a Girl Scout Leader and a 4H Leader. I also teach classes in different forms of Beadwork and Sewing/Quilting in groups and individually.
I have a love of Music which led me to becoming President of the Canby Music Boosters, teaching Piano and Flute lessons, and volunteering with the Canby High School Band Program.
I am compiling some of my Gemstone Jewelry designs for a book on Beadwork Design. I am also actively writing crochet patterns to publish as well. I enjoy the freedom to create due to a wonderful network of family and friends, without whose support I would be very limited indeed. Where would we be without ART!
J.J. Katharina’s Custom Beadwork and Sewing
Jennifer Benz – Artist