Jen and I have been chatting back and forth via email the past few weeks, and she recently sat down and answered 5 questions for me after recovering from her first NASFic.
Q: Where do you get your inspirations?
A: From everything in life — people, literature, nature, art, movies, music, history, mythology. Sometimes I dream about jewelry. I think in jewelry. To me, it’s a kind of language, and when I create pieces, I’m telling a story. With many of the things I see or experience, I think, “How could I tell this in jewelry?” Last year, I won a writing contest with a short story called “Wren & Wood.” So, I made myself a pair of earrings with small brass wrens and ceramic tree branch charms. I’m weird that way.
Q: How long do you typically find yourself working on a piece?
A: The physical act of making the piece can take anywhere from five minutes to five years. It really depends on the item. Earrings can happen almost instantly — I see two matching things and I put them on earwires. Other creations, such as my steampunk or relic pieces, they can sit on my work table, in process for years. But, really, even the “five-minute” pieces have years of thought, technique, and creativity behind them. As I mentioned, jewelry is constantly on my mind.
A: I heard you recently attended your first sci fi convention – what did you enjoy the most?
A: If I’d seen a Narn, that would have been the best. But I didn’t. So, I’d have to say the enthusiasm of the participants. Everyone there was so NICE. It was that family feeling, that sense of community, like I feel with the Browncoats. I’ve been involved in the Raleigh Can’t Stop the Serenity for five years — three years as coordinator, one year as a global sponsor, and this year as sponsor/co-organizer. I’ve met the most incredible people in the Firefly fandom.
Q: If you were to suddenly find yourself in the League of Evil, what would you want your villain name to be?
A: That’s a tough question for me, because I admire acts of personal heroism and people who stand against injustice. I’m much more like Penny than Dr. Horrible. If I was in an elite cadre, it would probably be the “Mystery Men.” I love that movie. I’d be “The Jeweler” and my weapon would be a chasing hammer. I’d wear lots of necklaces, which I’d break and throw the beads on the floor so my nemesis would slip and fall.
Find out more about Jen Hilton and JLH Jewelry online at www.jlhjewelry.com