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Rhodes-Moen, Jeanne

Jeanne Rhodes-Moen is originally from Temple Hills, Maryland, right outside of Washington DC. She lived 14 years in Kristiansand, Norway, and has recently moved back to the USA with her two daughters. She now lives in Asheville, NC.

In 1987, in college, Jeanne began making simple crystal and wire/bell cap jewelry because she couldn't afford to buy any of the crystal jewelry which had become popular with the coming of the New Age fad. She went to the gift shop at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, DC and bought rough Arkansas quartz crystals and others for between 50 cents and a $1 each, bought wire and bead caps at a hobby shop. She first made items for herself, then others became interested. She experimented more with her own style of wire wrapping and managed to make enough money for a student ticket to Norway to visit Bjørn, who would eventually become her husband for 12 years.

Bjørn had taken a course, together with his father in the 1970's , on traditional Norwegian bunad silver work. Bunad is what, in Norway, the national costumes are called. The jewelry used with these costumes is done in a style of silver filigree. Bjørn had planned to pursue jewelry as a career in life, but nothing ever came of it. When Jeanne visited in the summer of 1988, she and Bjørn drove several hours to where he had his father's old equipment and supplies and returned to Kristiansand where Bjørn showed her the basics.

Jeanne returned to the US after several weeks and began to invest in equipment, including lapidary equipment. The first stone she ever cut was an opal.

Over the years, she taught herself new techniques and developed her own style. Jeanne worked for a while at Golden Renaissance Jewellers in Waldorf, Maryland, where the owner helped her begin to move from amateur to professional by teaching her, among other things, proper polishing and finishing.

She mixes both traditional Norwegian filigree and more modern techniques and materials including intarsia, inlay, and drusy. She also make other styles of jewelry and some beadwork.

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