If you can dream it, artist/designer/metalsmith Jen Green can create it out of metal and your bike can wear it! The crowning touch to personalize your ride is a custom head badge from Revolution Cycle Jewelry From her shop on Philadelphia’s famed “Jeweler’s Row”, Jen crafts bicycle-themed earrings, pendants, and more, as well as traditional and not-so-traditional fine jewelry for any occasion and to suit any taste.
Where/how did you get your training in metalwork/jewelry arts?
I have a Fine Arts Degree, with my concentration in Jewelry/Metalsmithing from Towson University. Prior to graduation I started working a few days a week with a local jewelry artist. Laurie had her own line of silver pins and pendants she made mostly of cartoonish dog and cat figures. My primary job was to cut or “pierce” out dozens of these shapes that she had traced onto a 6″ square sheet of silver. So I got a lot of practice with cutting early on in my career.
Were bicycle-themed elements always part of your designs? (if not, when did you introduce them?)
Since I am a jeweler by trade, the cycling aspect only came into my work when I started making the head badges as a side business. I was asked to make a badge by a good friend of mine for his custom Moots single speed. At that time, I guess 14 years ago or so, there weren’t any local Moots dealers, so he had ordered the frame through a mail order company called Speedgoat. Speedgoat would then custom build the bike and deliver it. They often post photos of the builds on their website. So they posted his Moots frame with my custom badge on the front and thats how it all started. People saw that and followed the link to me and I started taking orders for custom badges.
How/when did you become the go-to person for custom head badges?
I think just sheer volume of the work over the past 15 years, and my website name of headbadges.com coupled with the exposure that social media and the Internet has done has expanded the audience. Plus, since I have so much experience now over the years honing my skillset, it shows in the work I can create and the limits can be constantly pushed.
What’s your favorite part of the design and/or construction process?
The interactions I have with the clients is a big part of it. If we ever have a chance to chat on the phone, its ALWAYS back to the bikes we are riding and the fun we have on our local trails or roads. The cycling community is amazing. I love the construction and process of the build. The challenge of making an image work in metal and at such a tiny scale. Its a multi faceted type of work. I enjoy everything about it!
Where do you find inspiration?
It has to start with the client, its custom work after all. Most inspiration hits me at odd times. If there’s a complex project on my plate, I usually need a few weeks or so to let it percolate before the process can happen. I have no real control over it- I wish I did! Taking breaks on the bike or walking my dogs is usually a great way to let my mind wander and think and problem solve.
What’s your favorite ride/route/destination?
So many, I used to love riding in the Wissahickon and Belmont Plateau, but now that I live out of the city I’m usually riding Marsh Creek, White Clay/Middle Run. I ride a fixed gear on Kelly Drive most days. I like to leave my shop and ride out to the Falls bridge and back. Its a great start to the day. I also love riding the country roads around my house in Chester county. Lots of huge farms and empty road. Great fun. I’ve ridden bikes all over Colorado, Utah, California, Oregon and Vermont. I still love my local spots though.
Do you listen to music while you work? if yes, what kind?
MUSIC! So much music, all day long.Its one of the best things about my day. I usually have different Pandora stations on so its shuffling stuff. Lately its been more mellow Peter Gabriel, Sting, 80s kinda stuff. Sometimes its more like Rise Against and Silversun Pickups or Jawbox or Biffly Clyro. All kinds of stuff.