Created by artisan Jennifer Utsch, Jendala took form in November of 1998 after purchasing torches in Tucson, Arizona, where she worked as a Firefighter for Rural Metro Fire Department. It was the passion for the fire element that drew Jendala into its strength and beauty. Molding steel with fire is the ultimate expression for the messages of Jendala's heArt. Each art piece is handcrafted in Northern California from salvaged and reclaimed materials. Designed with a torch (the love of Jendala) and cut with a water-jet for sustainability, each piece carries a bell to sound the creation out into the world.
Inspired by my own need to express myself and connect deeply with people I originated my metal art business nearly 20 years ago. At the time I was firefighting in Tucson, AZ and it was thru this profession that I found my passion for fire, its remarkable beauty and power. I began a personal journey by torching meaningful symbols and language gathered from a variety of cultures, creating a meaningful product line. After years of careful refinement, my product line is now seasoned.
I have always been passionate about art and creating. Seeing promise, my high school teacher urged me to enroll in art school. Like so many, I never believed there was a future for me in art; so I veered in the opposite direction. Yearning to escape to the West, I left my home town in Virginia, and headed for college in the great Rocky Mountains. I graduated with degrees in Spanish and International Relations and went on to pursue careers of law enforcement, firefighting, real estate and teaching Spanish for Law Enforcement. In a nutshell, these experiences looped me back to my youthful connection with art and people.
I design all products using the hand torch which was my primary way of cutting until 2008, when I was forced to become more sustainable and eliminate airborne metal in the studio. All metal is reclaimed (mostly sheet metal and steel cans). My metal is cut with a water jet (a machine that pushes high pressure water mixed with garnet) and then powder-coated with my special formulated colors and assembled into its purpose. For years I hand-painted each piece and now with powder-coating, I am able to support a chemical free environment for me and my employees.
My product line is very simple, bold, colorful, and expressive. I especially love the affirmation chimes and flags which ring positive messages into the environment. Beads and bells are selected from Sustainable Cooperatives in India and Indonesia where I have a long relationship with these ethical and family run businesses.
Thanks to all of you for your continual support and encouragement as Jendala grows!