Thank you!

I thought I would write more of a personal blog for this weeks entry. Last week we celebrated our five year anniversary and we are still going strong. Jewel Envy has been my little baby and making it past the five year mark has meant the world to me. I think it’s important for everyone to know I could not have done it without the help of my family and the wonderful artists I have been lucky enough to meet and work with since Jewel Envy opened. Special thanks to Jewel Envy’s own studio manager Alexis Kostuk for thinking outside the box and always coming up with creative solutions!

Getting this cooperative space off the ground certainly presented challenges but every year we find new ways to grow and expand. This year we did it through our traveling exhibition of our jewellers work as well as our student exhibition of work made by Jewel Envy students. Through both initiatives we have been involved in the arts community and my hope is that we have and are making studio jewellery more accessible to the general public.

Stay tuned for some exciting developments in 2012. We have already starting planning so keep in touch with us!

All of the best for the season and coming year!
Gillian

I’ve noticed over the past year that there is a trend for wearing hand jewellery. When I say that, I mean jewellery that covers the back of your hand connecting to one or a series of rings, and a chain or something around the wrist. I was trying to figure out what the actual name for this Indian inspired adornment is and, although the internet is not always honest, I think they are called panjas.
They can be quite exquisite and intricate, or fairly simple.

Either way, I think they’re a really cool statement piece.

Nicole Scherzinger was seen wearing a hand bracelet by Privé on The X-Factor a couple weeks ago. Hers is a bit different, only resting on the palm. And oh heck yes it’s diamonds and white gold

I think I’m going to make a piece inspired by this trend!
-L

P.S. Don’t forget about our holiday party Dec 8th!

Holiday gifts

It’s the holiday season and everyone is looking for unique gifts.

So, is there a better gift then an original and hand-made piece of jewellery?
When it comes to originality and creativity, Jewel Envy goldsmiths have lots to offer.

Here is a sneak-peek of some of our pieces:


Enamelling small pieces

I have found one of the most challenging parts of enamelling is figuring out how to rig the piece for firing. These pieces are very tiny (7mm and less) so they would not balance on any of the trivets we have. I also tried a material called TFS thin firing sheet that is not supposed to stick to enamel but has not worked for me.

Enamelling of the concave surface was easy enough, but the subsequent enamel on the convex surface was a problem.

As shown above, the convex surface is marred by depressions made by the material is was balancing on during firing. 
Using fine binding wire tightly wound around the posts, hanging lines could be created.

All rigged and in place and ready for firing.

Oops, I forgot to take a picture of the finished pieces. But it worked–really!

Sunny Choi -Jewel Envy Studio

Hi my name is Sunny Choi and i just graduated from OCADU this year. My pieces are meaningful, one of a kind and “wearable”.  One of my strongest character is the delicate piercing and finding beauty through the details. I am currently in Jewel Envy studio and working my commission pieces. It’s an awesome place to stay in Jewel Envy studio with good environment and great people.

Holiday Preparation is well underway at JE!

It’s never to soon to start preparing for the holiday season and the studio is busy with everyone working away on new pieces to stock our shelves here at the studio and to send to the galleries that carry our work.  

I have recently been uploading the photos for my two latest collections unto my website and I am SO excited to finally have them up! The fall collection is titled “Auburn Notes” and the holiday collection is “Bellissimo”.

Now I can focus my energy on producing more creations for the Jewel Envy Holiday party and my annual Kathryn Rebecca Holiday Trunk Show.

I am looking forward to both events and to celebrating this holiday season!

Please contact me for more information about these exciting upcoming events.

Best,

Kathryn Rebecca

Hypoallergenic metal for jewellery

Those of you who have customers who are allergic to certain kinds of metal may be interested in a cobalt alloy I recently read about called BioBlu 27Cobalt. Extremely hard, strong and scratch-resistant, it is a medical-grade alloy that is biocompatible, which means that it can be used for medical devices  and prosthetics which are surgically implanted in the human body, such as artificial joints. Developed by Carpenter Technologies in the U.S., this hypoallergenic alloy is great for people who suffer from skin irritation cause by metal. Now I just have to figure out how I can get my hands on some — and how to work with it!

Young

A Present

This is a 14 Y, 14 W gold with palladium and sterling silver mokume gane bangle I made for my mother. Making mokume gane requires complex process, skill and patience. Although I learned it couples years ago while studying at OCAD, I have never tried and made it into an object because it looked very difficult at the time. After years of practicing, I finally have the confiedence to challenge mokume gane! During the process, I was almost emotionally break down and given up. However, I kept myself going, thinking how wonderful it would become once it’s done. So I did it. The beautiful pattern was created from grinding a 12 layers of three different types of metal I have soldered. Here is one suggestion if you like to try. When you just start, you may want to work with less expensive metal for practicing such as a combination of cooper and sterling silver or nickle silver and sterling silver.

ps. I think my mom really likes it since she wears it everyday!

Gems

This is going to be a short one, I am exhausted from the class today!  I wanted to be true to my promise of updating with pics of the results of our gem cutting class, see below. – Alexis

This is what my gem looked like this morning
this is after cutting away the side of the table

My wonky smokey quartz,
It’s challenging to get all the facets perfect which I didn’t achieve, but I’m still proud of the results!
Lianne Friesen’s Citrine

Kate Psaltis’ princess cut Citrine

Adventures in Gem Cutting

Boris Kolodny, our teacher

Rock quartz – what our gems looked like before we started
The set-up: my smokey quartz is there in the hand piece.

pre-polish lap – made with 20 carats of diaminds.

Yay! gem cutting!!

I jumped on board for the chance to take the gem cutting class that we have running this weekend at Jewel Envy.  I guess I have a romanticized vision of how cutting a gem stone would be like… selecting my gem from a lump of rock and imagining the precious cut gem within like Michelangelo would envision his sculptures trapped within the marble before he began carving.  Like anything you want to accomplish as a goldsmith it is fraught with nitty gritty details.  To speed up the process our teacher, Boris brought us students our chosen gem with a smooth cut gem that we would be adding facets.  To accomplish this we would be using a specialized hand tool that has precise degrees like a compass to tilt the stone at a certain angle and to rotate the gem by exact increments.  Using different grit “laps” we carefully grind each facet onto the surface.  All this is easier than described since there is such a tiny margin for error.  If you make one facet a bit too large than it will effect the entire cut of the piece (which is what I ended up doing and with the help of Boris correcting).  It also took me quite a while to get a good polish on my bottom facets, but after today I have completed 32 facets, woohoo!  I decided to leave the girdle of my gem unpolished.  As Boris let me know, the industry standard was to leave it unpolished only until about ten years ago.  I will post more pics and the final gem when I finish it tomorrow.

-Alexis 

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