It’s the end of an era for me, this is my last month working out of Jewel Envy. It’s been an amazing 4 years. I’ve learned so much and met so many wonderful people I hope I can stay in touch with for years to come. I started thinking about how much I’ve changed personally and how much my life in general has changed in the last 4 years. When I started at Jewel Envy I had just finished working at Matsu Jewellery for a year. I didn’t have too much experience on my own and was afraid of pretty much everything. I’d never even done a show on my own! I wanted to change all that. Here’s my first profile picture I sent to a show taken by our studio manger Alexis.
My work was mostly fabrication based. I was terrified of casting. I loved (and still do) piercing shapes out of sheet metal and fold forming copper into leaf shapes.
Then in the fall of 2012, Jewel Envy moved out of our tiny studio on Spadina into the large house on Marion you’re all familiar with now.
My locker didn’t have any handles yet and the benches across from me hadn’t been put in. I also moved out of my house and into my own apartment a couple months later. There was a lot of packing and unpacking!
In 2013 SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) held their annual conference in Toronto and I attended for the first time. We saw some great demos and checked out some nifty tools. Here’s my studio mate Amanda checking out Michael David Sturlin’s super cool saw frame.
Toronto also held it’s first TIJF (Toronto International Jewellery Festival) in conjunction with SNAG. Jewel Envy participated with its own exhibition “New Life”. My neckpiece “Guardians” was on the postcard!
Sapphire made a permanent impact when she entered our lives. One day she met my nephew Bronson, they both handled it pretty well if you ask me. Sapphire probably needed a bath from all the Great Dane kisses afterwards, though.
I became way more comfortable with casting to the point where I only have a mild heart attack but I can successfully cast on my own multiple flasks without freaking out 😀 I also started introducing more gemstones into my work and designed the perfect pair of earrings for myself and my pretend wedding. My selfie game did not improve and my glasses got a lot bigger.
I experimented with 3D printing, made a companion piece to an antique necklace that inspired a whole collection and made a bunch of engagement rings and wedding jewellery.
My craft isn’t the only thing that changed over the last 4 years, I was able to grow confidence and learn to get a better handle on my anxiety. I remember being paralysed teaching my first class 3 years ago, feeling way too many eyes on me during demos. Sometimes I still feel that way but it’s much easier to shake off. I’ve been very lucky and had some wonderful students to work with. Through years of practice and the confidence that comes with it I’ve been able to refine my teaching technique which has actually helped me with my own jewellery! Forever learning is the way to live.
I credit the amazing people I work with every day for the growth I was able to achieve and the obstacles I was able to overcome (or learn to work around ;P). In this next phase of my life I can only hope to learn more and continue making jewellery I’m proud of. It’s been real Jewel Envy, don’t be a stranger!