From the ends of the Earth….to Toronto!

People everywhere simply swoon at the sight of a gorgeous gemstone. It would be difficult to deny the beauty and seeming magic involved as the Earth works tirelessly to continuously create these sparkly gems that awe. From the earth, moon, ocean and beyond – these specimens come in all shapes, colours, sizes and rarity. Some we use to adorn ourselves in jewellery, and some we simply marvel at!

In fact, you can see for yourself! Our very own Royal Ontario Museum ‘Earth’s Treasures’ Gallery currently showcases exceptional gems from all over the world – including a 900 karat diamond from Namibia and a wide collection of lunar and martian meteorites, just to name a couple. 🙂

If you are in the mood to see what has us Goldsmiths at Jewel Envy always excited and to see what Mother Nature is REALLY made of, make your way to the gallery and be sure to snap and share some pics with hashtag #jewelenvy #ROM- we want to see what WOW’d you!

900 karat diamond
Giant amethyst 
 

Link: https://www.rom.on.ca/en/exhibitions-galleries/galleries/natural-history/teck-suite-galleries-earths-treasures

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!

Warm Regards, Jess

Jewel Envy my favorite piece of “equipment”

Hello Sunday Readers,
There are many things in our daily life at
work, that make it extraordinary! These things are extraordinary, because we get
from them all we need to keep going, going with our lives, be proud of that we
do, enjoy what we have done and what we could accomplish!
These things at work are very different for
every one of us, but not less important! I can start with the facade of the big
blue house where it’s the studio, it’s a gorgeous house in the Polish neighborhood,
at Roncesvilles, with big windows, light is so important to me, I came from a country that
shines, and its light goes with me wherever I go, it’s at work! It’s at the
studio, I feel so fortunate every time I open the door, it’s the start of new day, another good and challenge day full of light!
 

Jewel Envy, The Blue House

My bench is big,  its location is the best, no one is behind
me, I have 360 degrees view of the floor and the incredible people on it. My
locker is one of the most important tools I have, it’s full of almost everything
that makes my work an adventure every day, I know every piece by heart, it can
be a heavy mandrel or a tiny drill, they all together make my work possible and
unique.

 

The Studio at Jewel Envy

We have so many tools like the rolling mill
machine, the casting machine, the ultrasound and many more that we share every
day. We have an incredible room call The Crystal Palace, in there we get together with our costumers to discuss new designs! 
The Crystal Palace

It’s difficult to talk about all we have at the studio, the whole thing is the secret of what I love
to do and it’s  makes my work life so amazing!
You can join us at Jewel Envy from Tuesday
to Sunday to have a look at this incredible place, the unique jewelry pieces
and the goldsmiths that can make all yours dreams come true!
Have a nice Sunday!
Helena

Introducing Robin!

Hi! 
I’m Robin, of House of Cassady. I’m the newest resident goldsmith to
join the studio, and am so excited to have joined such a creative, vibrant and
friendly environment.  I have newly
returned to Toronto (my home town!), after spending 18 years in the United
Kingdom, which is where I did most of my training in goldsmithing. 

I have been making jewellery for about 15
years, and have made a number of commissions for people (some of which are
pictured below).

A
client’s piece of raw amber, that they wanted to have made into a pendant, so I
made a sterling silver crocheted cage for it.

 

Sterling
silver riveted cufflinks with a scratch finish and oxidised recess

Sterling
silver and 9ct rose gold with opal triplets and round faceted sapphires made
for a client on the Isle of Harris in the outer Hebrides of Scotland-inspired
by the beaches and seaweed when I visited about two years ago.

 I spent a number of years exploring
different techniques and getting to know the kind of style I most enjoy, with
most of my inspiration coming from the world around me in nature, and
science.  I love more organic shapes,
texture and colour, and try to mix these elements up in my different pieces.

If you pop into the store sometime soon,
you’ll be able to see my inaugural collection, inspired by immune cells (which
I used to work on).  The original ideas
for some of these pieces (pictured below) came from an initiative to blend
science and art, a collaboration between the Edinburgh University and the
Edinburgh College of Art (where I was living and working at the time in
Scotland). 

 

Sterling silver asymmetric earrings in an
oxidised finish with 
needle felted insert.

Delicate
sterling silver roller printed hollow domes, in varying finishes on delicate
silver bead effect chains

 Sadly, the initiative never
quite got off the ground. However, the germ of an idea was born, and has
culminated in a whole range of shapes that I use as base components.  The components underlie the unique, sterling
silver contemporary pieces I have been making, incorporating gemstones, and
needle felt.

Hand Cut Gemstones

Lately, and coincidentally, I’ve had a lot of consultations about crooked settings, and I will dare to say in 90% of the cases, the setting is completely fine, and the “crookedness” comes from an uneven gemstone so I decided to write a bit about this not so big issue.

Gemstones can be cut in a variety of ways, with machines or by hand without or with the assistance of a machine, the later being the most common, this helps the lapidary (the gemstone cutter) have a lot of control on the cut, facets, color, and general shape. The human machine is incredible, but total precision is impossible, specially without the assistance of machinery. most gemstones are soft enough to be cut by hand, and will have slight imperfections on the cut (the crookedness most of my clients complain about).

In most cases, I advice to keep the stone as it is, nature is imperfect, and in gemstones, that imperfection just shows how special that gemstone was that someone took the time to work on it with their hands just for you. but if the sentimental route doesn’t work, you can always unset the stone and send it to a lapidary to be cut again, just keep in mind it will cost you.

 If you’re curious, this video will show you basics and examples of hand cutting gemstones. (Credit for the video goes to the Lawson Gems channel on YouTube)

This video is will show you step by step how gemstones are cut if you’re interested on the whole process with a machine. (Credit for the video goes to the Vintage Time channel on YouTube)

I hope this will help some of you, but you are always welcome to come to the studio and seek the assistance of an expert.

Wonderful Saturday for all!

Mauricio.

Becoming a Goldsmith.



Hello Sunday Readers, 
Being a Goldsmith is something
really new for me, after years at school and many more at work in
Colombia, as an economist, I came to Montreal and I had the opportunity
to learn and enjoy something completely different, I went back to school and I
became a goldsmith, it sound incredible even to me, I’m a goldsmith in
process, I learn every day and I know I won’t finish learning. 
I
work now with few people, incredible talented and unique, I feel this
time work is completely different than the one before, I was one among
eight hundred coworkers before, good and great people too, many of them still
my friends up today, but I was one more in a big chain, now I do my own
work and I have the chance of starting from scratches and see the final
product, to enjoy what I have done in a very different way than before,
the create what I design, I’m my own person!
Being an independent goldsmith running my own business from a collaborative space is so rewarding.
To
change an office for a bench was more than unthinkable. To work by
myself with myself is amazing. To work with talented people is a
challenge. To be happy when a client is happy, it’s a joy. 
I have learned so much in this few years that my baggage is much more lightweight. 
There
are rules, in every job there are, but they become a very important
part of my accomplishment,
the team at Jewel Envy, as I always call my
coworkers,
teach me every day how important is to be part
of an incredible an unique group of people, the artists than today are a very important part of my life. Seeing and admiring their incredible work, it’s one more thing
of the great things that been goldsmith gives to me every day. 
I
have been a happy camper all my life, I loved what I did for so many
years before, I love and cherish what I do now, I’m a proud mother and grandmother,
I’m a lucky one! 
A pic of my last work, 9 K Aquamarine in White Gold with Diamonds. 
HPLafaurie, Jewellery Design

                                                             




Have a nice Sunday! 

Helena

Earring hooks

As some one who lives in Canada I love that I get to rotate through my scarves starting in fall and throughout winter. What I don’t love is losing a beloved earring because of these scarves. I just love dangling earrings (I wear them much more often than studs) and I consistently wear and use plastic backings to stop my fave pairs from slipping off accidentally. The only drawback to these things are that you will inevitably drop one on the floor and you are better off to grab another one than to try and search for one of these things. We always have baggies of these guys available for purchase and include them on any jewellery bought at the studio.

These little plastic do-dads have become my saving grace. Plastic earring stoppers start off very snug so I usually twist them on/off earring hooks so I do not bend the hooks out of shape and I keep a small pile in my jewellery box handy for when I am getting ready in the morning.

Do you need to replace earring hooks on some of your jewellery? think about what style you would prefer, we love switching things up for customers so you can get as much wear out of your jewellery as possible. Take a look through a few options and let us know what style you prefer! – Alexis

I don’t know about you, but I just do not like this type of earring hook. These are your everyday run of the mill commercially available earring hooks – The best things about them it that they are very easy to put on because the angle of the wire makes it easy to insert, but they fall out way too easily. At the studio we have often replaced them completely with handmade earring hooks, bend them a bit to alter their shape, as well as softening the tip of the earring to remove blunt edges that are uncomfortable.   

Ah, the tried and true. When we make earring hooks they often look like a variation of this. They have a bit of extra length to make them easy to insert and are bent downward so they are less likely to slip off. Wear these accompanied with the plastic earring stoppers and you are good to go. 

This style is a great option in which you can forgo the plastic earring stoppers, as you can see the style can be adjusted to suit the rest of the earring.

These commercially available earring hooks are often a go to for customers as well. They have a backing that snaps open so you can slip your earrings on and then snap into place to keep it from falling off.