Give a holiday gift with sentiment and intention by getting in touch to create a one of a kind piece of jewellery. The gallery below is a range of custom pieces made by some of our goldsmiths. Discover more by checking out each of the goldsmiths profiles to see the range in techniques and styles offered. Better yet, come by in person to browse work and discuss details to get something started!
Handcrafting and lost wax casting plays an important role in jewellery production world. Nowadays, 3D printing technology is advancing day by day, and it has been integrated into the jewellery industry.
Many goldsmiths began to use 3D modeling technology in their own jewelry production, because it nicely visualizes their design, and greatly improves the production efficiency. But, what is the process of making custom designed jewellery through 3D modeling technology?
1, First and foremost, communicate with customers and understand what they want.
2, Goldsmith can then construct the jewelry in the 3d modeling software, and show the details of the jewellery to the customer through rendering.
3. Making models through 3D printing allows goldsmiths to efficiently adjust the details of the jewellery and find the ideal design.
4. Use 3D printer prints the cast-able wax, then cast the wax into the final metal through lost wax casting.
5. Finish the jewellery through a series of fabrication process.
Here is a finished custom design piece by Rex Feng.
In the jewellery world, it is important to know the difference between fabricated pieces and cast pieces. Fabricated jewellery has usually been formed and shaped from metal sheets and/or wire, piece by piece.
Cast jewellery often originates from a molds, and can be duplicated many times over. The details and lines in fabricated jewellery are typically sharper than cast jewellery, and there will often be slight variations in each piece. Jewellery that is duplicated on a grand scale will be significantly cheaper than pieces formed and finished by hand.
Buying handmade is one of the best ways to access fabricated, well-made original pieces. If you are not sure what you are looking at, just ask us! When it comes to handmade jewellery at a studio like Jewel Envy, many cast pieces are still original, one of a kind, and not duplicated.
The goldsmith may have carved wax by hand for a particular stone, and used the wax model to make something that suits only that stone, in a design that is difficult or impossible to create with sheet and wire. It is very likely that a goldsmith will create some carved, cast elements, and some fabricated elements, then put them together in the same piece.
The best way to know is to ask, and we are always here to walk you through the process of our handmade works!
Pearls for all occasions 🦪 Whether you prefer multiple loops draped artfully around the neck or simple Audrey Hepburn studs, pearls are a classic addition to any outfit.
Pearls are the natural gems formed inside a living mollusk, and have been prized for their beauty for centuries. Though they are commonly known to be spherical and white, they can naturally form in a variety of shapes and colours.
It’s a beautiful and sunny Saturday, hope you’re out and about enjoying it! As usual, we’re busy at the Jewel Envy studio, today we’ve got a group of students learning how to cut and polish their own stones, as part of our usual class rotor– which we are slowly getting back up to full speed with.
I’m constantly in awe of the creativity and commitment that our students display in our classes. Check out some examples of the awesome pieces that they’ve been able to make in some of our recent classes:
If you’re interested in taking a class, we offer a wide variety of classes– either 8 week evening classes, or single/two-day weekend classes. We do fabrication (making things from wire and sheet), or casting, but regardless of your interests, we have lots of fun! You can see the class descriptions here.
We’re almost done our classes for 2021, but never fear, the winter classes for 2022 are already up on the calendar, and we’re taking registrations for them now!
Through the pandemic, much cleaning was done. Many boxes discovered, and their treasures revealed. Treasures like old rings (too small), brooches (too outdated), and necklaces (too broken). You may, like me, have wondered why treasure chests in the old movies always seemed to have loose gems in them. I think many people these days have similar stashes because they simply do not know what to do with broken jewellery.
Over the last few decades, there have been literally tons of silverware and ornate jewellery deemed gaudy by heirs, and melted down for money. Diamonds get reset into new engagement rings. But what about pearls? How do you know if they are real, if they are worth anything? Do they need to be treated in a special way, and what can you do with them?
1. Real pearls have a subtle, grainy texture. Experts will look for clues like seams to give away mold lines in plastic beads, or chipped paint, or impossible likeness and symmetry, but they will admit there is one simple test that is almost fail-safe. Your teeth. If you gently rub a pearl against your natural front tooth (my dad has dentures so this doesn’t work), you will feel, sort of a sandy, or grainy texture that you will not feel with glass or plastic.
2. The value of pearls can be obtained by an appraiser. They may fetch a shockingly low price, or a shockingly high price. There are many, many factors. These days, climate change has meant that many sizes or locations of pearls cannot be found the way they were long ago, so large natural pearls are very precious. Technology has given us higher quality pearls from locations unheard of long ago, so cultured pearls do not demand the same respect they once did. My best measure of worth is sentimental value minus monetary value. Some pieces that everything to you, might mean nothing to someone else. Or the opposite.
3. I’ve written about how to care for pearls in another post. When it comes to how pearls should be used in jewellery, it’s about knots, and glue. The knots you see in your old necklaces are used to protect the pearls from rubbing against each other, and to stop the pearls from running free if the strand breaks. There are a few ways to attach a clasp, but higher quality pieces are usually threaded in a special way that can only be changed by restringing the entire strand.
4. A professional jewellery/goldsmith can come up with 100 ways to repair and reuse your pearl jewellery. My favourite way is to replace a plain clasp with something more interesting/modern, and restring a piece you will actually enjoy.
At Jewel Envy, we can walk you through all of your options, including answering your “what if’s” and “what about’s”. We specialize in mixing old with new, and creating new pieces out of your chest of treasures.
I’ve had a couple of serendipitous encounters recently, so I thought I’d share the story of one of them with you this week. A lady came in a while ago, wanting a special 80th birthday present for a relative, including the brithstones of all the grandchildren. Now, this can sometimes be a tricky proposition, given the range of colours birthstones have, but luckily, the colours here worked nicely together!
Right, so that wasn’t the serendipity. The serendipity was that the woman happened to mention that the recipient was a quilter. How amazing-so am I! So, I immediately thought of some very classic quilt block patterns, particularly the star block, which I thought might lend itself well to including a number of stones (nice to be exact!).
There are alot of different styles, but here are a few variations. We settled on a basic sawtooth block style. Here’s the finished pendant:
It was a bit challenging to do such small cutouts (the stones are all about 1.5mm in diameter), but well worth it in the end! I love the fact that it has meaning for the recipient on more than one level, and our customer was really pleased with it! I also loved the fact that my unique knowlege allowed me to be able to suggest the design.
Anyway, that’s my story for this week! Happy Hallowe-en (or whatever other day you celebrate at this time of year :).
House of Cassady
I’ve recently begun experimenting with our new fibre laser here in the studio. Below are some of my photo etching tests on steel sheet!
In between custom, redesigns and repairs I have been experimenting with creating micromosaic pieces of jewellery. I started using glass that was gifted to me after my uncle passed and I initially had more than enough colours to create some patterns and shapes after completing the metal work on them. The experimenting made me realize that larger pieces of glass work nicer, but I remain excited about the outcome of my first batch of pieces because my bomb metal work makes up for my short fallings in laying out the micromosaics. Enjoy a few pics taken during a shoot with my sister!