What to do in the dead of winter?

Jewel Envy will be holding many many classes in January!

There are the ONE DAY classes:

  1. One day bezel setting.
  2. One day gem setting prep class
  3. One day Band Ring class

Then there are the more intensive and longer classes!

  1. 8 week Intro Fabrication class
  2. 8 week gemsetting class
  3. 8 week introductory and intermediate casting class.

Come and join us! It will be fun!


Did a recent update for a piece! sometimes a layout or technique doesn’t wear in the way that you hope – but never fear, changes can always be made! – Alexis

Initially for the Pendant I wanted the chain to move along the perimeter, but because it was on an especially long chain it was constantly flipping over. And while initially the patina was a great way to bring character to the pendant, it did start to wear off on the high points distorting the details.
I soldered the jump rings permanently to the chain, no more flipping around now! Soldering removed the patina and instead of reapplying I switched it up to an enamel. I love the depth of colour a couple of layers gave along with the transparency so that you are still seeing details and texture.

Custom Evil Eye Pendant

I often use so many blue gemstones in my work, I was very excited to have just finished combining two of my favourites, lapis lazuli and turquoise, to create an evil eye pendant.

– Alexis Kostuk

Both the turquoise and the lapis lazuli started as cabochon shapes. I carved into the lapis lazuli first to fit the turquoise into it.
Stacking and layering with a black onyx at the center.
The finished necklace. *I used a studio chain to photograph this, the client has their own chain to wear it with!*

Thoughtful day

It’s Remembrance Day today, which is making me think about how we should learn from our past. With everything going on, I’m finding the day more poignant than usual. Maybe it’s a bit naive, but wouldn’t it be great if we could all make a concerted effort to be kinder and more understanding of each other.

Poppy field (credit: https://nicubunu.ro/pictures/photoblog/poppy-field.jpg)

Of course, Remembrance Day makes me think of crosses, so if that’s your thing, here are some traditional and less traditional ones to mark the day!

Crosses by Jennifer Trotman (Frekkeldesigns)


Woes and Wows of a New Skill

Here at Jewel Envy, we love guiding students through the lows and highs of a new skill. It is so satisfying to watch someone go from the wonder of taking in a sample, to the synaptic fireworks of attempting a new practice, to the awe and celebration of accomplishment.

Instructor Robin wields her wax pen like a magic wand.

We have one more class scheduled for 2023, so check out our calendar and sign up asap to increase your skill set with something shiny and beautiful.

Why does my chain keep breaking?

Chains take a lot of abuse from daily wear. They rub against your skin, clothes, other accessories and are frequently pulled. Even gentle pressure affects their strength. Depending on current styles, chains may be sold that are actually too fine for everyday wear.

They may even be made from gold or platinum, but if they break frequently, they are experiencing a heavier use than what was intended in their manufacture.

If the chain is really thin, it is not meant for everyday wear. It cannot hold a lot of weight, i.e. a large or heavy pendant, and will most likely break over time.

To determine the quality of costume chains, examine the links. If they are not soldered shut, meaning there is a break in the links, they can easily be pulled apart. This is more of a concern for small to fine chains than larger thicker diameter link chains.

Small chains that have links less than 1mm in thickness are most secure when there is no break in them. Chains made from stainless steel or titanium are quite strong, but it is still important to make sure they cannot slip out from each other at the point where links have a break in them.

Some chains have what is called a break away jump ring on at least one side of the claps. Do not confuse this with poor craftsmanship as this is considered a safety precaution. In the event a chain becomes caught on something, the unsoldered jump ring will allow the chain to break away first before the wearer can be choked.

’20 Tips on maintaining our Jewellery’, Gillian E. Batcher, 2013

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