Shopping!

It’s never too early to start thinking about holiday shopping, in my opinion! In fact, I’ve managed to start collecting little stocking stuffer things, and putting some thought into gifts I want to give this year. In fact, this is a bit late for me, I often start in June or July. I don’t buy that many gifts, but I’ll admit that I find the bite to the pocket book easier to manage over time!!

I mention it, because it’s also never too early to think about gifts if you want to order a custom piece, or even a tailored piece from the collections offered by our goldsmiths. You can find something to suit most budgets, and it’s a great time to think about it at the moment, with the SHOP West Toronto 2 Win promotion that is happening at the moment.

What’s that, you say? It’s a chance to win $500 each week until the beginning of November, when you spend a minimum of $25 at participating outlets (including Jewel Envy!), and if you enter at least 3 weeks, there’s a grand prize of $2000 up for grabs too! Check it out in store, and browse the collections.

I’ll leave you with this pretty picture for your viewing delight!

Amorph brooch by Edna Milevsky, sterling silver, 14kt yellow gold and pearls

Have a great weekend!

Robin

It’s definitely autumn!

As someone pointed out to me this morning, it’s a lovely day, but it’s definitely that characteristic fall weather where you have to layer, and you’re cold in the morning and evening, and roasting at midday!

Autumn always makes me think of the changing colours of the trees-the beautiful reds, oranges, yellows and yes, even the browns. I think that’s one of the things I missed most when I was in the UK-the fall colours there are just not as spectacular, and the change in weather is not as dramatic.

So, in honour of leaves, here’s a wee curated collection of leaf-inspired pieces!

Inspired by leaves? Come in and have a look at what we have, or commission your very own vision of a leaf and fall!

Don’t forget that the Shop West Toronto 2 Win promotion is on now, any purchase over $25 allows you to enter, and Gillian has created a cute package of mystery gemstones (including a salt and pepper diamond), along with a small polishing cloth and loop, just for this occasion!

Also, we just love visitors! Come browse and say hi at the Blue House (after all, the holidays will be here before you know it–never too early to start your shopping!).

Happy Saturday!

-Robin

House of Cassady

Custom rings are fun!

Check out this super special commission recently completed by House of Cassady!

14 kt palladium white gold, with a 14 kt yellow gold inlay, and a round, bezel-set deep green tourmaline.

We love commissions, if you’re looking for a genuinely unique ring for that special occasion, we’re the place for you! We can design for just about any budget, and we love being part of that special event in your life. Quotations are free.

It’s wedding season! Bands, bands, bands……

One of the things summer makes me think about is weddings! With Covid-19 things have been very different, some people have put off planning, others have opted to have much smaller affairs than they might have otherwise chosen. One thing is for sure, though, love is never out of fashion!

A small selection of sample wedding bands made by members of the studio. Whether you want matchy-matchy, something plainer, or something wildly unique, the sky’s the limit, and we love designing bands to help you celebrate your commitment!

I think wedding bands are definitely a good place to consider investing a bit more money, as you’re going to wear them (fingers crossed!) for a long time. Whatever style you want, we either have something suitable already, or we can design something extra-special with you. All consultations and quotations for custom work are free of charge.

Hope you’re enjoying the fine summer Saturday, and we hope to see you soon at the Blue House.

Robin

House of Cassady

Sunny Saturday, new pendant

I’m doing retail this week, but I’ve managed to fit in a bit of work in between visitors, so I spent some time setting stones in this pendant I’ve been working on. I thought I’d share some process pics.

pendant mounted to start the setting-when stone setting, you need to immobilise the piece. I like to use this thermoplastic (which is reusable), it holds nicely, and it is easy to work with.

checking the fit and arrangement of the stones

The final pendant! I used London blue topaz (I love that smoky darker blue!), and green peridot. Now I just have to figure out a chain for it!

Enjoy your Saturday! Hope to see you soon!

-Robin

House of Cassady

The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is on!

Hello from the Big Blue House in Roncy on this very fine Saturday!! We’re still pretty virtual as far as summer shows go, but the annual fixture that is the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is still happening (as I write – both virtually and a small, rotating exhibition at the Stakt market). Celebrating 60 years this year, the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair has a long tradition of showcasing amazing Canadian art.

Yes, people, it’s happening now! I’ve browsed the artists, and there is, as usual, some really cool work, both on exhibit and for sale! I highly recommend it :).

There are four of us taking part this year, from the studio-myself (Robin, House of Cassady), Alex Kinsley Vey , Alexis Kostuk and Alessandra Pompei. Visit the artist galleries through the links above, to see the exciting work we’ve put up for the virtual exhibition. Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous, both Alessandra and Alexis are participating in the in-person exhibition at the Stakt market venue this Sunday (tomorrow) and Monday! If you’re there, stop by and say hi!

There’s lots of interesting virtual programming happening for the show, which you can check out here.

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, hope to see you soon!

Robin

House of Cassady

Being part of a special occasion

It’s a sunny summer day, we’re allowed to have (very limited) numbers of clients in the studio again, and graduation is hovering around the corner for a lot of people! I was reminded of a special commission that I took on awhile ago, and thought I’d share that with you this month.

Doing a PhD is a big thing. I’m not sure about other disciplines, but in biology, it’s 4-7 years of your life, hundreds of hours of lab experiments, successes, duds and, at times, frantic nail biting. Not to mention all the writing, reading, trying to network , coming up with new research ideas, wondering what you’re going to do with your future career…..well, you get the idea. So, when you successfully finish and defend your thesis, it’s definitely a milestone to be celebrated. I felt pretty honoured to be commissioned to make a special PhD completion/leaving gift.

Sterling silver, blue needled felt, and a fluorescence microscopy image that served as some inspiration.

You can read a little bit about it here. Basically, the brief was to make a stem cell pendant, as understanding some of the mechanisms and regulation of stem cells (self-replenishing cells that have the ability to differentiate into other cells types-see more here if you are interested!) was part of the research in question.

I wanted it to have some depth, I wanted to incorporate coloured felt, and I wanted it to have some texture. I specifically wanted to incorporate blue, you see, because when you image cells, you frequently use a fluorescent dye called DAPI which stains the nucleus (the repository of your DNA, among other things! :), and looks blue when you look at the cells down the fluorescent microscope.

I started with some small discs that I punched out to make space for the felt “nuclei”, textured with a subtle line texture to vaguely represent microstructure in the “cells”, and then domed them.

Next was the fun of trying to fit them all together and attach them. An actual ball was a bit too much, but I still wanted the impression of a ball of cells. This was what I ended up with!

Next, I attached a simple jump ring bail so it would go on a chain, and inserted the felt, to get the final piece!

Like I said, it was so nice to be involved in helping celebrate a woman’s achievement in STEM research! Looking for a special gift for that graduand in your life? Or for yourself? Visit or contact the studio, and see what we can do for you!

In the meantime, enjoy your sunny Saturday, and stay safe!

-Robin

House of Cassady

In Studio COVID 19 Pin Competition!

Each of these pins was designed to represent the pride we feel in getting the COVID 19 vaccine. These pins are meant to inspire those who are able to get vaccinated to do so and show that badge of pride for helping your local community and the world get this devastating virus under control.

Jewel Envy goldsmiths were invited to design a clutch style pin and one will be chosen by our customers to be put into production. Please vote on your favourite design. The design that receives the most votes will be announced on June 16th and then available for pre-order while being made and then for sale through the Jewel Envy website and in the shop. Orders will be fulfilled in the order in which they are received!

Voting will take place from June 1st- 15th. The winner will be announced on June 16th.

1.
2.
3. WINNING DESIGN

Voting is now closed! The winning design is #3 by Edna Milevsky!

Design #3 is available for pre-order online and will be in the shop at the start of July! Pre-order your pin here: https://www.jewelenvy.ca/product/covid-19-clutch-pin/

Thanks for getting vaccinated, doing your part for the community, and shopping local!

Iron Identity Sneak Preview by Alex Kinsley

‘Iron Identity’ is a solo exhibition of work by Toronto-based contemporary jeweller Alex Kinsley Vey.

“Hamilton, my hometown on the shore of Lake Ontario, has traditionally been a steel producing centre. Despite the industry having died down in recent decades, its industrial activity is still apparent. ‘Iron Identity’ references my time growing up there, and the impact this place had on me.

Brooches, rings and neck-pieces evoke and commemorate this identity through the use of oxides, coarse finishing, and sturdy construction. I use colours associated with industrial machinery and abandoned sites – bright colours that contrast signs of rust and deterioration. Transporting this aesthetic to the body allows it to be worn close, displayed with pride, and given reverence as a jewellery object.

The places and structures I reference directly influenced the culture of Hamilton. These former steel mills, manufacturing facilities, and factories provided good, working class jobs, and were once economic symbols announcing the prosperity of the city. Now that we have moved into a post-industrial economy, these places look dirty and out of place. I grew up around the last of these industrial sites when the flame of industry was already diminished. I feel compelled to record the physical and emotional identity of this city in order to come to a better understanding of my own identity.”

– Alex Kinsley Vey

On June 3rd my first solo exhibition will be opening at Craft Ontario Gallery here in Toronto! Check out some of the work which will be in the show until August 14th.

Private Beauty

Jewellery is often with us during special moments, experiences, and milestones.  Sometimes it is given to us by a special person, or in a special way, or at a special time.  Our jewellery pieces carry these memories for us, even when we didn’t mean them to.  Sometimes there are experiences so personal, and so common, that we keep them in our own special way, and only share them with certain people, when we feel the time is right.  It might be through a song, a poem, sculpture, or painting, and this is often the way that artists touch us in the deepest way – by channeling, sharing and expressing our stories.  As goldsmiths, our poetry and sculpture is precious and portable.  We are acutely aware we are always creating vessels that may carry memories and emotions which haven’t happened yet, but sometimes, we also get to design pieces that can carry an emotion someone has been holding alone.  This is a special connection we have, and always have had, to the human experience.

The flower pendant with an empty petal, pictured here, is a piece designed by our own @frekkeldesigns for those who would like a subtle, sweet expression of a personal memory or loss.  As the warm weather arrives, and new life is on display, we can enjoy it all, and quietly remember.

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