Shopping from the comfort of your couch

We’re now well into December, and the hunt is on for that perfect holiday gift.  I love giving thoughtful (and often handmade) presents (regardless of the occasion!).  Not much making is happening for me this year, though. Instead, I’ve been virtually shopping at various local places to find my gifts, as well as wandering the neighbourhood to find new places to check out online.  Which in some ways has been a lot of fun—I’ve found a lot of small places that I didn’t know about, that are kind of cool!

Although I think it’s no one’s favourite way to shop for everything, there is something to be said for shopping from your couch still in your pj’s!  Remember, there are lots of ways to support small, local business this season: shop online from a local small business, leave a review  or make recommendations to people you know.  They all help, both in the short and long-term.

I’d love to share some of my purchases with you, but as they have yet to be gifted, I think I’ll have to keep them to myself!

Good luck with your holiday shopping, and remember, we have a newly updated online shop

You can also contact the studio for a virtual shopping meeting, or arrange a porch trip (or a combination of both!) to help you in your quest to find that amazing gift you’ve been looking for.

However you choose to shop, find the fun in doing it, and have a great day!


House of Cassady

Not For Lease

The view on Roncy was bleak the morning of Tuesday November 23rd, 2020 as the neighborhood woke up to see the message of “For Lease” kraft paper plastered on many of the businesses. This was done to shake people out of complacency, grab their attention and make them see what might happen come January 2021. These stores (including my own) are not for lease….but they could be without the support of the community and our customers who choose to think big but shop small. The pandemic has changed every part of our lives but consumers need to take a look around and realize without their support the places and businesses that make a neighborhood vibrant and livable might not survive another lock down and this is not just our neighborhood but a global issue.

The Not For Lease Campaign was the result of not just a main-street or the marketing company we worked with (The Local Collective) but a whole community banding together to say too much has happened this year, we have come to far, this is what we are scared of. We need everyone to see the message loud and clear that all of our local businesses need your support this season!

After the initial shock of the “For Lease” Kraft paper campaign, to make businesses look closed, the paper was removed the same day and replaced with messages of love, hope, and strength! This is part 2 of the campaign reminding people local support and care will help all of us through the set troubling times! Jewel Envy is still doing custom work/repairs/virtual shopping for curb pick up or shipping and we even have an online shop.

The message has been received loud and clear across our community, Canada, and we have heard it even made it into international news relating to COVID 19 and the plight of the small business throughout the world.

Jewel Envy supports the need for the lock down at this time. We hope all of you will remember to support the many businesses in need who are abiding by all public health and safety requirements for the greater good, which is having the unfortunate effect of jeopardizing their future sustainability.

Class Rates Increasing in 2021

2020 was not the year any of us expected and we have all had to make huge sacrifices to keep going. With many businesses on the brink of failure I feel truly lucky that Jewel Envy has survived and I know it is because of your support that we have been able to do so.

To stay in compliance with all of the health and safety recommendations we made a huge investment in our processes for cleaning and the installation of our UVC sterilization system. In addition to this we have had to reduce the number of classes we were able to offer in 2020 and reduce the number of people in each class.

Jewel Envy’s amazing instructors who are the resident goldsmiths have had a dramatic decrease in what was once a stable part of their income as they are paid per student to teach. To compensate for this moving forward I have chosen to increase the cost of classes so that the instructors can be paid more knowing they will have fewer classes in the coming year(s) and be teaching smaller groups (for a while).

All gift certificates that specifically say for classes and were issued before November 1st, 2020 will be honored as full payment for said class until March 31st, 2021 or the dollar value that class was worth at any time.

I fully support our goldsmithing family and feel that this price increase will continue to allow them to make the fabulous and uncompromising work they produce. I am a budget conscious person and always try to keep price increases to a minimum; this is only our second one in 14 years of business so I feel at this point it was necessary and fair.

I’m grateful to all of you and hope to see everyone in the studio or for an online consult some time soon.

Sincerely, Gillian

Introducing the Beirut Rising Collection

Sometimes it feels like the world in crumbling before our very eyes. Tragedy after tragedy can make us feel like we can’t have an impact but that isn’t true. Small gestures of kindness and creating opportunities to generate funds for charities where money goes where it’s supposed to can make a world of difference even from a world away. Read below to see how Jessica Nheme of her newly rebranded company Mavia Design is working to make a different to those affected by the explosion in Beirut just last month. -Gillian

In Arabic script, this gorgeous pendant reads, “Your faith has to be greater than your fear”.

The Faith Necklace is a tribute to the Lebanese People. Handmade and designed with deep purpose. 100% of the profits generated from the sale of this necklace will be donated to The Lebanese Red Cross to support the relief effort in Beirut, Lebanon after the catastrophic explosion that devastated the country on August 4th, 2020.

This explosion killed hundreds, injured thousands and left 300,000 people homeless. The Lebanese people are fighting for their liberties and against the corruption of the system which has forgotten them. All while mourning the loss of their loved ones and putting their lives back together, one brick at a time.

Mavia’s Founder, Jessica Nehme, was born in Lebanon during the Civil War. Her family moved their life to Toronto, Canada to avoid the political and social challenges of their beloved country. Thirty-Five years later, the same challenges not only remain, but have worsened. Out of sadness and a deep call to create something of value and impact, the Beirut Rising Collection was born.

This is the first of three designs to be released, the Faith Necklace is an ode to the strength, resiliency and true essence of the human spirit. It is a reminder to never give up, to keep fighting for what is right, and that when our faith is greater than our fear, we can change the world.

The necklace is available in sterling silver (pendant and chain) as well as gold plated pendant on sterling silver with a gold filled chain. You can shop this collection here and it will also be available through Jewel Envy soon!

Our final installment from our intern Siyu! Making a necklace from paper during COVID 19

Hello Jewel Envy Readers!

My name is Siyu and during my final semester of school, while interning at Jewel Envy we needed to stay home due to COVID 19. For our final project we were required to make something at home with limited simple materials. I choose to reuse some paper to make a paper flower necklace. The process was not hard and the results were amazing!


  • Cut four of the same size square papers and fold three times to be the shape  showed in the images.
  • Cut an angle on every paper to let them all be flower shape.
  • Then cut different parts off to be petals.
  • Use glue to glue every petal together.
  • Use a tool to roll up every petals’ edges.
  • Cut the end of every petal then glue them together.
  • A paper flower is done.
  • use a tool to roll up a long narrow paper
  • Glue the paper rolls to the back center of every flower. A commercial chain or lace ribbon can go though it to hang the flower

Another way to hang the necklace is to cut two narrow symmetrical slits to let a lace ribbon go through every flower.

Making a Digital Necklace into a 3D Piece!

This is another blog post by Siyu Hu our George Brown College 2020 intern, and now graduate!

During the third-year study at George Brown College while interning at Jewel Envy I made a necklace. The inspiration is from a combination of natural beauty from terrace fields and my interpretation of them. All the elements including the clasp, the chain, and the shapes of the main pieces are inspired by terrace fields.

Terrace is a piece of sloped plane that has been cut into a series of successively receding flat surfaces or sections.

Rhino is a 3D product design software which is widely used by jewellers. It can show your design in different ways such as technique drawing view, pen drawing view and the rendering view. I used Rhino to create a digital necklace design and chose green to be the base colour for every elements since it is the colour of the farmer plants I was inspired by.

Hand rendered drawing of design.
Rhino rendered drawing of design.

Once the design is drawn in Rhino it is printed in 3D and then each piece is cast in sterling silver separately. Then the pieces are finished and I used enamel to create the natural lanscapes colour.

The finial piece is as below:

Terrace Fields Necklace by Siyu Hu
Material: Sterling silver, 14K nickel white gold

A look at our interns work!

This mini article is from our intern Siyu Hu from her last year at George Brown College. It is a look at one of her projects from her fifth semester of school!

Project- Make production earrings using “champlevé” technique

Enamelling gives me a lot of fun during the jewellery making process. I have an earring design which is using enamel technique. Enamelling needs to use a kiln. Jewel Envy has kiln for enamelling and other equipment to support the whole jewellery making process.

There are many kinds of enamel techniques. “Champlevé” is an enamelling technique in the decorative arts, or an object made by that process, in which troughs or cells are carved, etched, die struck, or cast into the surface of a metal object, and filled with vitreous enamel. The piece is then fired until the enamel fuses, and when cooled the surface of the object is polished. The un-carved portions of the original surface remain visible as a frame for the enamel designs. Let’s take the terrace fields earrings for example to have a look of the whole process:

Text Box: Ø	Decide the design
Decide on the design.
图片包含 游戏机, 项链

I made a 3D print file for each part.
Text Box: Ø	Make 3D print files for every part
I sent the files to a casting house, had a mold made, pulled waxes from the mold.
图片包含 游戏机

Next I cast the pieces using the lost wax casting process. I cast them in silver.
Text Box: Ø	Sending the files to casting house
Ø	Get a cold mound from the casting house
Ø	Make wax of the main pieces
图片包含 小, 水, 对, 金属

Next I used the champlevé technique to add colour to the pieces. I sanded and both sides to a smooth and even finish.
Text Box: Ø	Lost wax casting silver earrings
The final step is to solder the posts on the backside of the earrings. Clean the earrings, polish them, connect the two pieces by bending the ends of the trunk part to go through the half jump ring.

My name is Siyu, you can check out more of my work on Instagram @shjewelleryhuayuan

March 26, 2020 COVID 19 Announcement

To our valued customers we will be temporarily closed to do our part to flatten the curve. We are following all WHO recommendations as well as provincial and federal requirements. This means no one from the public is allowed into the store at this time.

We can however continue to consult on custom work through phone, email, Skype meetings with the individual goldsmiths from the comfort of their homes so feel free to get in touch to set up those meetings.

If you would like to support us during this difficult time remember we have an online shop through our website but you can also purchase pieces you see on our Instagram. We will ship orders within 1-2 days of payment. You can also like our posts, share our content, and leave us reviews so that when we are able to open our doors again we will have an influx of new and returning customers!



Cameos: portraits from the past

Antique Carved Shell Cameo pin and pendant Set in Rose and image 0

We might have seen them in antique stores, or on our grandmother’s jewellery box, small portraits, usually from a woman on a profile view carved in a white shell and added to a coral oval back, surrounded by many ornamented accents and being a versatile piece that could double as brooch or a pendant.

Most cameos represented women in classical Greek attires or pictorial scenes drawn straight from Greco-roman mythology, Artemis Or Diana on a profile with a crescent moon on her forehead, the three graces prancing delicately like ballerinas and other images are very common in this remarkable piece of jewellery.

This Greco-roman influence gives us an amazing start point for this pieces of jewellery to enter the world of fashion as discoveries in archeological expeditions and the uncovering of many ruins and temples at the beginning of the 19th century sparked a neoclassical wave that influenced painting, music, sculpture, attires and many other forms of art, including jewellery.

The most versatile of the jewellery pieces in my opinion, cameos were not only worn by women, as men would also wear then in the cravats, side pockets or the fold of a coat. Of course cameos for men depicted masculine scenes, like a water bearer almost naked, profiles representing classical heroes from literature like Achilles and roman emperors.

Image result for cameo portrait men

Most men and women from the higher classes would commission their own portraits on a cameo.

Not as common today (sadly) many cameos remain as amazing legacies of intricate design and fashion from the previous century. We can find them in antique shops commonly, but there are still goldsmiths and carvers that will create them, and you can even commission your own portrait.

I hope this small article was informative and spark your curiosity about cameos and vintage jewellery! 


More Than Just Jewellery and Watches

Goldsmiths are more than just craftsmen, they are artists. From sketches and renderings of designs to sculpting and fabrication of the final piece, we goldsmiths truly are multi-talented artists and at Jewel Envy we mean business.

While some items are meant to be worn, others are meant to be displayed. Take our resident artist Peter van Walraven. We have a sneak-peak of his more unusual custom work, like canoe paddles.

Armed with a wood burner, the sills of a goldsmith/lapidary artist, two purchased canoe paddles and a crazy, artist eye he was able to create these ceremonial wedding paddles for a lucky couple. All that you see what created by Peter by hand, even central the stones. 

Keeping with the canoe theme, Peter used the windswept rocks of Georgian Bay and quiet inland lakes of Algonquin Provincial Park for inspiration. Like all works of art, there is a story to this piece. The commission came from a couple that wanted to replicate a set of paddles that got as a gift for their wedding. The bride originated from Russia, while the groom was Ontario. Peter loves to make sure his work has a personal touch for the owners. The maple leaf a symbol of Canada can be found on the groom’s paddle with the copper sun. The Siberian fir and white birch are symbols of Russia found on the brides with the silver moon. The celestial bodies also carry a personal meaning within them. Inside the groom’s sun is amber, a national symbol of Russia, while inside the bride’s moon is sodalite, a stone native of Ontario.  

His work doesn’t stop there, Peter has a few more tricks and ideas up his sleeve in theme with the cottage feel of these paddles. How about a cutting/serving board, or coffee coasters? The possibilities are pretty endless, you just need an artist with the right ideas and skills.


if ( !is_woocommerce() ) { get_sidebar(); }