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.


Creations after they leave the studio

We love seeing our creations out in the wild! We recently got DMs from a customer with wonderful pictures and I couldn’t wait to share them! Jade came into the studio last fall and after introducing her to our space and giving her the run down on what we offer including repairs, redesigns, custom, and classes she was immediately curious about custom creations. She had a vision in mind for the engagement ring of her dreams and we were more than happy to make it happen. Parul searched around for the perfect gem that had a magical colour shift (green/red) called andalusite and it paired beautifully with the leaf pattern of the ring made in rose gold. Then Alexis matched the leaf pattern with a mixed metal rose and white gold band for David. Please enjoy the fabulous pics sent our way!

Photos of Jade and David were taken by Tom Hsiao, check out more of his work here!

August Birthstones

I can’t believe that we’re already in the middle of August!  Where did the summer go?

Today, I thought I’d talk just a bit about August birthstones, since gems are always a fun topic!  The most well known birthstone for August is the Peridot.  Here are a couple of images of peridot: an image of rough stone in matrix, and a faceted one….

Peridot is a magnesium and iron-rich silicate, and is sometimes known as chrysolite.  It can vary in colour depending on the amount of iron in the crystal, from yellow, to olive to a more brownish-green.  Occasionally, they can be darker, or a more pure green, but this is relatively rare.

The other main birthstone for August is the spinel.  Sometimes mistaken for  a ruby, it often has a pink to red colour. With crystals incorporating Magnesium and Aluminium, although its main colour is pink, you do sometimes find them in other colours including blue, green, yellow, brown, black, or violet.

Know anyone with a birthday in August? Why not come see what we can design incorporating peridot or spinel for an extra special birthday gift! 

Happy Saturday- and new (ish) window display!

As you may know, if you visit the big blue house, approaching from the south, we have three amazing street level windows, which we use to showcase one of our resident goldsmiths, a special theme, or a special collection of work from the studio group.  We like to rotate the displays, and we have just recently changed out the windows to showcase one of our newest additions-the work of Alex Kinsey of Kinsley Vey Designs.  Alex has a number of pieces from his ‘Growth’ collection available in the retail shop of the studio, like these earrings and pendant:

However, the windows showcase Alex’s more recent work, some large exhibition pieces from his ‘Iron Identity’ collection, which you can read more about here (as well as see some great photos of his jewellery scale pieces). 

I have to admit that my photos don’t really do his fascinating pieces justice!!  Why not wander along Roncevalles and take a closer look at his work yourself. While you’re there, check out our class list and maybe visit us in the studio retail area, we love visitors!