Work In Progress – Diese Ist (Mein) Opa

By Alex Kinsley Vey

Oscar Vey, London Ontario

Recently I’ve been invited to participate in an exhibition with the theme and title Memento Mori. The usual tropes are skulls, hair, references to time, but I decided to respond to this theme in a less direct way.

My Opa (Grandpa in German) was unfortunately a man I never got to know well while he was alive. He passed away in 2012, and suffered a stroke shortly after I was born which made it incredibly difficult for us to communicate. As I’ve gotten older I’ve regretted that we were never able to talk much.

Well after his passing I began to learn more and more about the man he was, the things he liked and disliked, and trials and tribulations both during and after the Second World War.

Memento Mori made me think of my Opa, all the black and white pictures of him in his youth, frozen in time, and how eventually that will be me, only surviving through memory and photography.

Oscar Vey, early 1990’s
And yours truly rocking the bowl-cut

I decided to memorialize him and create work that acts as a reminder that when we pass all that is left are pictures and memories. By taking these images of him, translating them into a solid wearable form, I hope to remember his life, and process my own eventual death.

I’ve begun by creating paper mockups glued to left over steel sheet. This allows me to play with size, see how they interact with the body when worn, and play around in Photoshop with different colours or oxides.
Cut out to size!
On the body!

This series of work is still very much in progress, but I thought it would be fun to share! The next step will be to create the final etchings on steel. Decide on a framing system for the brooch findings. And to finalize how I will treat the steel once it’s been etched.

Hoard Jewels, Lucifleurr and Tess – One and the same!

Hello! I am Tess, and I can’t wait to make your acquaintance!

I am the creator of Hoard Jewels, a jewellery line that focuses on the macabre beauty of myths and legends, with an emphasis on balancing the light with the dark.
Check out the instagram for some sneak peeks on the new line!

On top of that, three days I week I log into and livestream my goldsmithing experience. What happens on these streams?  Viewers have the chance to experience the entire jewellery making process from the design stage, through wax carving, casting and ending with a finished product.  Viewers have the opportunity to ask questions about the process, and learn about the different materials used.  Viewers range from at-home goldsmiths to crafting moms with a hint of curiosity about the wonderful world of goldsmithing. 
Check out the page for more information!

I’m Aurora, it’s nice to meet you…

I am really excited to have started out at Jewel Envy this September. I’ve been working as a goldsmith since 2008 and it feels like a wonderful progression in my career to be working around so many vibrant and talented goldsmiths. I am nothing if not eclectic, working with metal of course, but also in leather and fabric to create jewellery, belts and costumes for historical reenactors.

A heraldic raven pendant

I also love working with clients to make their dreams a reality. If you have an old piece of jewellery sitting around that needs a revamp, or some gems that you haven’t quite figured out a plan for, I am your gal.

A custom project made with a smoky quartz provided by the client.

I am looking forward to see what the future brings and getting to know the Jewel Envy client community better. I will be here most Tuesdays and Wednesdays if you ever want to swing by and say hello!

A sapphire ring in 14k gold.

You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @handmaderevolution_TO and to see my historical antics you can check out my tiktok @captainswordface

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.

Have it your way…

I love watching custom design reality shows. I like watching the team pull various talents together, the resourcefulness, and I like to watch an idea become reality. But, I really, really, like the look into what it’s like to pull thoughts from a client’s mind, to shape those thoughts with hints of what they enjoy, to fuse everything with what will actually work, and, hopefully, create something fantastic. This is really what custom is supposed to be about – adventure. Like most adventures you embark on with a stranger, the first custom project with a new client or artist is exciting, full of possibilities and hidden expectations.

Once we are in general agreement about a concept, and I have an idea of the preferred budget, it’s time to lay out some sketches for approval. These are like mapped out suggestions for where we should go, and what we should do. The thing to remember here, is that the budget and preferred timeline are like mileage. You can go clear across Canada with enough time and money, but if it needs to be done quickly and you only have so much gas, you may have to adjust your plans to a really fun day trip.

When the design is set and the deposit has been paid, it’s time to relax. I mean it, relax! Especially if you are the client. Designers/Makers may check in if an issue pops up, or an opportunity to improve the piece, but generally, this is a waiting game until the piece get its finishing touches.

Eventually, we get to the big reveal – the breathtaking view. It is my aim for you to be blown away, where you cannot wait to tell the story of your wonderful journey to your beautiful piece. That is the goal of any custom goldsmith anywhere.

What would you like to have made?

Pallasite – A Beautiful Meteoric Pendant

Source: Wikipedia

Pallasite is a fascinating material, composed of the mineral Ovaline suspended in an Iron-Nickel matrix this rare and delicate material is formed as a result of meteorites crashing into the earth in eons past!

Pallasite framed in 18k yellow gold

This beautiful custom necklace made for a client from their provided sample of Pallasite is made from a frame of 18k gold, hung on a gold box chain.

Are There Green Aliens in Jewellery?

There is enough going on, why not space aliens?  But let me explain…

August is the month of heat, and last hurrah’s, lions, dried grass, earlier evenings, and the stone that sums it all up – peridot.  I say “pear-ih-doh”, but some people say “pear-ih-dot”, and google translate agrees with them.  
There are only 2 green birthstones.  One is Emerald, which is famous, and has ties to other stones in its Beryl family, like Aquamarine.  The other is peridot, sometimes called “the evening emerald” because it keeps its glowy green essence in low lighting, like an… alien?  No, not yet.  Stay with me.

Peridot gets its green from its iron content, which is unique in stones.  It comes in many shades, but no other colour, and is linked to no other gems.  It is a loner, a maverick, an outsider.  The world used to get its peridot from the Red Sea, but now peridot is mined from Pakistan to Arizona.  It is not made in a lab, as most other gems can be.  The closest we’ve come is to make a quartz crystal in a similar tone.  It is generally inexpensive in the gemstone world, so the idea that anyone would bother making it in a lab at all is… alien?  Nope, that’s not it either.
Amongst those who collect gems for metaphysical properties, Peridot is known to balance heart and mind, give wisdom in relationships, and help with restful sleep.  Peridot brings you love.  peridot brings you peace. Just like the episode of the Simpsons from 1997, when Mr Burns went through a series of medical testing that left him glowing green, bestowing loveliness on everyone, and accidently convincing residents he was an alien.  Almost there.
In museums all over the world, there are very impressive gems displayed loose or in elaborate jewellery pieces.  The Smithsonian’s Hope Diamond has received 100 million visitors since 1958, and I know two of those people, one being me.  They have many other specimens that are gorgeous, and priceless.  I mentioned before that peridot is relatively inexpensive, but there is one population of peridots that is extremely rare, expensive and coveted – the alien peridots.  That is correct.  It is very rare, but gem quality peridot aliens have been known to travel to earth via meteorites such as the very large Brenham meteorite.  They don’t usually end up in jewellery, they tend to stay in museums.
All of this means that peridot is the gorgeous green alien birthstone from space (sometimes) that brings us peace and love, which makes August an amazing month to celebrate to the end.

Smithsonite Pendant

Custom Smithsonite Pendant on Leather Necklace made by Alexis Kostuk of glaciale goldsmith

Have you spotted our small stash of gemstones and minerals available for custom pieces? Just ask! This lovely Smithsonite was recently spotted in our showcase and I created it into a lovely pendant by drilling into the gem and affixing a sterling silver finding into place.

We love unusual and unique gemstones and minerals and anything we don’t have for sale we love to track down!

  • Alexis

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.


House of Cassady

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