Brooches are cool!

I know it doesn’t seem like it today with this amazing Indian Summer weather we’re having, but autumn is approaching, and with autumn, my mind starts to remember all my……brooches! I think they’re often an overlooked adornment, and they can be sooooo useful too, and not just in a “dress up your outfit” kind of way!

This is the first brooch I ever purchased for myself, I love the whimsical blend of tech and more conventional jewellery components. Made by hand, I purchased this about 25 years ago at the Cabbagetown Fall Fair, made by a duo of women who called themselves JADS.

You can use them to jazz up a plain-ish shirt, or to pin a scarf in place as the weather gets a bit cooler, but my favourite, it to wear them on one of my many jackets (I do have alot of them!).

They can be fun and whimsical (like the ones below), or more substantial. Also, you know, once you have one, people start giving them to you!

A friend of mine gave me this one-it’s enamel on brass, I think it probably came from Fair November in Guelph.

the two on the bottom (the cat and origami) were stocking stuffers, and the tweedy one was a leaving present when I left Scotland last year (very appropos!)

This one is pretty cool, it’s silver wire and beads, with twirled paper, and I think it’s made from Architectural Digest pages–It’s a lot of fun! And orange, which I don’t wear much of, but I love!

There are lots of cool forms you can get, especially in metal. And I like them because although I don’t necessarily want huge jewellery, I do like a nice substantial metal brooch.

This is a multi-layer enamel panel that I made some years ago, it’s about 2 inches by 1.5 inches, and it’s fairly heavy, so I sent it in a sterling frame, making it very wearable as a decorative brooch.

This is a copper brooch made with the Repousse and chasing technique.

A couple of examples of whimsical animals. the one on the bottom left is a little wren (although I like to think it’s a robin :), made for me by my good friend Morag Hickman, in the UK.

Although I have to admit, my all time favourite is this one:

I bought this in an auction as part of Ready, Steady Jewel, a number of years ago, which was pretty cool (and not just because I love this brooch!). A UK goldsmith called Deme Wolfe-Power made it, it’s sterling silver , cubic zirconia and leatherette. All told it’s about 3in by 4in, and it really makes a statement!

So, hopefully I’ve encouraged you to think about brooches! Come into the studio and check out our selection from our resident goldsmiths, including Helena, Vera, and Fiona. Can’t see quite what you’re looking for, but like the style of something in the studio in particular–that’s okay, we do that too!

Have a great Saturday, and I hope to see you soon!

-Robin (House of Cassady)

Introduction to Cosmic Skye Jewellery

Hello Jewel Envy Readers!
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about myself as a maker. I am Skye Stutt, the newest part time member here at Jewel Envy. My journey into jewellery making began when I was nine years old and started taking beading classes. From that point on I was hooked and wanted to learn as much about jewellery making as I possibly could. This eventually lead me to OCAD University where I studied jewellery design and metalsmithing in the Material Art and Design program, which I graduated from this May and now it has led me here. Most of my inspiration comes from nature and lately a lot of it has been coming from insects specifically. My graduating body of work Metamorphosis (which won the Lily Yung Memorial Award for strong experimental and conceptual components), was based on understanding society’s fear of insects and representing the sources of this fear through jewellery (I’ve included a few pictures of this work below). I enjoy creating one of a kind art pieces as well as lines of unique & wearable jewellery. I am so excited to be able to keep creating both styles of work here at Jewel Envy! You can check out more of my work on Instagram @cosmicskyejewellery
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Yellow Banded Bumble Bee Bracelet
Sterling Silver & Brass
Winner of the 2019 National Vaccaro Scholarship
Kinetic Pill Bug Pendant
Rhodium Plated Sterling Silver
Woolly Bear Brooches
Sterling Silver & Chenille Yarn
Deer Tick Earrings
Sterling Silver & Freshwater Pearls

Highlights of Munich Jewellery Week 2019

This past March I was able to travel to Munich for a week to check out Munich Jewellery Week 2019 and see the finalists for the Schmuck competition.

Schmuck has been organized since 1959 at the international trade fair. It is the eldest special jewelry show in the world. Both young talents and experienced artists working in the applied arts and technology will have the opportunity to show their work in the international competition. The finalists are exhibited at the International Trade Fair for the Skilled Trades in Munich.

Munich Jewellery Week is an offsite event which has a multitude (over 100 in 2019) of exhibitions and events throughout the entire city. Munich Jewellery Week showcases avant-garde contemporary jewellery by both established and up-and-coming designers from all around the world. This yearly gathering is by far the most significant event on the contemporary jewellery calendar; it’s a unique phenomenon, and it sets the pace for the contemporary jewellery field.

Below are some of the highlights of work I was able to see during my brief visit!

Seven, Seven by Yan Congcong from the exhibition 21 grams
Ave Marie by Nanna Melland from the exhibtion Schmuckismus made from copper IUDs
687 years by Nanna Melland at the exhibition Scmuckismus made from Copper IUDs
Enameled brooches by Christoph Straube (these are flat objects!)
A selection of work from Platina Gallery in Stockholme

Munich Jewellery Week was quite the event and I hope to be able to return next year! – Alex Kinsley Vey

Art

Hello Sunday Readers,

Art is defined as ” the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power”.

Art is also the way humans communicate with one and using their imagination, love, design, and creativity.

Art is a gift to create and multiply the best we have within to give light and beauty to incredible pieces.


Art comes in all different forms and Paris is a perfect example of a place art is present for everyone to enjoy.

Paris’s Building

Every single facade, regardless of the period ( Ancient architecture, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Modernism and Postmodernism) , tells a story.
A fountain like the one bellow is an master piece of design and incredible proportions,  even among very modern furniture keeps his glory as ever.

Courtyard Fountain

Painting are another popular art form that can evoke emotions and make people think
A painting is an image (artwork) created using color (red, wait, black, etc.) on a surface such as paper or canvas, wood, hard surfaces like walls, etc. Any type of painting (  There are different styles of painting like abstract art, conceptual art, Hyper-realism, pop art, Futurism, Impressionism and so on ) communicate a wide range of messages.

Portrait of Juan Manuel Theotokopoulos. El Greco

Music is another very popular form of art; an expression of emotions through harmonic frequencies. …  Music is one of the magic arts that make you smile and close your eyes and remember great moments in life. Music is a treat to the soul. I can  give you one of my favorites, The Four Seasons of Vivaldi. ( among the four seasons,  Spring  is my very favorite)

Jewelry has been an Art for centuries ones of the great artist of this Art were Cartier,  Van Cleef and Arpels, Tiffany & Co., Piaget among many others, today their Ateliers or Workshop Houses keep their legacy.

Cartier Bracelet

Jewelry is my passion and my art; its makes me to keep creating and growing. I discover the art of jewelry not too long ago, and I have been enjoying and creating ever since . Jewelry is an Art, in wish I play with volume, weight, aesthetic and imaginations to make every single time my best and unique piece.

Custom made engagement ring:18 karat white gold, 10 mm 3.87 ct. Diamond
Two baguettes of diamonds 3 mm x 1.5 mm 0.06 ct. Three rubies and six accents diamonds. h.p.lafaurie.ca

The whole secret of what I do is love and imagination, my work makes my life so amazing!

Have a nice Sunday!

Helena

Roncesvalles Polish Festival is just around the corner!

Hello to all our Jewel Envy fans and followers!

Next weekend, mark Saturday September 14th and Sunday the 15th in your calendars (especially if you’re Polish) for the annual Roncesvalles Polish festival. Here at Jewel Envy we want to help celebrate our local community cultural flavours. With the festival comes our annual 1 hour free wax carving workshop! Learn to carve a simple wax design. The event is free and perfect for all ages, why not get in touch with your inner goldsmith. We can host a maximum of six people at any time. Sign up in advance by calling or emailing or just show up to book a time slot. Love your design? For a small fee we can cast it in sterling silver or bronze and finish it for you!

Please check the tab below for more fun and tasty events that will be happening here in the Roncy.

Peter van Walraven

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.

Peter

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! 

Emeralds

For thousands of years, emeralds have been mined and considered one of the world’s most valuable jewels. The first ever recorded emeralds date back to ancient Egypt, where they were particularly admired by Queen Cleopatra. In addition to their aesthetic value, emeralds were highly valued in ancient times because they were believed to increase intelligence, protect marriages, ease childbirth, and thought to enable its possessor the power of predicting future events.    An emerald is actually a beryllium stone that owes its special color to beryllium, chromium, and vanadium, all of which are chemical elements that are very scarce, and the reason for the color of an emerald.

Colombian emeralds are much more on demand, and not just because of their superb quality and color. A gem’s value depends upon its size, purity, color and brilliance. Even when they are mined in the same area, each individual emerald has its own unique look that sets it apart from the rest. Dark green is considered to be the most beautiful, scarce, and valuable color for emeralds. An emerald of this color is considered rare and is only found in the deepest mines of Colombia.   The eastern portion of the Andes, between  the Boyacá and Cundinamarca departments, is where most Colombian emeralds are mined. The three major mines in Colombia are Muzo, Coscuez and Chivor. Muzo and Coscuez are on long-term leases from the government to two Colombian companies, while Chivor is a privately owned mine. Muzo remains the most important emerald mine in the world to this date.   One of the most famous Colombian’s emeralds are:   Patricia Emerald – this 630-carat, Di-hexagonal cut was first discovered in Chivor in 1920. It is named after the mine owner’s daughter, Patricia. This emerald currently resides in the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

 Fura Emerald – the second-biggest emerald in the world, with 2.2 kilograms (4.9 lb) or 11,000 carat, found in Muzo, in 1999

Tena Emerald – the most valuable emerald in the world, 400 grams (0.88 lb) or 2,000 carats, found in Muzo, in 1999  

Come to visit us at Jewel Envy with the gorgeous one you have in your magic box; grandma will be very proud to know you are going to enhance it! we can make an incredible design, we can resize it, we can clean it and more, and you will add even more great memories to it!   Have a nice Sunday!     Helena