By now you have learned a lot about Eric Petersen so you might be getting a sense of how he is the kind of person you just want to have in your circle of colleagues and friends. He stays true to himself in all endeavors and inspires that in others. Read below on what inspired this established goldsmith to try to develop a scented candle!
With skateboarding being his first true love, part of his backpack arsenal always included a candle for the purpose of waxing ledges to perform tricks on, so developing a candle seemed totally on brand.
Years later he would accidentally light himself on fire when the button-down Yves Saint Laurent shirt he was wearing dangled into a candle at the home of his high school sweetheart. Never had he imagined that he would someday have to utilize the lesson he learned way back in grade school – to stop, drop and roll. Miraculously, an undershirt spared his back from serious burns. And so it was written…
Petersen’s origins however, which are deeply rooted in this candle, are in actual flames. And that statement is as dramatic as it sounds. In the early 1970s, Petersen’s father tragically lost his first wife and three baby girls in a house-fire. This has haunted and helped Petersen for his entire life because believing that everything happens for a reason, he often reflects on the fact that had that tragedy not occurred, his father might not have met his mother, and he and his sisters might not be here at all.
When Petersen was faced with his own tragic circumstances to work through, namely the death of numerous friends in a relatively short period of time, the thought of his half-sisters and the belief that everything happens for a reason was a guide and source of comfort for him through the grieving process.
Developing his signature scented candle Campfire Kiss was a labour of love for Petersen. It became, and is, a beacon of light, a ray of hope, in honour of the lives that were lost, and the lives that were gained. It’s a tribute to love and lost love, the eternal flames that burn inside and define us.
You don’t need to know the entire history of why candles appeal to Eric to appreciate what they represent to many- a quiet and cozy night in, a loving embrace of a partner, cuddling with a pet, reading a book, or a time for reflective solitude. All of these moments pair perfectly with the great Canadian of making your way out of the city to enjoy the stars surround by nature. In times of uncertainty we all gravitate towards nostalgia and the feelings that can be evoked through scent are some of the strongest. Eric often retreats into his own nostalgia for the wilderness and smoke-kissed clothing which explain how he arrived at his signature candle. Campfire Kiss evokes that shared Canadian nostalgia we all long for when bogged down in regular life.
Hello Everyone! My name is Serena Merucci and I am one of the new resident goldsmiths here at Jewel Envy. I am so excited to be a part of the Big Blue House here on Roncy and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me here!
I graduated from the Jewellery Arts Program at George Brown College in 2019 and have spent the last few years working in different aspects of the industry but I have finally decided that it was time to pursue jewellery full-time!
Currently, my work focuses on exploring my Italian heritage l by incorporating traditional pasta shapes with elements of ancient Roman and Etruscan jewellery in order to create something truly unique and whimsical.
While pasta is my one true love, I also enjoy creating custom bespoke pieces for my clients that will hopefully turn into future heirlooms for the coming generations.
Lately, I’ve been loving the work of Kim Buck, a goldsmith and conceptual artist based in Denmark. His award-winning work playfully raised questions about the fundamental basis of jewellery and cultural values, and I find his mix of traditional gold smithing techniques and modern CAD technology to create wearable intricate rings, necklaces, pendants, brooches and objects really unique!
Buck’s work has been shown in various solo and group exhibitions and is displayed in museum collections around the world. He has owned his studio and gallery in Copenhagen since 1989.
Here are some rings from his ‘Puffed Up’ series (2011-2016), which I find especially amazing:
Welded from thin gold sheets, these rings have been literally ‘puffed up’ with hot air! To illustrating the risk of inflating ones ego, these rings will eventually wear and deflate with wear; this collapse will result in a series of uniquely formed signet rings, each one corresponding to its wearer.
We’ve had a busy day here at Jewel Envy. I’ve been chatting with people all day, took in some repairs, filled out some custom order forms, and some sales. I managed to snap and find some pics to reflect my day – Alexis
To truly understand why Jewel Envy would be selling a candle made by a goldsmith you need to know more about Eric and so below is a tiny glimpse into his life story.
A childhood passion for collecting semi-precious gemstones, which included sparkly rocks found in gardens, led Petersen to a career and love affair with diamonds and fine jewellery. What’s interesting is that while doing research for his first major project while studying Jewellery Arts at George Brown College, he was surprised to find himself at the same gem show his mother had taken him to a decade prior, where she had bought him a skull pendant with a rose in its mouth, a symbolic gift that he keeps close to his heart. His older sister Lorinda, purchased some faceted peridot beads, the birthstone for August, and glued them into the eyes. And so began an extraordinary journey of love and loss, hopes and dreams and everything in between…
On his birthday in August of 2005, shortly before beginning school for jewellery studies, Petersen learned of his mother’s acute myeloid leukemia diagnosis. While in school and juggling long days and a long commute, he would visit his mother, Dorothy, in the hospital while she underwent chemotherapy treatments. He once brightened her day by hammering a bent ring of hers round again, and to her it was like he had worked magic. “How did you do that?!,” Dorothy exclaimed astonishingly.
The first piece of ‘real’ jewellery that Petersen made was a silver and copper pendant with a purple bezel-set cabochon amethyst. It was his mother’s favourite gemstone and one she had personally selected for the piece. Unfortunately she did not get to see it completed. Her battle with leukemia was short-lived and on March 14th 2006, she died surrounded by her loved ones. Fortunately, due to a school strike and lockout, Petersen was able to be there by her side. Blessings in disguise.
After this relatively sudden and unexpected loss, Petersen opted to drop out of college, but he was encouraged by George Brown’s faculty to stay and continue his studies. It’s a good thing he did, and he’s forever grateful for the unwavering support and encouragement of his professor’s.
Included on the Dean’s Honour List and recipient of the Louis Frankian Diamond Jewellers award, Petersen graduated from Jewellery Arts, School of Fashion Studies at George Brown College and would go on to win two awards for Best In Design Innovation, as well as an Honorable Mention for his piece in the I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now exhibition, an initiative founded by American metal artist Boris Bally, to bring awareness to gun violence so prevalent in North America (an issue that Eric unfortunately has personal experience with). The exhibition travelled to galleries across the United States and Eric’s piece titled, ‘Pieces of Youth’, a hat-turned-handbag, garnered him praise from artist, activist and Obey Clothing company founder, Shepard Fairey, who served as a juror for the exhibition.
In 2009, shortly after returning from a month in Australia, Eric received a call that his friend and future business partner Adam, had been killed in a freak motorcycle accident. By this time Eric was no stranger to loss, he had recently buried a few murdered friends, however this was the tipping point that pushed him to the edge of his dreams. Petersen quit his job as a Dental Technician where he had been making dental appliances in a laboratory, he liquidated what assets he had, bought tools and materials looked towards his jewellery future. “The way I saw it was it was now up to me to realize the dreams that Adam and I both shared,” says Petersen.
In addition to his private jewellery practice, Petersen has given lectures and presentations to schools within the TDSB, DDSB, George Brown College and the 2013 annual SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) conference. His work has also supported charitable organizations such as Music Not Mischief, The Assaulted Women’s Helpline, The Canadian Cancer Society and the George Brown College Foundation.
Over the next few months we are featuring something unusual for sale on our website. Unusual because of how it’s made, where it’s made and what it is.
We’re calling it a collaboration or a feature but really it’s more a signal of mutual admiration for a like minded approach to continuing to develop as makers throughout a career.
With this mini intro I think you can understand how admiration works at Jewel Envy, we turn it into support for each other! And with that in mind I would like to introduce all of you to Eric Petersen the luxury designer behind Campfire Kiss. Over the next few weeks we will share his story in snippets and through these mini posts you will learn how a custom jewellery studio chose to support and sell these amazing candles available for purchase on our website and in store pick up through this link.
And now Eric’s short biography will be the best way for everyone to start to get to know him!
A formally trained goldsmith and graduate of Jewellery Arts, School of Fashion Studies at George Brown College, Eric Petersen is the lead Designer and Director of ERIC PETERSEN, a bespoke designer brand specializing in fine jewellery and accessories.
Born and raised in West Hill, Scarborough, one of Toronto’s grittier neighbourhoods, Petersen is an award winning designer-jeweller, inspired by life events, world travels, and cultures; as well as song lyrics, quotes and other people’s stories.
With skateboarding being his first true love, Petersen is a voracious reader, Scotch whisky enthusiast, vintage wine lover (although mildly allergic), nature lover and an always curious cat-dad.
I don’t know about you, but the changing of the seasons definitely seems to be upon us! As usual, there are lots of happenings in the studio, and we are starting to turn our minds towards making for the holidays. If you’re feeling the itch to do something hands on, Gillian announced the dates for our last session of eight week classes in the newsletter today, and there are still some one and two-day workshops that are taking bookings.
You can find information about the classes and schedules on the main website. You can also always come in and ask, email or phone to talk to someone for more information about our exciting class offerings!
Don’t forget that we still require proof of vaccination (that’s 2 doses and at least 1 booster) to take part. While we all wish covid had disappeared, sadly it hasn’t, so this policy is in place to protect our member goldsmiths, as well as everyone taking part in the classes. We appreciate your understanding and support of our policies.