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.  

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/1012614540/handmade-sterling-silver-floral-stud?ref=shop_home_feat_1

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.

Robin

House of Cassady

Something New

You’ve gotta check out one of our recent Insta video clips showing off the new front yard. Gillian Batcher’s hubby has been working throughout the summer to revamp the yard and redo the fence that had started rotting out (with some painting help from ya gal). It is looking so great I had to take some garden shots of the latest goldsmith to join the Jewel Envy ranks, Aurora Simmons of Handmade Revolution.

In August sunflowers are going to be blooming across Ontario. If you want to visit some sunflower fields scroll down to check out an upcoming Market in Mapleton, Ontario to wander through sunflowers and shop some jewellery from glaciale goldsmith along with other vendors. Now back to my bench to make some hoops!

<3 Alexis

Raven Pendant by Aurora Simmons of Handmade Revolution.

Vasilisa Ring by Aurora Simmons of Handmade Revolution.

Silver Branch Earrings by Aurora Simmons of Handmade Revolution.

Ya girl rocking a bomb eyeshadow look.

Alexis Kostuk of glaciale goldsmith will be participating August 8th

Sunflower fields, farm tours, and vendors are awaiting you in Mapleton, Ontario.

Rex Feng

Hi!

I’m Rex, I am a Chinese artist and jewellery designer based in Toronto and I recently joined Jewel Envy!

I graduated from from the Material Art and Design program from OCAD University, where I discovered my passion of making jewellery.

Rex Feng

With an interest in both jewellery and sculpture, I blend sculpture into jewellery design. I believe jewellery can be wearable sculpture pieces.

“Squareness”

My current practice focuses on 3d modelling, hand-carving, and fabricating unique art jewellery pieces with aesthetic value with clean and balanced designs.

“Two hands ring

I also enjoy playing with the colour and texture through patina to reflect the passage of time and life.

“Coral reef”

Your Beauty Regimen May Make Your Jeweller Question Their Life Choices.

I have a truth to tell.

The best-smelling, cleanest, most beautiful, put-together people you can imagine, usually have the grimiest jewellery repairs.  

Without getting too graphic, let me remind you of what the tops of sunblock bottles, hand lotion tubes, and jars of face creams look like, right around the edges, where air dries out the build-up.  You got it.  

These same products get up under watchstraps, diamond settings, earring backs, and absolutely everywhere.  The oil that makes them so great for moisturizing, also makes them great for sticking.  To  jewellery.  And for collecting every speck of dust, dander or dna to form enough layers, that one may wonder if the wearer had taken a pottery class recently.  But it’s not recent at all.  Much the same as the the product containers I’ve mentioned, the buildup is slow.  If people realise at all, it’s usually not until they are getting a piece back from their jeweller, and noticing how much bigger their cleaned diamond looks, or how shiny everything is.  Only the goldsmith knows what was in there, and they will never tell.

Other culprits of jewellery harassment are perfume and hairspray.  Along with the products mentioned above, these items can be assassins when it comes to your favourite pieces, especially for pearls.  Each layer of nacre that gives a pearl lustre, strength, and beauty, is a delicious lunch for the oils and chemicals in beauty products.  Without proper care and timing, pearls will become dulled or even distorted, and need replacement.

I say all of this, because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  There is lots and lots of advice online about cleaning your jewellery, and a lot of it is pretty good.  However, if you don’t know how it becomes dirty/damaged, or you don’t know what you have, you risk anything from wasted money/effort, to further damage.  

Here are a couple of safe, preventative measures that could save you and your jeweller, some stress, money, and heartache:

1. Last to put on, first to come off.  If you wait to put on your jewellery (especially pearls!!!) until at least 10 minutes after your last poof of perfume, slather of sunblock, or hiss of hairspray, your pieces will be OVER the dried product, instead of UNDER it.  When it’s time to wash or change, remove the jewellery first, to avoid soaps, make-up removers, creams, etc.

2. Gentle maintenance. Warm water on a soft, damp cloth, or a very soft baby toothbrush, then dried with another soft cloth, can be just enough to keep products from building up and causing trouble. 

3. Get friendly with a goldsmith.  One of the many things goldsmiths are good at, is troubleshooting.  If you show us a ring that seems to be catching on your favourite sweater, we will show you where the prongs have worn down to the point which you are about to lose your diamond.  Before that happens though, most of us are happy to give your pieces a quick once-over and let you know what you’ve got and how to take care of  it.  Just ask!

Bottom line – If you are putting a lot into being beautiful, make sure your jewellery stays beautiful too!

Thank you TOAF

The morning of my first in person Art show happened a week ago and I cannot be more thankful for having participated in an in person gathering that felt safe and got me talking to more people than what felt like more interactions in the last year combined. Check out the my work here.

Alexis

Me: choosing a recently made necklace to wear (of which I have 4 available for sale) and adjusting me signage/selfie.
Work that was for sale July 4/5th in person at Stakt Market and some of which is now available at Jewel Envy.
Relaxing drink at the end of the show.
Follow soap ghosts advice and continue to wash your hands and I’ll add in wear a mask!

I am resisting the urge to be negative about my lack of social media build promoting I could have done to bolster activity and instead choosing to celebrate that I pushed through my anxiety about participating in person and being so extremely grateful to all the friends and family that helped me set up and kept me company <3

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