Earrings for Everyone!

We have an amazing selection of jewellery in the store and especially earrings! If you’re looking for gifts for the earring lover in your life we have earrings to suit every price point starting at $30! We have pasta themed earrings, leaf themed earrings, earrings with felt, earrings with gemstones. gold earrings, dangle earrings and tiny studs! Come see us in person this week and knock some gifts off your list!

My First Blog Post!

Hello Jewel Envy Fans!

I am Theresa, a recent graduate from OCAD University and a former summer intern at Jewel Envy! I am excited being a new member and moving with the team to the new location!

I hope you all had a great long weekend. Mine was rather exciting, accidentally running into the Heritage Antique Show in Centerpoint Mall! There were many vendors with antique jewellery and home decor but something that really caught my eye was this grouse bird foot brooch with amethyst and citrine stone settings in 15k gold!

Even birds need a ring!
And check out the filigree work in this miniature table setting!

Until next time,

P.S. Come say hello to me at the Queen West Art Crawl this year on September 15-16 booth H8!

Studio visit with a master enamellist

In December I had the pleasure of visiting a true enamel master in his studio outside of Montreal in the town of Les Cedres. Seguin Poirier is a master enamelist who began his career as an enamel artist in the late 1960s. He enamels primarily on large scale sheet metal. He told me had done some jewellery work earlier in his career, but after a short time began to use enamel in a loose and unprecedented way, applying it liberally and without inhibition, playing with enamel as painter mixes paints on a canvas. His studio was impressive, jars of enamel powder everywhere, by the ton, which he imports from near and far, including India and China. I enjoyed a candid tour of one of his two studios, this one in a traditional Quebec Habitant style home (the other an impressive space in Griffintown, the old Irish part of downtown Montreal). He was very helpful to me, taking a look at some of my one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces and had very positive feedback for me. “Just go for it” he said, “you will have no problem, as long as you love what you do and you keep making something different that no one has seen before”. Solid advice from a hard worker. Something about that great Quebec spirit, made me miss my home town of Montreal!

So here are some photos I took while visiting:

OK, so first off, let’s talk about this kiln. This is a serious kiln. I forgot to ask how long it takes to heat up, but I imagine many many hours. It is a custom-built electric enamel kiln designed by Seguin Poirier himself to accommodate his very large sheets of copper. This is actually the world’s largest enameling kiln. It was still warm from the previous day’s firing, and two people could lie comfortably side by side in the kiln. HUGE! 
Next was the “Chapel”. This room is covered floor to ceiling with enamelled copper artwork. The walls are decorated with enamelled panels, from small plates and tiles to 3x5ft paintings. The walls of this room depict historical celebrations, seasonal transitions of Quebec (everything from the harvest to the Jazz Festival!)
He uses this room, which took over 7 years to complete, to host creative suppers (my father has gone to one for Valentine’s Day) where patrons can enjoy a great meal, music and live demonstration of enameling by the artist, who completes a painting during the evening with input from all the guests!
 I tried to get photo of the wall close up, you can see the scratch lines and textures the artist makes, one of the techniques I teach in my enamel class, so I was really excited to see it used on such a large (and colourful!) scale. Overall it was a wild and overwhelming environment, especially for me the enamel enthusiast.

You may visit Seguin Poirier’s website to see more of his work, community projects, installations and shop here: https://www.seguinpoirier.com/indexz.htm

So since the holidays and this fun visit, I have been cultivating more ideas on how to use enamel in a more painterly fashion. It is harder to do on a smaller jewellery scale, but I have been experimenting with oxides, changing pale colours (i.e. whites, creams, pale blues) naturally with copper dust, or by exposing parts of the metal surface. I typically have used solid opaque enamel surfaces in my jewellery, but for my latest piece, which will soon be show at an curated exhibition in the York Quay Building at Harbourfront Centre, I’m embracing the overfired, burnt and oxidized look. The pieces for the show entitled “Yield” which will showcase 8 Canadian Contemporary Jewellers have to do with stress as a theme, both in concept and material treatment. Coming soon! I’ll post more details and a sneak peek as soon as I shoot the photos with my friend Kate, who has been immensely helpful with photography as of late. The show is scheduled to open mid-April. Other jewellers are Catherine Allen NS, Colleen Baran BC, Paul McClure,ON,  Silvie Altschuler QC,  Shannon Kennedy ON, Anneke van Bommel ON and Bridget Catchpole BC, what a great roster!

If you want to learn more about enamelling, I am teaching my 8 week class at Jewel Envy starting this month, Thursday, February 17 (that’s next week!). There is also a 1 day workshop scheduled for Sunday, February 20. We now have two kilns, which is super exciting, room for more students in a class, which is always great, as I think the more experimenting that goes on and is shared amongst students the better…..you can always discover something new with enamel, which is why I am so passionate about the process, and enjoy teaching others about it too! Hope to see you there!
Until next time, keep plenty of colour in your life.


A departure

As most of you know, I am usually busy making brightly coloured designs during my studio time. I usually look to marine animals, textures in nature and anything living (including the smallest of cells) for my work. I’ve been hoping to get back into this and revamp some designs and ideas I had started while still at NSCAD. I’m thinking sea monsters, predators and unusual specimens will inspire the body of work. I develop for an upcoming invitational exhibition I am to be part of next April. Although I will still be working on production pieces, I want to spend more time on developing a strong body of artwork for my own conceptual and artistic development, something I feel I haven’t had much time to do since being in school. I make jewellery because I love to explore and to make unusual things to spark interest, and I am looking forward to taking the time to make some solid new work.

Speaking of new work, the month of August and September took a new turn when a friend’s brother asked me to design and make him a wedding band. The design was fairly simple, but I knew it would be a challenge right from the get-go. I was stepping out of my usual comfort zone of choice materials (usually enamel, copper and sterling silver) for once to try for the first time
a) working in gold
b) working in wood
c) a tight schedule

The saga began with a trip to Burlington to go to the Exotic Wood store where several very knowledgable employees helped us choose the appropriate wood, which was a beautiful variety of rosewood called “Cocobolo”. Of course it had to be the size of a table leg which I would then handcut the perfect little piece out of to incorporate into our white gold ring design.

Many hours and a few cracked wood ring “tests’ later, the results. I am so happy with this ring and so was he! And dare I mention I look forward to working in gold again in the near future? 

And on a final note. I am pleased to have found a little used enamel kiln to start adding to my collection of equipment. It’s always good to pounce on a craigslist opportunity like this when it comes up, because you never know if you will find a good deal like it again. So this is my new used kiln.  For now I’m keeping it at home until I can install a thermometer on it and fix a cracked firebrick inside, but I am very excited to at least have my very own. Next step will be finding a torch I suppose.

Thanks for reading!


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