Story Time Part IV Wrap Up!

Now that you have read about Eric’s past, his love of jewellery, his loves of flames lets tie it all together with the explanation of why Jewel Envy felt compelled to promote him and this epic journey by starting with Eric’s personal recollection of how he became acquainted with Jewel Envy.

Eric Petersen first met Gillian Batcher (Jewel Envy’s founder) while he was working at Zilberschmuck Art + Jewellery, a former gallery for Canadian jewellery artists. In fact, Gillian was the first person, outside of jewellery school, with whom he connected with.

They’ve kept an eye on each other’s career’s ever since, Petersen was present for the grand opening of Jewel Envy and other events and he has admired Gillian from afar, for her support of local jewellery artists, her drive, and brilliant business acumen. Not to mention the blue house!

15 years later, their professional admiration for each other is going strong, showing love on social media and Petersen was thrilled that Batcher saw the vision, or “the light” some might say, of his latest venture- a luxury scented candle made by master perfumers in Grasse, France – a nod to nature, nostalgia, his personal past, as well as his utmost appreciation for quality made goods.

Petersen is thrilled to have Jewel Envy’s support as a stockist and hopes his candle will bring light into people’s lives in the same way that Batcher and Jewel Envy have brought light to countless couples and individuals. The fire is lit, let there be light!

How wonderful for paths to cross at the beginning of a career and continue to Cris-cross until an opportunity to work together is presented.

“I recall meeting Eric at the Zilberschmuck opening. I was impressed with his work and fearlessness to share parts of himself that could have been kept private. In making them public the shared information showed his depth of strength and drive. Eric has also been able to embrace and appreciate all of life’s moments, big and small, and always looks towards a bright future. I see the light reflected in his eyes and have been watching the passion burn. I am so excited to be able to support him and represent his latest luxury item and know it will just be one of many products he brings to market throughout his career”.

Shop the candle here!

Story Time Part III

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.

Story Time Part II

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.

The campfire Kiss Candle burns for 50 hours!

Buy it here.

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