See the magic happen on our Instagram

We have been excited to be able to launch videos in our reels over the last few weeks. You can now see some process videos, as well as fun, transformation videos for our works in progress. To view all our reels at once you can go to our instagram and go the the second button from the left, which we have circled in the image below or just scroll our feed. We hope you enjoy this new content! Feel free to comment on our Instagram if there are any processes you’d especially like to see.

Work In Progress – Diese Ist (Mein) Opa

By Alex Kinsley Vey

Oscar Vey, London Ontario
1950’s

Recently I’ve been invited to participate in an exhibition with the theme and title Memento Mori. The usual tropes are skulls, hair, references to time, but I decided to respond to this theme in a less direct way.

My Opa (Grandpa in German) was unfortunately a man I never got to know well while he was alive. He passed away in 2012, and suffered a stroke shortly after I was born which made it incredibly difficult for us to communicate. As I’ve gotten older I’ve regretted that we were never able to talk much.

Well after his passing I began to learn more and more about the man he was, the things he liked and disliked, and trials and tribulations both during and after the Second World War.

Memento Mori made me think of my Opa, all the black and white pictures of him in his youth, frozen in time, and how eventually that will be me, only surviving through memory and photography.

Oscar Vey, early 1990’s
And yours truly rocking the bowl-cut

I decided to memorialize him and create work that acts as a reminder that when we pass all that is left are pictures and memories. By taking these images of him, translating them into a solid wearable form, I hope to remember his life, and process my own eventual death.

I’ve begun by creating paper mockups glued to left over steel sheet. This allows me to play with size, see how they interact with the body when worn, and play around in Photoshop with different colours or oxides.
Cut out to size!
On the body!

This series of work is still very much in progress, but I thought it would be fun to share! The next step will be to create the final etchings on steel. Decide on a framing system for the brooch findings. And to finalize how I will treat the steel once it’s been etched.

I’m Aurora, it’s nice to meet you…

I am really excited to have started out at Jewel Envy this September. I’ve been working as a goldsmith since 2008 and it feels like a wonderful progression in my career to be working around so many vibrant and talented goldsmiths. I am nothing if not eclectic, working with metal of course, but also in leather and fabric to create jewellery, belts and costumes for historical reenactors.

A heraldic raven pendant

I also love working with clients to make their dreams a reality. If you have an old piece of jewellery sitting around that needs a revamp, or some gems that you haven’t quite figured out a plan for, I am your gal.

A custom project made with a smoky quartz provided by the client.

I am looking forward to see what the future brings and getting to know the Jewel Envy client community better. I will be here most Tuesdays and Wednesdays if you ever want to swing by and say hello!

A sapphire ring in 14k gold.

You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook @handmaderevolution_TO and to see my historical antics you can check out my tiktok @captainswordface

A Rings Journey

From Wax to Metal

First the rings are carved out in jewellers wax. Often by hand, but sometimes using processes such as 3D printing.
Next our rings are cast using a process called centrifugal casting. The wax rings are put into a flask (a steel tube) and filled with a plaster like material. The flask is then set in a kiln for a number of hours and the wax is melted out, leaving a void in the shape of the rings.

The flask is then loaded onto the machine pictured above, metal is melted in the crucible, and a lever is pulled the entire thing spins incredibly fast, making use of centrifugal force to push the metal into the flask and cool in the shape of the waxes.
After the rings are cast and the metal has cooled slightly, the hot flask is dunked in water. This rapid cooling removes the plaster and the cast rings are fished out.
Freshly fished out rings!
The rings are next cut from the excess metal (called a sprue) and are now ready for files, sanding, and eventually polishing!
Black oxides have been removed using files and sanding paper, revealing the gold beneath.
The rings have been polished and await final buffing.
The finished gold bands!

The Process of Re-Shanking a Ring

Over time the metal on your rings is worn away by daily wear. Over several decades this can lead to a very thin ring (or shank as they are known)! Sometimes rings get caught on things and break, or are damaged in other ways necessitating what we call a re-shanking.

Recently we had a ring come in which needed a Full Shank done. The old broken shank was removed, and the new metal was gathered in preparation for repair.

The new shank was formed and soldered onto the original head of the ring, thought at this stage it is much to wide and needs refinement.

Using files, sanding discs, and emery paper, the dimensions are refined and made to match the existing portion of the original ring. These are blended together before polishing.

Finally the ring is polished and everything checked to make sure the match is identical! And voila, a ring reborn!

s l i c e: Biodigital jewellery by Paul McClure

I had a chance to check out Paul McClure’s solo exhibition currently at the Craft Ontario gallery in Toronto, curated by Robyn Wilcox.

Paul has this to say about the exhibition:

‘Slice’ is a collection of jewellery expressing my fascination with the microscopic realm of the human body. Abstract forms refer to bacteria, viruses, cells and their structures within us. As these invisible but universal components come to define us, they also acquire cultural meaning independent of their biological definition. The highly aestheticized microscopic imagery and cutaway diagrams from popular science are particular sources of inspiration for this work: geometric forms, graphic patterns and vibrant colours. The forms are “digitally handmade” using a combination of computer modelling and 3D printing technologies with traditional metalworking techniques of forming, fabricating and finishing. Slicing through these forms reveals surprising and pleasing sections and patterns. However, the slice, like a microbe itself, exposes tensions between the benevolent and sinister, the beautiful and ugly, the fascinating and fearful.

– Paul McClure

All the work is made using a mix of 3-D printing and hand fabrication skills. It is colourful and intricate, but also slightly unnerving.

Experiments in Plaster: Part 2

By Alex Kinsley

I’m back! With more adventures in the form of plaster, steel, and rust!

The material is quite interesting, I’ve been making use of it’s ability to be dyed with different pigments, and it’s work-ability after it has been cast.

I’ve experimented adding settings to the pieces.
Also some more ‘out there’ dyes!

The next project is a much bigger art necklace, though I’ve still got a ways to go before something fully realized emerges.

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