Friday, April 30, 2010


Hi there ,

I've started teaching my first 8-week fabrication class at the studio and I have to say that I absolutely enjoy every minute of it. I have a great class of 6 eager students. In the last class they learned how to form a sterling silver band ring and in the third class they will be introduced to different techniques of finishing and adding texture of their choice. In the last two classes they will start work on their final project and I am sure they will put to use all their new skills to create an interesting piece of jewelery.

Till next time,

Friday, April 23, 2010

Work in Progress

Alexis here, back from a 10 day vacation.  I have to say though, I was antsy to get back to work to try and figure out a piece that I am working on.  I was so excited about it that I kind of jumped the gun on my design process.  I did a few sketches that are mostly vague ideas.  Then instead of making a prototype I went ahead and made Mokume Gane to use in the design instead of doing things logically.

(Yay, sketches!)

I don't always make prototypes, but when I am preparing to make a complicated piece of jewellery and I am not completely sure about how the construction of the piece is going to work it is always a wise decision to make a model.  That way I can troubleshoot without wasting materials.

However, here is what my thought process was as I came up with my idea:  I am going to create a piece that looks like scale armour, Oh! I should use different colour metals to create contrast OH! I should make Mokume it goes so well with the theme of my piece, OOH! I'm going to make Mokume NOW!

That is what happens when I get ahead of myself.  Now that I have accomplished making Mokume (a feat in itself). I then cut a pile of scale pieces and now I have to go back and build a prototype to figure how to make something out of them.

Stayed tuned folks, I will eventually figure things out and something will get made.  Hopefully.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jewellery Repairs the pros and cons

Repairs can be the bane of every jewellers existence but sometimes they turn out so well that they are worth the effort. To many in the jeweller field repairs mean accept with caution and handle with extreme care. Items brought in for repair often have sentimental value and little else; yet they often end up being the hardest pieces to work on. You never know how they were made, what materials were used and what has already been done to them in the quest to fix the piece over and over.

Ok that is the downside of repairs but there is an upside. The ring below is a perfect example. It was a custom ball bearing ring in 14K yellow gold with a smokey quartz donut set on top and a diamond set into the top of the donut. Both myself and the customer were thrilled with the piece. Through an unfortunate accident the ring was dropped on a marble floor causing the smokey quartz donut to shatter. So the dilemma ensued what to do with this sad looking ring. After consultation we decided to remake the top with a neutral looking gemstone. I brought a few options to the table and my client chose white moonstone. Now that the ring is finished with the new stone, it is as if the piece has been given a new lease on life. Now I wait for it to leave my hands for her finger where it can be shown off and admired as a new piece, for the second time.

The moral of the story. Repairs don't always have to be boring. Sometimes they breath new life into a piece and restore valauble memories to the owner.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Well this is it, my last blog post. I have finished my co-op placement at Jewel Envy and tomorrow is my last day. Last week the studio took me out for Thai food for my goodbye dinner and after working at the studio for 6 months it is a little sad to say goodbye. I have gained so many valuable skills while at the studio and I am really grateful to have had this opportunity. Doing this co-op has made me realise just how much I love to make jewellery and it is definitely something that I want to pursue in the future. So where am I going from here? well in September I will attending the Ontario College of Art and Design and I will see where that takes me in the future. I know that all I have been taught here by all the designers at the studio will be a great help to me while at university, especially if I stick with my decision to study jewellery design. Well I guess this is goodbye. I want to thank everyone at the studio for all they have taught me, I promise to visit and keep in touch. Bye :)