Saturday, October 26, 2013

Switching Hats This Week

As small business owners we have to wear a lot of hats to accomplish our goals. We need to make our product, market it, network, do accounting, forecasting and so much more. This past week I decided to embark on a new mission and write an e-book.

This might seem like a great departure but it really falls under the marketing of small business products as well as networking. I am always looking for new ways to expand my network and reach new customers. To do so, I read blogs, subscribe to small business marketing tips, listen to lectures and I also have an action plan for implementing new ideas every week.

Two weeks ago at the Metal Arts Guild of Canada's AGM we were lucky enough to have Taner Kilicarslan of www.74by2 as our special guest speaker. The topic was how to make social networking and internet marketing work for you. One of his suggestions was write an informative e-book and give it away as new people sign up for your mailing list. Now this tactic was not news to me as Manta tips have been telling me this for a while now, but his presentation did drive the message home.

So I thought, I have a wealth of knowledge about jewellery, what can I share that others might be interested in? I sat down and began writing a book about caring for your jewellery. I am currently in the editing stages of, but it should be ready for free downloading this winter on the Jewel Envy website. It includes easy care to keep your pieces looking fabulous for years to come but also talks about when to go to a professional. As a special bonus I have written a short section on what to look for when buying new jewellery. You can subscribe to our email now and you will be given the book when it is published, or you can wait for the grand give away unveiling!

 I already have ideas for a second e-book but for now I think it is time to get back to my first love, making jewellery.

Below is a new line by me, PASH Jewellery Design. The series features carved lotus chrysoprase flowers and sterling silver. They have been on display for almost two weeks and seem to be flying out of the store. All pieces in the line are under $100 so they make great holiday gifts for yourself and other people if they are lucky!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Instagram Love!

Over the summer something strange happened in the studio. A few of us over here at Jewel Envy became slightly addicted to Instagram. I know, I know, but it's really fun! There's a lot of talented goldsmiths out there using the hashtag #instajewelrygroup and they are beyond inspiring.
Do you use Instagram?
What's your favourite hashtag to follow?
Here's the latest pics that we've posted on our personal Instagrams. Follow us if you like! The studio also has our own profile @jewelenvy
Check out this crazy three part rubber mold! It belongs to Young Ko of Koko Bijoux Jewellery Designs. #jewelenvy #kokobijoux #rubbermold #instajewelrygroup #alljewelrytweets
 Amanda Henderson, Jewelust @jewelust
Looks like this guy I know, Mark ( @realist_art ) #greenhair #manicpanic
Fatima Tetaragic, Tete Designs @tetedesigns
Alexis Kostuk, Glaciale  @glaciale_goldsmith
Piece of the day #enamel #handpainted #handmade #glaciale #instajewelrygroup
Amber Penchoff of Amber Thomas Penchoff @amberthomaspenchoff
Today's mission at day job. Make all these:D #opalwingcreations
Carolyn Cathcart, Cathcart Designs @cbass2083
My pumpkin next to Alexis'. The difference between spending 5 minutes and all day on your pumpkin.
Lauren Hanham, Lauren Hanham Jewellery Designs @la_sass
Fell in love at the bead store today. Hopefully this can become a reality next week. #agate #mockups #laurenhanhamjewellerydedigns #musings #bedofbones #instajewelrygroup #alljewelrytweets
Sasha Oda, Archerade @archerade
Golden beaut #gold #necklace #handmadejewellery

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

So many winners to announce!!!!

Last week was a busy week at Jewel Envy! We wrapped up our In Studio Wedding Band Competition with a social all about rings. Best Ring on the Hand was juried at the social. And finally we drew the winning names for a free class from the 250 plus entries in our wedding band competition.

I would like to say congratulations to everyone that made something, wore something, or even just showed up! Our events and competitions are successful because of your participation so thank you for taking an interest in what we do at Jewel Envy.

Now to unveil winners...

The winner of the In Studio Wedding Band Competition is Lauren Hanham of Lauren Hanham Jewellery Designs for Chrysanthemum Reflections. Her design received the most votes and now she gets to brag about it to everyone!

It really was a tight race and second place is tied by Alexis Kostuk of Glacial for Leaves 

with Carolyn Cathcart of Cathcart Designs for Layers.

Excellent work everyone! It seems we may need to bring back a little more friendly competition and try this again with a different theme. Stay tuned for details on the next one.

Have a look at the blog entry for the competition to see who made what as we have now added names under the images.

As a thank you for voting in the competition all entrants names were put in a random draw for a free half day class. Congratulations to Deborah and Christine. We hope you enjoy your pendant class with us this coming weekend!

Next up we have our winners from the jewellery social. Everyone that attended the party was encouraged to wear their favorite ring and all rings were judged to choose the "Best Ring on the Hand". Thank you to Mary McIntrye and Charles Funnel, Metal Arts Guild of Canada board members, for choosing our winners.

There were no places, just three awesome rings awarded prizes based on who would benefit from the use of each prize.

Congratualtions to Sarahjane Lynch for "Four Seasons". Sarahjane has just moved to Toronto from Ireland and we thought she would benefit from a free day of studio use so she could get back to working at a bench! Her tools are en route from Ireland but we look forward to seeing what she makes while here.

Jay Joo won for his ring "Hex". Jay is a current resident at Harbourfront Center which is a fairly well equipped studio. The only thing they are really missing is casting so lucky for Jay his award is for studio use which he can use to do his own casting. You might wonder why casting yourself is such a perk. For those who wonder, it is because you can use all of your own scrap metal and control the process for better results.

Our very own Amanda Henderson is the final winner. When I was discussing the prizes with the jurors I said to exclude the jewellers at Jewel Envy. Their response was, we don't even know who they we thought it was ok to include them instead of singling them out. Amanda won for her ring "Love/Hate" and will receive a one year membership to the Metal Arts Guild of Canada.

Well done jewellers at Jewel Envy and beyond! Stay tuned for more exciting events this winter.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Molding the future


In between mouthfuls of turkey and stuffing, I'm sure you have been wondering how molds are made.  I know, I also have molds on the brain.  Which is why I'm going to give you a small glimpse into this very exciting technique.  So get ready to learn!

 These are the basic tools that I use to create a mold.  I use a silicon rubber that is flexible like play-doh and green like slime.  The mold frame is sized to accommodate my piece with extra space all around, and I also use a separating cream that works really well to minimize the cutting I have to do.

 This is the test subject, a ring that I carved in wax and cast into sterling silver.

This is one-half of the mold.  I cut slices of the silicon rubber, and pack it into the frame.  I also use brass locks, which ensure that both sides of the mold fit together perfectly once they're cut apart.

 This is the vulcanizer.  It uses heat and pressure to harden and solidify the silicon rubber.  It takes about 15 minutes per layer..  In this case, there are three layers of silicon rubber so this mold took 45 minutes to vulcanize.

Once it's done vulcanizing, I use my fingers and a sharp scalpel to cut the mold open.  This mold is certainly not winning any beauty pageants, but it gets the job done.

This is the wax injector, which sits prettily next to the vulcanizer.  It uses the pressure from an accompanying air compressor to shoot hot wax into the mold.  Every mold is different, and it takes a bit of experimenting to figure out the correct pressure and angles to get good wax pieces.

 And voila, here is a successful wax piece.  It should be an exact replica of the original master model.  Now I am ready for hours and hours of wax-pulling and casting fun!  After the turkey of course.  And the stuffing, and the potatoes, and the squash...

Gobble gobble y'all!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hot fall!

It might be getting cool outside, but it is hot here at Jewel Envy!
This month we have our jewellery social- Oct 11 from 5pm to 10pm. Come have a drink and talk jewels.
We have a whole new line up of classes, including a new ornament workshop- make an ornament as a gift!
And coming soon- our spread in a Canadian Fashion magazine.

Come on in and warm up this fall with Jewel Envy.