Sunday, August 30, 2015

The date is getting closer to Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. I haven't done a show for a while and this is definitely exciting for me! I am still making lots of new pieces and trying to get things done. Hopefully I will see all of you guys there. Show starts at September 18th to 20th.

by Ellolite

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Today was a very busy Sunday at Jewel Envy.
We had several students, all of them creating exciting pieces .
They are so good those people , big respect !
Customers coming in and browsing, ordering, asking lots of questions.
Great day and now I am really tired.
Talk to you next time.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A little insight about teaching!

I am about to date myself! I haven't been a student in the college/university stream in over a decade and it is nearly two decades since I was in high school but September always brings back mixed emotions.

As we creep closer to the start of another school year I start to have vivid dreams about the year to come and the work to be done combined with the anticipation of seeing those friends we miss over summer holidays.

Years later, I now teach in schools and feel a new kind of excitement and dread. Will my students be receptive? Will I be able to give them my best help, including honest critique, as they learn new skills and try to navigate the world of art, goldsmithing, and business? The flip side being the excitement of  learning what glorious things students and teachers alike have been making all summer. But my favourite part of meeting a new class is learning which one of my students will amaze me during the year and teach me something new.

This yin and yang of the student/teacher relationship is probably what has kept me interested all of these years. I love the idea that I can have an impact on what someone knows and does just by sharing my passion for goldsmithing. I am always pushing myself to stay on my toes so that I can attempt to inspire the same drive in the students I meet throughout the year.

When everyone thinks back over their years of education most of us can pin point at least one teacher we thought was excellent. I hold a couple special ones in my heart and strive to emulate their standards, knowing all the while, I may never reach their level of excellence.

So on that note, I hope everyone going back to school has a mixed bag of emotions to draw energy from and those without formal plans continue to push themselves in new and slightly terrifying ways as well!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Interview with Amanda Henderson of Jewelust

Originally posted on the Toronto Etsy Street Team blog.

Hi Amanda. Tell us a bit about yourself and your business, Jewelust. 

I am an emerging jewellery designer/goldsmith located in Toronto. I create every piece myself out of recycled silver and gold in a shared studio space in the west end. I source recycled and sustainable materials when possible (for example, my business cards and packaging). I even re-use my customers’ old jewellery by melting it down to use the gold, diamonds, and gems.

I love to think about all of the history in a piece when we re-use a parent’s or grandparent’s old jewellery! I also have a couple ongoing initiatives where I donate a portion of sales from certain collections (my mustache septum rings, and my stinger jewellery) to charities that are important to me (Movember and The Canadian Honey Council). I am planning a new collection to raise funds for lupus in the future. You can read more about these activities on my website.

What is the inspiration behind your work? 

I like to play with the idea of metal being a hard, rigid material by creating fluid and graceful designs. For example, my signature collection, Whirl, reminds me of ribbons of satin wrapped around a gift. We all like to give and receive gifts that look pretty, and I think everyone deserves to feel beautifully decorated! This collection has been quite popular; I even had a commission for a series of Whirl rings for the upcoming TV show, Warrior.

How do you channel your inspiration into a jewellery design? 

I spend a lot of time sketching and making samples to perfect my designs. Metal is actually very malleable and I find inspiration in the way it moves when it is hammered or bent, so a lot of it happens organically. I always start with an idea and sketches, but each piece evolves uniquely through the creation process. I would say that sinuous, clean lines and minimal ornamentation are the overall elements of my aesthetic, and even though each piece is unique I try to keep those design elements in mind so my body of work is cohesive.

Tell us about your education. 

I started my jewellery education with a Gemmology Certificate from George Brown College (GBC). I really enjoyed looking at gems and diamonds all day but I knew it wasn’t creative enough for me, so I enrolled in part-time goldsmithing classes at GBC. It was the perfect blend of mechanical and artistic skills for me, and I knew I found my calling. That sounds cliché, but every once in a while I still stop to think about how lucky I am to have found something I love so much.

After completing the 3-year full-time jewellery program at GBC, I received a scholarship from The Harbourfront Centre for the artist-in-residence program in their Metal Studio. It was a great transition from school to real-life goldsmith/artist. That was the end of my formal training, but being a full-time self-employed artisan is as much a job as a learning experience. Everyday I learn something new; goldsmithing techniques, business and marketing skills, photography… The list is endless!

What's next for Jewelust?

I am planning a shift in my designs. For the last couple years I have been making smaller fashion/production pieces, but my goal is to go back to my real passion – large statement jewellery. I have made several new pieces, which I am very excited about (ed note: not yet listed) . They have been getting a great response from customers and fellow designers. You can see them on my Instagram or Facebook pages.


Check out the other items available from Amanda in her Etsy shop. You can also find her at: 
Wychwood Barns Art Market - August 15, from 9am-2pm Located at 601 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G 4C7

Monthly Email Sign Up:  Contact Form (doesn’t work on mobile devices) 
Instagram: @jewelust

Interviewed by Sasha Oda of Archerade in Toronto on or about July 10, 2015

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Come cast with Jewel Envy!

Hello friends! I am going to be teaching our next casting class, starting Wednesday August 12th. I thought I would go over the process with you, and show you what you can learn.

 Our first project is a ring. I will show you how to size, shape, and add texture, pattern, and detail to a slice of wax. Once the wax has been carved, I will walk you through the lost wax casting process. This involves: investment, a hot kiln, a big torch, molten metal, and centrifugal force. Voila! Your ring, in all its sterling silver beauty.

The next project is a cuttlefish casting. A cuttlefish is a squid-like fish, that has a bone with very unique properties. Birds like to peck at these bones, and goldsmiths like to cast with them. (We will be casting, not pecking.) The inside of the bone is very soft and has a great texture. I will show you how to use tools to carve into the bone, to create a mold (essentially negative space), for your piece. Once complete, we will pour molten metal into this mold using gravitational force. Very fun!

The last project is one of your choosing, so it is a great time to stretch your creative muscles and use your imagination. Casting is a very sculptural process, and lends itself well to three-dimensional designs. Join me for this next class, and show me what you've got!

See you soon!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Meet Archerade!

This interview was originally posted on the Toronto Etsy Street Team blog.

Hello! So tell us about Archerade. 

Hi! My name is Sasha, and Archerade is the name of my jewellery brand. I am a goldsmith by trade, and I personally design and handcraft each piece in my collection. I work with precious metals (mostly sterling silver and gold), with gemstones and diamonds for colour and sparkle. The goldsmithing magic happens in a shared studio in the west-end of Toronto, and pretty much every step of the process takes place in-house.

What exactly is 'the process'? 

I always start with an idea, a vague notion of shape, colour, or pattern. I sketch a lot – on the streetcar, sitting on a park bench, at a bar with a glass of wine; there's a good chance you've seen me around town with a pencil, bent over my sketchbook. Once I have a solid design, I start carving the wax, and I don't stop until I'm satisfied. I do all of the casting myself, using the lost wax casting technique. This involves a big torch, a hot flame, and molten metal, all coming together with centrifugal force – definitely a pyromaniac's dream. Once the piece has been cast in metal, I do all of the soldering, polishing, and stone-setting, along with any other final assembly work.

How would you describe your style? 

My designs have strong silhouettes, accentuated by layers of texture and pattern that soften the lines and add depth. Because everything is done by hand (and because I am not a machine!), each piece has a familiar, handworked charm, that both complements and contrasts the modern edginess. The Archerade brand has definitely evolved over the last few years, to become more focused and cohesive. I always want to feel as though I'm creating and curating a distinct look that feels genuine, and stays true to my design esthetic.

What inspires you? 

The world is my oyster, and I am inspired by everything! Sometimes I get so caught up in my own thoughts that I forget to open my senses to what surrounds me, and I need to remind myself to sit up and pay attention. I especially enjoy architecture – I really love seeing how lines can flow together to create shape and form. Creating something original is always inspiring – there is so much good energy that comes from exploring new ideas and concepts.

So is it all amazing, or do you find yourself struggling with any aspects of the business? 

Over the past year or so, I have realized that I am not just a designer or a goldsmith, I am also a small-business owner. All the work that goes along with that title has been a real adjustment for me, and I am sure all the other artists and creators will agree! If only there were endless hours in the day for the solo artisan/entrepreneur...

What do you envision for the future of Archerade? 

I would love to keep doing exactly what I'm doing right now, but on a bigger scale. I am always working to increase my brand's exposure and visibility, and I hope to sell to a larger audience, directly through Etsy, and also through independent boutiques around the world. I love being in control of every facet of this business, but there just isn't enough time to get everything done. So the future will probably also involve sharing the workload – a goldsmithing/business-partner in crime could be just what I need to move forward. In any case, Archerade has been such an amazing adventure so far, and I am excited to see what the future – planned or unplanned – holds for me and my brand.

Check out the other items available from Sasha in her Etsy shop! You can also find her:

Website -
Instagram - 

Interviewed by Amanda Henderson of Jewelust on or about July 10, 2015 in Toronto.