Thursday, February 23, 2017

Teaching at Jewel Envy

My experience teaching at Jewel Envy!

  I have been teaching my first class at Jewel Envy recently and I love it! 


 Sharing my passion for creativity and jewellery making is a treat. Seeing and helping students learn and progress to a level where they start creating original and beautiful pieces is amazing, there is so much hidden talent here, and no pre-conceptions of what can be done or not! The results are awesome!

 See for yourself and admire our introduction class's students work - p.s. this is not even the final projects. I can not wait to see what's coming next...

 I hope we have sparkled some future goldsmiths, we certainly did in the past!

Our students are great!

  Ivane Thiebaut
Amazing snakes pair of silver earrings!
 Brass and copper necklace on cord using the riveting technique
 Silver fish pendant using the rolling printing method and on right a very nice simple sterling silver band ring with waves!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Artist Spotlight on Hyewon Jang

Today artists spotlight is on  Hyewon Jang

Working along Hyewon in the studio is always a pleasure as she is has an inner peace and happiness that transpires to people around her. Hyewon is a true aesthete with a profound sense of appreciation of beauty in nature, art and architecture. Every year she is lucky to travel to Europe and attend design shows in Italy.

Hyewon pieces are a reflection of her attention to details, her travels, and her inner strength combined with her soft and feminine side.

Part of her recent collection is representative of this in my view and so are her pieces combining silver and pearls as shown in the picture below.  

Do come and visit us at Jewel Envy to see more of this amazing collection and others from Hyewon!

Remember to stop next time you walk by the Blue House!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Love in the air!

Valentine's is around the corner!

Did you know Valentine's day origins are of Christians and Romans traditions. It's a time a to celebrate love and romance. Handmade cards became the "token-du-jour only" in the middle ages and it's only in 1900 that the tradition came to the "New World". Then cards started to be mass produced in the US. The older Valentine's poem was written  back  in1415 by the Duke of Orleans to his wife as his was prisoner in the Tower of London. This letter can still be found at the British Library in London.  Today over 1 billion Valentine cards are being sent every year!

Let's get back into the tradition of having something handmade!
Come and meet the jewelers at Jewel Envy and have something made just for you or your loved one!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The secret to Jewellery Success!

The secret to Jewellery Success!

One jeweller-many roles!

When becoming a jewellery designer one imagines sitting quietly in your very own studio sketching ideas followed by bringing your sketches to life effortlessly after which your adoring (and wealthy!) customers flock to you to buy every piece as soon as you make them.

The reality--as always--is different than the dream.  A successful jeweller wears many hats: designer; maker; bench jeweller for others; jewellery repair-person; wedding-band short, a  jack-of-a-trades.

It is hard to get the balance right but when you do--success!  As a resident goldsmith of Jewel Envy, I have been very fortunate to learn this by watching one of our successful goldsmiths, Amanda Henderson, in action.

Amanda fits the formula for successful jeweller to a T: she designs and manufactures for a friend's jewellery business, she teaches, she does custom work, and she designs and makes jewellery for her two, yes, you read that right, TWO jewellery lines: Jewelust and Fandom Regalia (with her art partner Zsolt Szekely).

In her latest work Amanda has, "embraced her inner (or maybe outer) geek," in her Elf Deco line.

Elf Deco Necklace in Sterling silver by Jewelust

Elf Deco Earrings in Sterling silver by Jewelust

If you are interested in seeing Amanda's work in person you can find her work at Jewel Envy, 151 Marion  Street, Toronto, or at one of the many shows she does.  She will be exhibiting (and selling) at two shows this summer at Wychwood barns, 601 Christie St, July 22 + Aug 19, 8am-2pm.

I don't know how Amanda does it, but she does, and it is a joy to witness!


Saturday, February 4, 2017


Hello friends! Hope you are having a wondering February. If you're anything like me, you're just glad that January is out of the way, because that month was a real stinker.

But onwards and upwards! Pretty excited about the sunshine today (even though it's freezing), and also really excited about today's save vs splurge.

It's a 3-parter though, because these pieces are all from the same collection by Mia Shen, goldsmith-in-residence. The pieces are geometric, but the shapes are surprising and eye-catching, and make good use of negative space. The texture is is very tactile and adds a lot of depth, and contrasts amazingly well with the non-textured, high-polished areas.

 First up are these drop-stud earrings. Really amazing shape, and great use of balanced asymmetry, a term we used often in jewellery school haha. These are at a low, save-save-save price of $180.

 Ooooh this ring! It's so great, it almost looks like an object you want to keep in your pocket so you can touch it throughout the day:) The cinched sides lets it sit very comfortably, without getting in the way of your other fingers. This one is middle-of-the-road at $295.

Last but not least is this toggle bracelet. It is substantial and has a lot of visual dimension, but it isn't heavy or clunky at all. This beauty comes in at a cool splurge-worthy $640.

So spend a little or spend a lot (or spend it all!), whatever suits your fancy!
Enjoy your weekend!!!! xx

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Classics

The Classics Revisited

Is there anything that is really considered classic in jewellery?

Maybe  are there no real classics, just the style of the day?  A la Mode?

I have been staying in a lot during these cold, dark short snowy winter days.  Hibernating and watching movies and award shows

Turner Classic Movies are such an inspiration.  Hollywood Glam.  Netflicks' The Crown shows Queen Elizabeth coming to age.  Royalty.  BlockBusters - The New Hollywood -

When I think about the classics I think about pearls.  Long before the discovery of diamonds and platinum pearls were the most valued gem in the world.

According to the Cultured Pearl Association of America Inc.  Ulster, Size, Shape, Colour, Nacre Thickness and Surface Quality are the factors that determine the value of the pearl.

I would also add in to this the variety of Pearl/Origin Salt Water - VS Fresh Water Pearls. Virtually all pearls today are cultured.

What does this mean?  Man introduces a seed or a bead usually round into a a BiValue mollusk.  The bivalve forms a coating around the bead called a Nacre.  In a natural pearl, a pieces of sand or debris enters the bivalve naturally and the nacre is formed.  This does not happen very often so, seed are planted in the oysters.

Natural Pearls Value:  Cartier purchased his building on Fifth Avenue in NYC with two  matching natural pearls.

While single, double and triple strand pearls are still the ultimate in classic jewellery,

pearls incorporated into contemporary designs offer the best of both worlds.

This series will continue to talk about choosing a classic strand of pearls worth of handing down to future generations.