Sunday, June 16, 2019

Unusual and Creepy Jewellery

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but some times we question if the beholder has lost it's glasses (or it's mind). for a fun Sunday, I made a small recompilation of creepy and unusual jewellery around the internet.

Insects and small animals
 Personally, I don't like it, for the sake of the animals (even tho some are made with already dead critters), but this is not a new trend, as insects trapped in amber are found in jewellery pieces around the world for many centuries.

Image result for real bugs in jewellery -etsy

Teeth and other body parts
Some decide to remember friends and family (pets included) by carrying with them some piece of the deceased, a reminder of their child's first teeth, others just had their wisdom teeth removed and wanted to do something with them; either way, its very common to get this kind of requests as a goldsmith.

Image result for human teeth jewellery 

Not literal food, but make hyper realistic looking jewellery reminiscent of  our favorite dishImage result for ugly jewelleryweird jewelry

To be honest, I find this one the most disturbing, carrying effigies of decapitated heads, I know they are made of plastic but still... no

Image result for doll made jewelleryImage result for doll made jewellery

Unusual and creepy or unique, you decide.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Enameling in jewellery

Hello there!  Saturday has somehow come around again, I don't know where the week goes sometimes!  Today I wanted to talk a bit about enameling and jewellery.  Most people are aware that traditionally, enamel referred to powdered silica (or glass), fused to a substrate, in jewellery generally copper, silver or gold. There are many different styles of enamel, and it can be a great way to include colour in jewellery, instead of, or in complement to gemstones.

If you're interested in a bit more information, you can read more here.


With advancing technology, new types of enamel have been developed, and new and inventive ways of applying enamel to different effects.  Here are a couple of examples of more contemporary designs incorporating enamel from goldsmiths at the studio:



Interested?  Come in and talk to one of our goldsmiths about commissioning an enameled piece of jewellery.  Or, if you think you'd like to try it out, check out our classes in enameling and come explore this fascinating technique for yourself! (We have lots of classes that don't need any prior experience!)

Happy Saturday, and see you soon!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Benitoite, the rare blue gem

Benitoite is regarded as one of the rarest gemstones on the planet, it is formed in high pressure and low temperature conditions. Originally found on the San Benito Mountains in California, where it got its name, but it can occur in a number of isolated locations across the globe like Japan and Australia.

It's also the State Gem of California!

The resemblance of color makes this gemstone almost indistinguishable from a blue sapphire,
although there is a trick to recognize this gem, put it under a UV light and see how this translucent gemstone becomes a glowing solid rock out of a Sci-Fi movie.


 Pretty nice stone, with a really nice trick.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Studio's a buzz buzz buzzin'

Although the studio is at full capacity Gillian Batcher the studio's scheduling guru (and Owner) is able to map our time for maker's visiting from far and wide this summer. Today there is a class is full swing, goldsmith's working away, and a temporary visitor creating in the studio today. 

Jade Dumrath, object and jewellery maker extraordinaire is in Toronto to celebrate her sister's wedding and needed some time to make some special somethings before the big day. Check out more of her work here. And some of it just below ;o)  - Alexis

Slim ring box, as pictured on Jade's Instagram

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Reasons You Shouln't Work Out With Jewellery

I am something of a gym rat, and going every day of the week to the gym has exposed me to curious behaviors that otherwise will go unnoticed.

I saw a couple of girls on the stretching room ready to tackle a nice sweat session, and during the conversation that I was totally not eavesdropping, came the fact that one of them was wearing their engagement ring; this left me wondering how many people go through their exercise with jewellery on, and how bad it can be.

Seems obvious in my mind that you definitely should not wear jewellery during a workout, but there might be someone out there that will put vanity or emotion over logic, and keep their ring/earrings/necklace/etc...  

After giving it some thought I came up with some reasons why you should definitely not wear jewellery during a workout.

1. Jewellery is not indestructible:

We know some precious metals are very sturdy and tend to last longer than their cheap counterparts, white gold and platinum being the ones that resist more than any other; but that doesn't make then impervious to damage.

The amount of material makes them somewhat fragile, and small details like prongs and settings can easily get bent, crushed or broken with little pressure; gemstones are at higher risk, some are very delicate and will crack with ease or can be forced out of the setting and get lost forever.

2. There is a risk of injury:

Rings and big dangling earrings can be a hazard during a workout; rings will generate discomfort while griping the equipment and the pressure can actually hurt your fingers; earrings that are too long can get tangled everywhere, poke you during certain movements or hit you during fast phased movements.

3. It can get lost:

Sweat will make your rings slip out of your fingers and a quick movement with your hand can send the ring flying and disappear forever, heavy earrings can fall, and chains will break; Jewellery is pricey, and you definitely don't wasn't to pay for your engagement ring again.

Stud earrings and piercing jewellery are fine, they are small and unlikely to get on the way during your workout session, but if you're not sure, just have a bag or any container to put them in, place that on your gym bag with the rest of your jewellery, and put them in your locker (with a lock... please)

I hope this post reaches everyone that might need the pep talk and prevent some sad moments about lost jewellery or injury; specially you girl from my gym, your ring is really nice.

Have an amazing Sunday,



Saturday, May 25, 2019

Ponte Vecchio - From 'Old Bridge' to 'Goldsmith Bridge'

Last spring I had the pleasure of visiting Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy and it was a beautiful experience to say the least. The Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge, was the only bridge across the Arno in Florence until 1218 and was rebuilt after a flood in 1345. During World War II it was the only bridge across the Arno that the fleeing Germans did not destroy.

Ponte Vecchio is a very romantic spot in Florence, with its great views over the river and of the bridge itself. By night, the wooden shutters of the shops create a look like suitcases and wooden chests, making it a very suggestive route to take for an evening passeggiata, or stroll.

There have been shops on Ponte Vecchio since the 13th century. Initially, there were all types of shops, including butchers and fishmongers and, later, tanners, whose "industrial waste" caused a pretty rank stench in the area. In 1593, Ferdinand I decreed that only goldsmiths and jewelers be allowed to have their shops on the bridge in order to improve the well being of all, including their own as they walked over the bridge.

Today there are hundreds of shops alongthe Ponte Vecchio that glisten with gold for your viewing and purchasing pleasure. I know I indulged in a couple keepsakes for myself and I encourage you to do the same next time you find yourself in this Artisan city ~ you wont be disappointed!

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Watermelon Tourmaline

Sneak peek at some design ideas Alexis Kostuk of glaciale goldsmith is brewing up to set these beautiful watermelon tourmaline into some earrings designs.