Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some people sing in the shower, I sing disco while working alone at the studio

First of all, happy new year to all our blog followers from me, Emily.

This year brings a few new changes, and a busy schedule for me. I have recently made the switch to full time member and changed benches. As some of you know, I work part time as a florist (yes, I love flowers.....!) and come here to Jewel Envy everyday after my morning shift whipping up floral deliveries to brighten people's days. Although I have lived in Toronto for about 9 months now, I feel more settled than ever, really enjoying my studio work, friendships with all the girls (yes, we are all girls at the moment) here and networking with other crafts people and jewellers. My eventual goal is to work full time and survive from my jewellery, but I am finding a happy balance with my part time job, which is important. I won't be leaving Toronto any time soon :)

I have been working what feels like non-stop since returning from Montreal after the holidays. I started teaching my Introductory Enamelling class two weeks ago, and love my students! Laura, our co-op student, although new to enamelling, is a HUGE help as my assistant. Thanks Laura!
Just when I thought I could have a little break a slew of shows I want to apply for or participate popped up!
In Halifax, my friend and jeweller Vanessa Neily is curating Adornable, an exhibition of work by selected NSCAD jewellery and metalsmithing alumni. Its going to be so cute and whimsical, I am totally into it! The show will run in the summer (you should also check out her website, her stuff is incredible

I am particularily tickled by the invitation by Lafreniere & Pai Gallery to participate in their tenth year anniversary show entitled "Eros from Chaos" an exhibition of erotic jewellery and sculpture running in May in Ottawa. Ooh la la. I have a plethora of ideas ;)

The icing on the cake will be the Jewel Envy group show, which we have just started planning. No set dates yet, but we will keep you informed!
Now I must get back to work. I've been here almost every night until at least 9pm with Young, who is attempting to make her first Mokume ring. Last night, however, was a record late night, leaving here at 12:35am exhausted, but very content with the amount of work I completed. Sometimes it is great to work until you can't anymore. I prefer having a working buddy those late nights; too bad no one else gets to see how my late night enamel-dance moves improved and I now can do a rendition of Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way" disco tune pretty much accapella. Yikes!

Disco is cheerful, and so are my happy little brooches. Take a peek at how they transformed.

I sift enamel powder (a form of powdered glass) onto the hand formed copper flowers. 

And from my powdery bench, I put the little guy on a steel trivet. He is ready to bake!

Into the kiln at about 1500 degrees fahrenheit for about 2-3 minutes.....until they get nice and glossy.

Et voila! So many happy brooches!

I am also making more necklaces with this form. My bench is a garden of colour when I have them all out.
I love enamelling. I couldn't live (or make jewellery) without it!

- Emily

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Me again!


     It's Laura the co-op student again. Since the last time I have blogged I have been learning many new techniques and am now assisting Emily with her 8 week enameling classes. Every Tuesday I spend the day at the studio either working on my own pieces or helping the others out, than at night I am doing the enameling class. Last week was the first class and everything went great! The class made samples of enamel to show them the different types of textures and colours you can get with different firing times. This week things will be getting a little more complicated and exciting as we are doing stenciling in different colours. I have never done enamel before so this class is a great opportunity for me to learn something new while helping out. Only one more hour until the class starts.. it is going to be fun!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A quiet January it is NOT!!!

After a busy November and December I was looking forward to
a quiet January...No of course not!!!

I'm sitting here on my macbook and let's see I have fedex, a custom brokers, the financial times, the canadian tax sites, oh and myspace open because i'm always in search of music artists.

But luckily I have a business trip to ARIZONA in a couple weeks for the annual Tucson Gem Show so luckily I can relax....yeah right my new designs are still scribbles on a page, nevermind the production of them oh and the the website and a million other things!

But what's even more exiciting then being able to attend the biggest gem show on the planet is the fact that I am almost finished a idea I've been working on for years...My original 45 rpm record adapter pendant which started off as a birthday present for a DJ but years later after enough DJ's asking me "So Quincy, when is this 45 actually going to work as an adapter in side a record?" Guess what it's finally evolved into an adapter and a piece of jewellery.  It took me a long time to work out how I could get them to work seeing as they are now metal and not plastic, and usual production techniques just wouldn't work and then I had to find the right person to help me with major technicalities and of course like magic its all come together and as one DJ told me "it works beautifully." They will be available in Silver and Gold soon, very soon!!!! 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Let's go check out Cedar Ridge Gallery this Sunday/January 17th

It's me!! Nice to see everyone here again, I have a great news for all. A group show held by OCAD students will happen in the Cedar Ridge Gallery, and I am one of the participants. We are past and present OCAD students showing functional and non-functional jewellery, plus sculptural works. The opening reception is on Sunday, January 17th,2010 from 1 pm- 4 pm. However, it is totally fine if you can't make it on that day because the show will not end till January's enough advertisment for now.

It is exciting for me that I figure out other ways to add colours in my jewellery! I made bunch of tiny balls in different sizes with polymer clay. They are vibrant and fun. I am still experimenting with them, but hopefuly I will develop a new design line with it! Wish me LUCK :P

I hope to see you all on Sunday
Have a wonderful weekend!

ChiaChien Tsai

Friday, January 8, 2010


The party was GREAT! Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate with us.
For the past two months, a watch that I made while in my third year at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem, has been exhibited in a show at the Talin's gallery in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is always nice to have a project that you made for school shown at an exhibition to a different crowd.

Right now I am very excited to hear the tumbler spinning (I use it for an alternative finish on the jewelry surface). That means that my new collection is almost done.
Guess I'd better get back to work!

Until Later,