Monday, August 22, 2011

I am participating in an exhibition, The Value of Metal, co-hosted by Ontario Crafts Council (OCC) and Metal Arts Guild Of Canada (MAGC). My jewellery will be showing at the Guild Shop from September 15th to October 16th. They are fun and beautiful. Please come visit!

118 Cumberland St. (Yorkville)
Toronto, Ontario
M5R 1A6

I have been working on ginkgo leaves and making molds for them. I glued each leaf on a piece of wax sheet in order to increase their thickness so they are easy to cast. Before pouring the paste without shifting them, I glued those leaves on the bottom of the box. Wait for a day for the mold to dry and it's ready to go!

ChiaChien Tsai

Friday, August 12, 2011

when things start to pile up, it's time to organize!

Random detritus, including mokume and a piece of deer antler
Container of containers
pile 'o boxes
Lately whenever I pause from doing work I gaze around my bench area & frown at the mess that is piling up around me.  I know I have enough storage space for placing my tools and materials away.  However, it seems like when I start working and switch between projects the detritus of "partially finished', "just started" and "I should fix this" piles become sequestered in small containers and plastic bags crammed between tools.  Also, piles of random tools that I don't use everyday but need to keep around and easily at hand - such as popsicle sticks and small containers to cram things intoIn an attempt to bolster myself into maintaining a cleaner space I constantly decide that I just need the "right" containers to help organize.  Enter: the dollarama, where cheap plastic containers line the shelves in abundance. I think I might be heading in the right direction with these beauties...
Look upon my organization skills with envy!
So beautiful!

Now maybe if I convince myself to drag my extra bookshelf to work I can continue my organizing binge...  


Saturday, August 6, 2011

The summer of Mezuzahs

Hi Everyone,

It has been quite the busy summer and a project I have been working on since December is 2010 is finally coming to fruition! It all started with an off the cuff question from a client inquiring if I had ever made a Mezuzah. (A Mezuzah is small cylindical sculpture placed on the door of Jewish homes that holds a parchament paper with a sacred prayer). At the time I had not made one but as I like a challenge I said I would be happy to.

This conversation led to me being asked to design a Mezuzah for the Kehilla Residential Program for a new project.  (Kehilla creates affordable housing for low income Jewish families.) So now it was design time. I did many sketches and had many meetings about the design and what I could produce multiples of in a reasonable time frame. We finally agreed on design and then the funding challenge began. As Kehilla is a non-profit they are always in need of more funding! The team went straight to work and after talking up the project they were able to secure the finances to proceed.

I am now in the process of making 100 Mezuzahs for the fall fundraiser! The image on the left is of the final design. It features the Hebrew letter "shin" and is made from stainless steel and copper. They will be available for purchase through Kehilla in time for Sukkot!

Looking forward to updating you on future projects!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Interns saying helloooo

Hello Hello,

Let me introduce myself, my name is Heba and I am one of two interns currently working at Jewel Envy over the summer. Both Theresa and I attend OCADU for jewellery and metalsmithing, however I am going into my fourth year while Theresa (the other glorious intern) is heading into her final thesis year (as a 5th year student).

I am really enjoying interning here at Jewel Envy (and I am not just saying that). Everyone is very hard working, hilarious and collectively they create a very enjoyable and productive working environment. It's nice coming in to work on my own collections as well, as the studio is fully equipped and everyone is ready and able to answer any questions. I find that working as a jeweller at home fun at times because I can play my obnoxious music as loud as I want, late into the evening without bothering anyone (who wasn't grown use to it), and I can work in my pajama's and bumble bee slippers in comfort. The downside being that I don't have anyone to bounce ideas off of when things have gone wrong or don't look just right, this I find to be such a helpful part of the creative process, and one that I cherish at Jewel Envy as everyone here has years of experience. Sometimes I will ask standard questions just to see how someone else does it, because everyone has their own little method to accomplishing a task..some work better than others.

I would definitely recommend interning here to anyone who is deserving and hard working...there is no sitting around looking pretty here.

Well, hope you're all having a super productive summer like the rest of us here at the studio.