Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Glass is fantastic!

            I love to incorporate glass into my jewellery. Glass allows me to experiment with splashes of colour, and texture in ways that are not possible with other media. Flame work (lampworking) and enamel are two of my favourite jewellery-making techniques.

Here are a few examples of my experiments with glass.

This pendant is made from borosilicate glass (the sturdy glass used in scientific lab-ware). I created the interesting shape using an oxygen-propane torch. Working with glass in this way feels a lot like pulling sugar taffy. The glass needs to stay hot enough to be manipulated, but not hot enough to melt completely and loose its form. Finding the balance between heating and cooling a piece can be quite challenging.

This bead was made using Italian soft glass (104 Coefficient of Expansion). This glass is used most commonly in bead-making. The iridescent sheen of the bead was created by using glass fused with a dichroic coating. Once again, the balance between heating and cooling the glass bead is quite important. If the temperature of the glass bead changes too abruptly, the glass will shatter and pop. To prevent this from happening, a kiln is used to slowly bring the bead down to room temperature. This process, called annealing, gives the glass a lot more strength and durability.

This last pendant was created using powdered glass enamel over fine silver. The glass powder is fused to the metal using a kiln that reaches temperatures between 1400-1500 °F. The delicate shading of this piece was the result of over fifty kiln firings and weeks of work. While creating enamel jewellery is time consuming, and often frustrating, I find it to be very rewarding.

Christine Woollacott

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Our new friend!

Very exciting studio news today! Better than a new piece of equipment or anything else you think jewelers are wishing for--we are going to have a studio puppy! Well, the puppy is actually Gilian's, but she will be getting lots of love and attention from everyone. We met her briefly today and she will be coming back to stay in a few days!

Okay this is not the lucky puppy--but she looks something like this--though even cuter if you can imagine that!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jewel Envy is (re)open for business!!

Grand opening parties are so much fun!!!

We will be posting more pictures from our big night over the next week or so, for all those who could not make it in person.

Today was my first day working in the studio during retail hours, and it was great to see so many curious people from the neighbourhood walking in to take a look.  Roncesvalles is such a wonderful community of small and creative businesses, and it has been refreshing to meet so many like-minded individuals.

Thank you for welcoming us into your neighbourhood, and we look forward to getting to know all of you!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Loving our new space!

Last night was the grand re-opening party for the lovely new Roncesvalles location!  We are all loving the beautiful new retail space and our MUCH bigger work space!  :) Here is a small sneak preview of the new space.

One of our fabulous students modeling some of her work at the opening!

Our fun new retail space with funky "pods" holding all of our jewels!

Even our windows have bling. ;)

Our stunning new retail counter!

My new work bench. 
Ellen(left) and I (right) enjoying ourselves at the opening!      

 We have all been exploring the neighborhood and discovering all of the amazing local businesses in this area!  My next blog will showcase my favorite finds thus far. 

Come on by for a visit and to see everything first hand.

Til next time,
Kathryn Rebecca