Sunday, September 21, 2014

Earthy Sparkle

Hello All!

Here is a new ring made by Darija Radic. Start your fall off right with this elegant yet earthy style with some bling of course!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Polish Festival and Contemporary Polish Jewellery

It is that time of year again... the Roncesvalles Polish Festival! I thought it would be fitting to take a look the jewellery that is coming out of Poland. Now I know what you are thinking... amber jewellery, right? Well, I am here to report that there is more to Polish jewellery than amber!

Dorota Kos | gold plated silver, cubic zirconia |

Jan Suchodolski / silver rings with synthetic stones 
Jan Suchodolski | silver rings with synthetic stones |

I feel I shouldn't completely leave out the great Polish amber jewellery. Here are a couple great examples where the goldsmiths have used amber in a very non-traditional way.

Amberwood | amber, drift wood, hazel, silver, magnetic clasp |

Art7 | sterling silver, amber |

 If you've enjoyed this, you should come out and enjoy some perogies in one of the vodka gardens after some free wax carving lessons here at Jewel Envy!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Kicking off the Bridal Earring Competition!

It is once again time for some friendly in house competition between the jewellers here. This year we decided to focus on earrings. You can view the online exhibition by clicking on the page to your right called In Studio Bridal Competition. Once you have viewed the exhibition be sure to click on the link to place your vote for your favourite design. The exhibition is also on display in the studio so we encourage you to come in to see these fabulous pieces in person! You can also vote in person at the studio but we will only count one vote per person. The winner will be announced after the exhibition closes in mid October.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Come celebrate Polish Festival with Jewel Envy. On this coming Saturday, everyone will have a chance to try your hand at wax carving for Free! Then you can take a special 1/2 day casting class on Sept. 20th to cast and finish your work. It's a dream come true to make your own piece of jewellery!

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Hi!  Just a quick post, to show you some of the work available here at the studio.  On display, for your viewing pleasure, are a few pieces that showcase the wire working skills of our talented goldsmiths.

Wire work is a form of fabrication that uses (surprise!) wire to create intricate and finely-detailed pieces.  This kind of work is typically quite lightweight, but the perceived volume and added visual interest really pack a heavy stylistic punch.  Pow!

Here is a pendant by Alexis Kostuk of Glaciale.  
So pretty!  I think it has a very romantic and elegant flow.

 Earrings by Gillian Batcher of Pash.  These are part of her Twig collection.  
The asymmetry and uniqueness of each piece adds the perfect amount of carefree superstyle.

Brooch by Hweyon Yang of H Jewellery.  I love the pastel palette, and the contrast between the dainty pearls and the heavier wire.

Ring by Young Ko of Koko Bijoux.
This is the perfect example of volume without weight.  So cool!

There are definitely a lot more wire work pieces available here, but you'll have to come down for a visit to see them in person:)

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Reigning mad skills

These are some oldies, but goodies.  Last year the studio was tapped to create some prop pieces for the TV show Reign. Below you can see the process of creating pieces that are emblems for Mary, Queen of Scots personal bible. The design was sourced from films stills to recreate the elements of the prop.  The emblems were later attached to a hand bound book by a bookbinder.   - Alexis

Working from a blurry photo still, I first sketched the pieces out and did a transfer on the wax before cutting out the shape.  You can see in the photo the drawing/scratch marks that were my guide for sawing the shapes out. I like to think of piercing work as drawing with my saw ;o)

To prevent the wax from breaking as I was carving the details I glued the pieces down onto sections of scrap wood.  There are few things more heartbreaking than when you are almost finished adding detail and it breaks. With the wax firmly glued in place as I was working all the pieces stayed intact (success!)  

To remove the pieces from their wood bases I simply soaked them in water, here you can see all five designs.

The show needed to have replicas of the props, which meant making multiples. I made molds directly from the wax carvings to duplicate the designs.

Here are the wax duplicates after I attached sprues to each. There needed to be enough to make two book covers with the emblems. The designs in the middle and bottom right appear twice on the cover, so it meant making four (you can see I made extra in case the castings didn't work.  

Casting these pieces was an ORDEAL.  Between this and the last picture I made the duplicates into a casting tree (which can be seen just left of my saw); I made three separate trees.  The metal I used was bronze... as I was melting the metal in a crucible it started to seize and just would not get molten. My crucible turned into a dirty mess and after standing and heating the first batch of metal with a torch for almost 15 minutes I stopped what I was doing, took a break and decided to try changing my normal casting process. I altered what I normally do when melting metal and was eventually able to cast the three groupings of pieces. 

Here you can see that all the pieces casted well, I even have the extras that worked on the left.  I filed and polished them up before eventually goldplating them. 

Here are the final pieces with antique looking goldplating. Duotang-like tabs were added to the back so that they could easily be attached to the book props as the emblems on Mary, Queen of Scots personal bible.