Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wrapping up 2015!


This will be one of the last posts of 2015 from us as we near Christmas and the stores closes for a few days to reopen in 2016. I thought I would take a few moments to reflect on what a wonderful year it has been for us here. It has been a year of welcoming new members to the space, exhibitions, and a dramatic increase in class enrollment. The studio has had a few scheduled upgrades to equipment and the building has also benefited from further exterior landscaping.

We have now been at 151 Marion St for just over 3 years and are an established part of Roncesvalles with directions being given as either north or south of the blue house. As a space that prides itself on genuine community connections we have supported many local fundraisers and installed a Little Free Library. Our LFL fosters a love of reading which helps cultivate curiosity and imagination; two very important ingredients in supporting the arts in all forms.

One of our members left for maternity leave while another is preparing for motherhood while continuing to work. As with every new year there is a feeling of hope and anticipation for what is to come. We know as a team we can rise to any occasion and have big plans to roll out over the next year. We are deeply thankful for the support we have received from each other, our loved ones, and you our customers.

Our wish for everyone in 2016 is to find joy and satisfaction in life, which is exactly how we feel when we see something we laboured over find a new and loving home with one of you. We hope to be able to continue to share in your special moments as these become part of our memories of the joys to look for in life.

There are only a few more days until Christmas so if we don't see you in the store before then for last minute pick ups we hope to see you in the new year!

Love, peace, and joy to all,


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hello Judith!!!

Judith Noldin is a resident goldsmith here at Jewel Envy. She makes incredibly unique and beautiful pieces, and is also a whiz at doing repairs! I highly recommend stopping by to take a look at what she has going on, you will not be disappointed.

Here she is, hard at work on another repair:

 Here are some of my favourite pieces. The far left is part of the Turrets Collection. I love the cutout detailing, and of course, the 18K yellow gold accent isn't too bad either! She has other similar pieces as well, with coloured glass instead of gold. The shape of the turrets is inspired by church steeples, and they definitely make me think of medieval architecture. The middle pendant is a lovely and serene mother-of-pearl face, with a pretty moony surprise on the back for you, as well. The brooch on the right is made of coloured, textured glass, and sterling silver. 

Come in and say hi to Judith!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Everybody meet Helena!!!

Oh hello there, Helena!

 Helena Perez-Lafaurie is a Jewel Envy goldsmith after my own heart. She designs these chunky sterling rings that are pretty much everything I look for in a chunky sterling ring.
Some are classic chunky, and some have a big, beautiful onyxs.

 Some have colourful and sparkly stones.

 And others still have texture and great detail.

Each ring has a bold, strong shape that really accentuates the attention to detail. They are heavy, but so comfortable on my finger it's almost like they were made just for me. Helena does custom work, so she can make one just for you, too!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Under the Sea

Alexis Kostuk of Glaciale latest creations!

Under the Sea Ring. Sterling silver, Blue onyx, white sapphires.

Shark! Sterling silver with diamond eyes.

Under the Sea Ring. Sterling silver, lapis lazuli, sapphires.

Sharks! Dangle earrings. Sterling silver.

Reef ring. Sterling silver, turquoise.

Shark! Sterling silver with tourmaline eyes.

Sharks! Stud earrings: appear as if the sharks are biting your ears. Sterling silver.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sasha Oda one of our Jewel Envy talents in jewellery making.
Her pieces are characterized by clear lines and fine ornamentation.

Check out her pieces at Jewel Envy or today at the
Toronto Art Crawl

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Jewelust by Amanda Henderson

 This is Amanda Henderson:
 She is one of the resident goldsmiths here at Jewel Envy. Her company is called Jewelust, and she designs and creates amazing jewellery that you should definitely come in and check out and wear home!! 

Here is a little sneak peek of the work that she has here in the studio:

 These are her square-top stacking rings. Some are in rose-gold (oooh!!) and some have simple texture, and some have pretty little roses adorning the tops.
 The profile is so unique, and they are just as lovely from the side as from the top. They are sold individually, but I think they look best stacked in different colours and styles, so I would definitely have problems choosing just one!

 This is from one of her signature collections - the Whirls. She creates these graceful ribbons of metal and uses them in different ways. This is a simple pendant style, but she has been known to add the whirls to more elaborate pieces.

 Here are some bar pendants. These look so great together, don't they??! I really like wearing sterling and gold together, so I would probably get the top one custom-made with yellow gold, and a white diamond. Or rose-gold with a black diamond. Or both!

Amanda is a great designer, but she also does incredible custom work. Come by the studio and get to know her a little better, and get something pretty for yourself at the same time!


ps - all of her social media handles are @jewelust, so you can check her out on Instagram and Facebook as well.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Holiday spirit!

I have been having a blast helping customers with picking out gifts and taking down details for custom orders today. In the moments in between I have been thinking about ways to decorate and the gifts I would like to buy.

I came across these decorations recently from IKEA - I gotta say these are right up my alley.

Thankfully, the Knit Cafe is right next door and I think they are a great place to hit up for gifts for the crafty people in your life.

They have Knit Kits to make beautiful creations like this!

And since food is always on my mind I just added making homemade marshmallows onto the list of holiday projects to take on.

If you have a recipe to recommend, let me know!

I am also interested in any crafts or homemade treats that are special to people; share with us!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Spotlight on Chia-Chien Tsai

Chia-Chien Tsai is better known to everyone in the studio as Ellen. She was Jewel Envy's very first intern when she was still a student at Ontario College of Art and Design. I remember her barely speaking a word and working hard to finish all the grunt work we would give her. While she was still a student we were amazed by her wax carving skills which we would take advantage of by giving her the duty of creating wax trees for casting. After graduating from OCAD Ellen joined the studio and has been with us ever since.
Ellen's latest creations: Sterling silver, opals, pearls, red laquer.
Ellen continues to use her wax carving super powers to create organic and beautiful shapes in wax that she casts in various metals and her latest work has a unique combination of gems and laquer. Ellen's fabrication super power is soldering hollow pieces - an difficult task and one you only get one chance to so do while soldering! She is a much more vocal member of the studio now and her sense of humour never fails to make me laugh. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hybrid exhibition revisited through the comments by you!

This year during our group exhibition around the theme "Hybrid" we asked viewers to interact with the show by leaving comments. Viewers could provide their own interpretation of a piece, comment on a piece, or let us know their favourite work in the show. We had a wonderful response and below are some of the comments about the work!

Love the beginning of Life it reminds me of a beautiful Bloom. - Marion

Coral Reef & Chochos by Helena Perez Lafaurie: I felt connected to the planet the moment I saw H.P.L.'s pieces. The raw beauty & asymmetry was so perfectly balanced with the final form and colour, Love! - Jenny

I like the unique pieces. Awesome local business. Very nice staff and owner. - James

Fascinating, thought provoking, marvellous - Veronica

I really like the pieces, but three items really call out to me: Gillian Batcher's whimsical & imaginary animals are so cute but also so well crafted. They make me happy when I look at them. Lafaurie's organic piece made of emerald, silver with a wood base harkens back to the elemental: we know that for eons and eons, far below the earth, precious jewels have been developing their unique strata. The wooden stand with its indigenous ethnicity depiction is unusual & an important statement of life on this planet. Thirdly, I love Alexis Kostuk's foray into indigo enamels. Her necklace is luxurious and strikingly simple, even with so many components. I would wear this piece instantly! The whole exhibit covers every aspect of fancy. Well done! -Andrea

Are beautiful dinosaur bees the future? - Devon

I like Amanda Henderson's Mixed Gold, Silver, Copper Necklace. - Jeannine

Alexis Kostuk. Elegant, nice shades of blue, eye catching. - Bernard

Hybrid is a fantastic concept to combine different creative pieces and colours and create something unique. It's really interesting and fascinating to create in this way. - Marlene

Hybrids are a very relevant idea in our world today with the rapid spreading of ideas and information. I am always surprised and amazed by the unique creations I find. - Rania 



Sunday, October 25, 2015

Spotlight on Alexis Kostuk!

We are trying something new here with our social media and part of our new initiative is to make sure everyone at Jewel Envy receives equal representation across our various platforms. That means you can look forward to seeing artist spotlights each Sunday as we work through a rotation highlighting each member of the space.

Today I would like to highlight what Alexis of Glaciale Goldsmith has been up to. If you have been in the store recently you may have seen her amazing new line of sharks or her marriage of metal pieces. We have posted some pictures on FB and Instagram but that is the obvious work she does; today I want to highlight some of the behind the scenes work taking place.

As you may know Alexis is the studio manager here. What that means is that she is responsible for a fair bit of equipment maintenance, social media, studio organization and coordination as well as retail and teaching. One of her recent initiatives was to move us over to steam dewaxing for our casting burnouts. She spoke with various casting houses and came up with a plan to help us make this switch. The reason for doing so is that during the wax burn out process one of the most toxic stages is when wax reaches a temperature where it actually burns out of the flask. This releases toxins into the air and although we have a good ventillation system it was not removing everything and some people were getting headaches from the burnout.

By switching to a steam dewaxer, the wax comes out of the flasks using steam and pressure at a much lower temperature before the wax has a chance to burn. This means cleaner air for us, cleaner castings for the jewellers here and an overall improvement in the casting process. Switching over has not been without a few bumps along the way but with an interest in troubleshooting and excellent problem solving we have a safer system in place for all. Thank you Alexis for your perserverence!


Saturday, October 24, 2015


As goldsmiths, designers and business owners, most of us here at Jewel Envy know the work involved in creating handmade jewellery. As buyers and shoppers and coveters of beautiful things, we also know that value is important as well.

With a quick spotlight on HYEWON JANG, here is today's steal vs spluge:

The earrings on the left can be yours for $100, or you can splurge on the righthand pair for $150. To tell you the truth, the decent price point probably means that you could buy them both and consider the whole purchase a steal:)))

 Hyewon tends to work with clean geometric silhouettes, accented with softer, more feminine details. Her work is beautiful and unique, with just the perfect amount of colour and sophistication.
We have plenty more of her work in store, so pop in and see what else we've got!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Gillian loves animals.
The latest addition to our zoo are the owels.
They are a hoot !
And they have gemstone eyes to really see well at night .
Ckeck them out,
they come as ear studs, lapel pins and pendants on beautiful two tone chains.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Come visit us at Craft Show by Craft Ontario!

An amazing art show is coming up this Thanksgiving weekend and we want to be sure you don't miss your chance to see and buy work by talented local artists. Remember the holidays are just around the corner and this is a great opportunity to get a jump start on selecting the perfect gifts for the special people in your life. Both Hyewon Jang of H Jewelry and Gillian E. Batcher of PASH Jewellery Design will be participating along with 40 of our esteemed colleagues. We hope to see you and your friends at the show!

Show Details:

Friday October 9 – Sunday October 11, 2015
Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, Toronto

Friday Oct 9:  12:00pm – 5:00pm
Saturday Oct 10: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday Oct 11: 11:00am – 5:00pm
The Stop’s Farmers' Market at Artscape Wychwood Barns focuses on local, sustainable, organic, and artisanal products and will be taking place on Saturday Oct 10 from 8am – 1pm.
Admission to the Craft Show will be by donation at the door. Big or small, whatever you can afford or deem appropriate... Every little bit helps Craft Ontario in building new programming such as this to help promote our members and Ontario's makers!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Autumn Days

It is going to be a very busy weekend for the goldsmiths of Jewel Envy. What a way to start the fall!

Here's what you can look forward to this weekend:

The Roncesvalles Polish Festival
Come celebrate our Polish community with some perogies and free wax carving. We will teach you how to carve jeweller's wax to make jewellery. At the end of the hour, you can choose to take your wax home, have us cast it in bronze for you, or take a 4-hour workshop to learn how to cast in sterling silver and polish. (Perogies not included.)

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition
Not one or two, but three of our goldsmiths are exhibition their work at TOAE this year! Alexis Kostuk, Hyewon Jang, and Ellolite (Chia-Chien Tsai). They will be there all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so get out to Nathan Phillip Square and say hi! There will be a ton of great art!

The Post Market
Here's what Toronto Life has to say, "This Sunday, The Post Market is popping up for its autumn shopping fair in The Great Hall on Queen West, giving visitors the opportunity to browse a variety of vintage, handmade and contemporary wares from Toronto-based retailers and artists." The only thing left to tell you is that Sasha Oda of Archerade will be there, with lots of new jewellery for you! What better way to spend a Sunday and walking and shopping along Queen West?!

As for me, I'll be at a rock music festival, so while I'm missing out on all of these great jewellery events, I will cheer myself up with a bit of Weezer and Alexisonfire.

Whatever you do this weekend (and I recommend all of the above events!), I hope you have a great one!


Saturday, September 12, 2015

TOAE 2015

This year we have three of our goldsmiths participating in the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. Be sure to drop by Nathan Phillips Square from September 18-20th to check out all the new work they have been creating!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The date is getting closer to Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. I haven't done a show for a while and this is definitely exciting for me! I am still making lots of new pieces and trying to get things done. Hopefully I will see all of you guys there. Show starts at September 18th to 20th.

by Ellolite

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Today was a very busy Sunday at Jewel Envy.
We had several students, all of them creating exciting pieces .
They are so good those people , big respect !
Customers coming in and browsing, ordering, asking lots of questions.
Great day and now I am really tired.
Talk to you next time.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A little insight about teaching!

I am about to date myself! I haven't been a student in the college/university stream in over a decade and it is nearly two decades since I was in high school but September always brings back mixed emotions.

As we creep closer to the start of another school year I start to have vivid dreams about the year to come and the work to be done combined with the anticipation of seeing those friends we miss over summer holidays.

Years later, I now teach in schools and feel a new kind of excitement and dread. Will my students be receptive? Will I be able to give them my best help, including honest critique, as they learn new skills and try to navigate the world of art, goldsmithing, and business? The flip side being the excitement of  learning what glorious things students and teachers alike have been making all summer. But my favourite part of meeting a new class is learning which one of my students will amaze me during the year and teach me something new.

This yin and yang of the student/teacher relationship is probably what has kept me interested all of these years. I love the idea that I can have an impact on what someone knows and does just by sharing my passion for goldsmithing. I am always pushing myself to stay on my toes so that I can attempt to inspire the same drive in the students I meet throughout the year.

When everyone thinks back over their years of education most of us can pin point at least one teacher we thought was excellent. I hold a couple special ones in my heart and strive to emulate their standards, knowing all the while, I may never reach their level of excellence.

So on that note, I hope everyone going back to school has a mixed bag of emotions to draw energy from and those without formal plans continue to push themselves in new and slightly terrifying ways as well!