Saturday, January 31, 2015

Save or Splurge this Valentine's Day!

Since tomorrow is February 1st (Geez... time flies!) I've decided to share with you my save or splurge gift ideas for Valentine's Day. I hope this helps!

"Found" collection by Lauren Hanham. I just love the large fan-shaped necklace! 

Is this ruby-headed snake ring out of your budget? Get a a piece of Archerade by Sasha Oda with this lovely Toro ring!

Flowers are always a good choice for Valentine's Day! Here's a peak at Hyewon Jang's dangle earrings.

Carved gemstone flowers and hummingbirds. What a sweet idea by Gillian Batcher of Pash.

Get her roses that will never wilt! Lucky for you these earrings by Amanda Henderson of Jewelust are priced for any budget!

This amazing full deck necklace by Alexis Kostuk of Glaciale is reversible and interchangeable! Not a world champion poker shark? Get your Queen of Hearts this single pendant instead.

This gorgeous heart necklace is made by Chia-Chien Tsai of Ellolite. It is a great price, but if you're looking for something less extravagant, she makes a single heart necklace too!

With only 2 weeks left to pick up the perfect gift for your sweetie, I hope this helped to make the decision a little easier!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Up close and personal

Jewellery photography is a tricky and time-consuming endeavour that makes me curse and grit my teeth and shake my fist at the heavens. Despite all my best efforts, every image seems to be slightly off, be it the focus, or the colour, or the weirdo reflections.

 Recently I decided to cut my losses and purchase a macro lens. I haven't had a chance to really test it out, but today I took some practice shots. I didn't use a lightbox or proper lights, just a white piece of paper, a tripod, and an ordinary desk lamp.

What do you think?


Rose stud earrings by Amanda Henderson (Jewelust)

 Textured earrings with sapphires and aquamarines by Ellen Tsai (Ellolite)

 Africa pendant with emerald by Hyewon Jang (H Jewelry)

Art deco pendant with marcasites by Lauren Hanham (Lauren Hanham Jewellery Designs)

Five-band ring by Sasha Oda (Archerade)

So far so amazing, right!? The detail in the close-ups is great, and getting the pieces in focus was a breeze. This might not be as exciting for you, but if you knew the hours I have spent trying to get just half-way decent images... well you'd probably feel sorry for me, but then you'd start feeling the excitement too. Excitement for the future of my jewellery photography yay!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I read an article on Ganoksin about setting fragile stones. They are amazing jewellery pieces with challenging stone setting techniques. Artists are absolutly creative and made the stones come to live! Here is the link to the full article.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Insight Into A Design Process

Here at Jewel Envy we all work very hard to make the best jewellery we possibly can. Sometimes it takes a couple hours to come up with a sound idea, sometimes it takes weeks or even longer! Some of us draw, some of us make models, some of us use ourselves as guinea pigs. I'm not very talented in the way of drawing so I tend to make models of my pieces. Another huge part of my design process is testing out the jewellery. I would never want to put something out for sale that would be terribly uncomfortable, didn't look right or would fall apart so I always wear my designs around for a couple weeks before they get my approval.
For my newest collection "Found" I decided to explore the possibilities of using just one shape.

I've designed 7 pieces so far using just this one shape and I'm still creating more. One of the pieces I wanted to create was a big statement necklace. After casting multiples in silver and quickly pulling some extras in wax I started to move the pieces around in different patterns on my bench until I came up with one I liked.

After casting the extra pieces I needed, I soldered them together and got to work on the chain portion of the necklace.

I wanted to use these cool agate beads for my chain but after assembling everything it was obvious they weren't the right choice for this piece. There was too much competition happening between the beads and the silver and the black in the beads was clashing hard with the blackened silver.


I tried a different design with multiple thin chains and wasn't completely satisfied with how it looked but it was alright for the moment.

It was Christmas vacation time so I decided to leave it as is and wear it over the holidays to test out the strength of the connecting pieces. I wasn't completely sure they would hold but I wanted the sections to be able to move without a ton of space between them. The small jump rings I chose had  been successful with the other pieces in the collection but...

...the weight of this particular necklace and the lack of wiggle room between the big sections caused the little jump rings to snap off no matter what I tried. Even broadening the space between the sections didn't work. I didn't want to use larger rings either because that's not the look I was going for. So it was back to the drawing bench.

Playing with waxes and using the sections I already had to make the necklace work as one solid piece.

I soldered my new pieces on. The brown stuff is yellow ocher which helps prevent old solder seams from melting while soldering new ones.

I also changed the chain from two sections to one. They kept twisting around each other which I found very annoying and visually unappealing. I'm so very fussy.

Here's the final piece (for now). I'm giving it a good test run for a couple days before I put the marcasites back in. Hopefully all is good in the world of structural integrity. I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.
So there's a little insight into what part of a design process might look like. Hope you enjoyed!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stack 'em on!

A few reasons why I love stacking rings:

1. We think they are just A-ok! And we also give them a thumbs up:)

2. They are just so versatile. Wear a bunch of rings, wear just one, mix and match. Play 
around with different colours, textures, and proportions. Every day is a new stacking day, 
and there are no rules! (And ps - don't forget about your pinkies and thumbs, 
they need love too!)

3. No need to splurge (unless you want to!) - we have a great selection of rings to fit 
every finger and every budget. We also do custom work, so there is no reason to not be stackin'!

If you need anymore reasons, please feel free to drop by the studio and we can discuss in person:)

Enjoy the last bit of weekend!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Studio plant

Aloe Vera, our studio remedy. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

YEAR of Craft... so many links to feast your eyes on.

Gather round and here the tale of the Year in Craft...

More info here!

Alright, I'm jumping ahead of myself. The year has just begun, but there will be a whole lot of Craft coming your way. If handmade things are your cup of tea this upcoming year pay attention to all the  exhibitions, pop-up shops, craft swaps, symposiums and more that will be cropping up. Craft Councils across Canada will be updating their calendars to include upcoming events. Keep your crafting ears to the ground...  and spread the word! 

For now, expose yourself to makers from across Canada... check out the links (text below each logo) and be inspired.

*WARNING: there are way too many artists to look at in one day, bookmark here to easily find links

Member portfolios
Discover Gallery

Artist Gallery
Craft Ontario Award recipients