Sunday, February 28, 2016

This week's Artist Spotlight: Gillian Batcher!

Gillian has an incredible portfolio of work spanning multiple styles: from pieces inspired by Textiles and Art Nouveau, to her Twig and Pebble collections.

With the textile theme, this line is made using traditional techniques using precious metals. Pieces are knit, crochet and woven with gemstones added as accents!
In the Twig collection, the pieces overlap and flow while keeping a delicate and light look, like the cuff below!

With the Pebble style, each piece has a unique blend of textures, colours and accents!  Try out the rings, one of a kind with personality!

Lastly, with Art Nouveau These pieces incorporate traditional icons from this time period like flowers and birds but with a modern twist in the way they are represented and combined with gemstones. The line is available in sterling silver and gold with a variety of uniquely cut gemstones.


Each piece by itself is it's own unique and powerful statement, and as a whole they represent a collection of exceptional quality and artistic talent: definitely an inspiration to a fledgling smith like myself!









Saturday, February 27, 2016

Patinas and chemicals and more, OH MY!

A couple of us here at Jewel Envy have doing a little bit of experimenting with adding a black finish to metal surfaces.

Typically patinas such as liver of sulphur or commercially made products like Jax silver blackener can be used to dip the metal in to build up a gun metal/black colour. There is also black rhodium plating, which is applied with an electric current like other colours of gold plating.

Patinas and plating are wonderful for pieces of jewellery that are worn on parts of the body that don't have constant friction - this means that dangling earrings (with the exception of the ear wires) and brooches are ideal; rings on the other hand... since you slide them on/off and other fingers rub against the sides that the plating wears off eventually. How long plating lasts on a ring would depend on how often you are wearing it and just general wear and tear. To get it back to it's original state would mean getting a goldsmith to clean and refinish, but over time it would wear off again.

 The new product that we have been testing out is a nano ceramic that is applied with an electrical current then heated to set it in place. It is a bit more labour intensive than adding a patina, but just might be a great alternative to adding colour to rings. Now the only thing to do is the wear the sample for a bit to see how it wears - I'll report back! -Alexis

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Hopefully you are outside enjoying the sunshine, and wondering how best to spend that money in your pocket. May I suggest a pair of pearl earrings?!

I have two pairs up for your consideration today:
 Look at these sterling stunners! They are such a steal at $45. The jacket can be added at the back for extra oomph and style. Made by Micheline Roi of Atelier J, these are also available in different colours and variations.

These beauties are by Gillian Batcher of Pash Jewellery. Perfect pearl studs with 14k yellow posts and backs, with a subtle pop of flash in the front. Yup, those are diamonds! $210.

We have a wide variety of jewellery, in a range of prices and styles. Come by and say hello this weekend, and try a few things on while you're at it!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

Hi,  I am Jerell Reichert.  I am a designer/goldsmith at Jewel Envy. I am also a Gemologist, FCGMA - Fellow of the Canadian Gemological Association.

While most people at this time of the year think about The Superbowl and its commercials I think about Tucson. I lived in Scottsdale Arizona for ten years.  Late January and early February, buyers and sellers converge on Arizona for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. Tucson Gem and Mineral Society (established in 1946) has been the host to the show since 1955. It has become the largest show of its kind in the world. There are over 50 individual venues and 3,000 + vendors. The AGTA --American Gem Trader and the GJX- Gem and Jewellery Exchange open Monday after Superbowl.  These shows are strictly wholesale while others are open to the public.

Vegas, Hong Kong, Basel, and Miami have major jewellery shows, which are also wholesale or to the trade and concentrate on finished jewellery and watches. While, Tucson is focused on designers and makers who are looking for materials to incorporate into their jewellery.

So you might be wondering if smaller jewellers have access to the same material as large manufacturers. The truth is custom jewellers can incorporate materials that are in short supply while large companies have to standardize their offering, and there might not be enough material to roll out an entire line. Unlike clothing, where fabric can be manufactured, once the mineral deposits from a mine are used up... they are gone. Designers from Jewel Envy attend the same shows as designers from major jewellery brands and because our lines are produced in short runs we can offer more unusual options for materials than a larger brand may be able to offer.

For example-  I purchased Sleeping Beauty Turquoise briolets 15 years ago for a special piece for a special client -- my mother.  It is  a distinct robins's egg blue, almost  free from webbing and veining inclusions. The  Sleeping Beauty mine in Globe Arizona is now depleted. It takes a long time for major companies to get materials through the supply chain -- from when they bought the material to when it reaches the market. I saw the same turquoise used by a major brand 13 years after I first saw it at the show.

How do I know it is the same material :  I saw the owner of the major brand at my supplier.  

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Did you know that you can wear Barbie?

Just over a week ago Barbie announced it's line up of new dolls. I've never had a strong connection with Barbie or dolls in general. It was a hard won struggle for my mom to get me into a dress and regular doll play was never a part of my imaginative realm as a kid. However, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and the news popped up I did a momentary pause to appreciate the dolls varied appearances and thinking to myself that Mattel is finally getting something right.


If remembering your Barbie playtime has you nostalgic there is a great way to incorporate Barbie into your wardrobe...

SIDENOTE: I might not have been a huge fan of Barbie as a girl, but I am a RABID fan of Margaux Lange's use of Barbies in her jewellery.

One of Margaux's pieces is going to be worn by Samantha Bee on her Late Show Full Frontal. As Magaux remarked in her Instagram post, "Feels kind of appropriate and awesome that my work will be seen on the first and only late night show hosted by a woman."

Keep an eye out for Samantha Bee wearing the Leg Lapel Pin. You can also contact Margaux to get one of your own!