Eilisain aka Lisette in Gaelic

Welcome to my blog, where I document my process in making jewelry, muse on the influence of art and the joy of making beautiful objects.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

in flight

I'm almost done with my second attempt at champ-levee. I really like it and the beautiful gray, blue's and mauve leaded enamels...they are quite pretty.

Of course this piece did not come without it's lessons. I mistakenly, or more naively, thought I could get away with 20 gauge in the first layer of silver. I didn't have 18 gauge so I used thinner metal. In champleve, for one not to have the counter enamel the back you need a thick underlayer to hold the expansion of the enamel.

So I decided to play on the front design and do that free form on the back to provide the cushion. thus the enamel no longer cracks! Still...no excuse for using thin silver.
Below are the beginnings sketches. I finally got it right.

And above are sketches in continuation of the feather, spiraling toward a concentration of spirit.

The theory behind the bird/feather series is the transformation of animal to formless spirit. Many ancient cultures believed the bird to carry ones spirit to the heaven's or an incarnation of spirit. Pin It

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

craft in america

I'd heard about this PBS special, Craft in America, but forgot to search it online and watch.
Well my brother told me he'd seen an episode and thought of me so then, as if fate heard, I also got an email from crafthaus about the special.

So I've been watching it whenever I get the chance.

It really is a wonderful expose on the craft world and re-emergence. My only hang up or criticism of it is that it neglects the underground or alternative craft that is has also emerged. I'll write more on this when I have the chance but for now, definitely check this out. Pin It

Friday, October 9, 2009

another go at it

Since I royally f*ed up my first attempt at champlevee, I'm trying it again. Using the lessons I learned. I'm excited tho, I think it's going to be very lovely.
Last night when I was in the studio, I was talking to another student and we both agreed that it's always nerve wracking to begin a project that you can be so excited about because, we know as artists, the final product can end up very different from what we intended...or at least that is how it is for beginning metalsmiths.
but I have learned to go with it, to allow the piece to teach me just as much as I'm willing it and forming it to my will.
It's amazing the transformating that the final piece and myself go through. Pin It

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

tree necklace

tree necklace
Originally uploaded by lisettef14

I'm kinda in love with this necklace. number 1, it didn't cause me great stress making it, no. 2 it's pretty cool and no. 3 I love touching it!

Pin It

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I sat in on my first metals critique. It was intense but also very informative. I've been shadowing the enamels II class at ECU; following along and working on a champ-levee pendant.
I had all sorts of issues with mine. First it took me forever to get the top completely soldered on the silver and then I used the wrong enamel....and it just trickled down from there.
I'm disappointed in the piece (aka my work). I'm trying to move on, but it's hard when you invest so much time and energy in to it.

Anywaysssss, I really enjoyed the critique and listening to what the other students picked up on and what the professor looks at. File marks, transition of color in enamel and also the reason and story behind the piece.

I didn't really have a story behind mine, which is fine for some pieces. But I've decided I'm going to make another go at champ-levee and also put a story behind it. I went to the library and picked up some books on Celtic archeology and Scythian goldwork. I'm enamored with the pieces of old; their work is incredible and for having the most basic of tools.

I'm brewing up a piece that has an animal motif, being a totemic/talismanic piece. I'd most like to use chasing/repousse for it but since I don't know those skills yet, I'm thinking of utilizing etching.

The panels above is a necklace I'm working on. It was initially supposed to be enameled but the way the acid ate at the silver and gave it a more worn look, i'm going to leave it and oxidize it then burnish to really play up the raised metal.

Below is Squints, my beloved kitty. She loves to hole up in her carrier and meow most of the mornings.
Pin It