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.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

several projects going on

I've got a couple of jewelry thangs goin' on. The above is a moth pendant that I acid etched and then enameled. I'm not completely happy with it but it's a good first piece. I got the inspiration from digital photos from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
They have fantastic images, such as the one above.

Then I began sketching this morning an idea from a setting to the stone...which I can't remember of the top of my head, I bought. Anywho, it'll be pretty cool.
And here is a blurry photo of an earring I finished with a lovely coral bead. Something funky and quick to wear this weekend while I visit my friends back in VA! Pin It

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Here are more projects from the 250 materials assignment from Bob Ebendorf:

I was especially impressed with these 2 projects. the above made of felt twisties and the other of black tea bags. Isn't it amazing what you can make with ordinary objects? Pin It

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

cupcakes and toothpicks

Last weekend I was in the mood for dark chocolate...cupcakes so I found an awesome recipe online on Cast Suger blog. And these cupcakes came out sooooo good, though my arms were killing me from mixing all day.
I decided to add my own lil' addition of yummy hazelnuts!
Buttercream frosting with irish cream mixed in...deliciousness.
And the voila! my cupcakes!

These were a payment in exchange for a trim to my new haircut, you can see in my previous post.

Okay, now onto a design project I've been working on. Bob assigned us a project to construct something with 250 of any material we want. I decided to use toothpicks because they contain the perfect amount of 250. My idea was to create a watchtower...sorta looks like one.

or a hand? Pin It

Sunday, April 18, 2010


It's pretty much near the end of spring semester at ECU and there are lots of senior and MFA thesis shows going up. I went to several Friday night and it was great to see the culmination of hard work for the several metal graduate students.

Here are several photos of Autumn Brown and Jennifer Well's work:

Porcelain faces Autumn wood fired. The central face holds potato chips! Much of Autumn's work utilizes porcelain, metal and semi-precious stones. I especially loved the above body of work and the ostrich egg wall piece below. Autumn is very adept at doing sculptural work, as you can tell and the ostrich egg piece is just magnificent.

Klepto belt buckle.
One of Jen's silver vessels. Jen uses horsehoe nails to adorn, and support, her vessels, which are flawless. I've only raised one copper bowl...and to raise such a fine piece of silver, is well, very hard!

Here is my friend Lisa (right) and myself. We had a great time walking around downtown Greenville for the semi-annual Artwalk. *as you can see I'm wearing one of Laura Wood's earrings which, I really love! Pin It

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Gray Area

I'm really, really loving the discussion over at Jewelry Art Forum, they're blogging the Gray Area Symposium, held in Mexico City... ‘stands as an endeavour to not only encourage the cultural exchange among jewellery makers from Latin America and Europe, but to additionally create an interdisciplinary frame of reference for contemporary jewellery and its practices within a truly multinational discourse’.

The Gray Area Symposium is a result of the Walking the Gray Area project/blog which in their own words is to 'carry out a dialogue about global mobility, identities and contemporary jewellery. The dialogue will result in an exhibition to be presented in Mexico City, April 2010.'
*Gray area logo

I especially enjoyed reading the review of Ecuadorian Anthropologist's Xavier Andrade discussion on the functions of jewelry in Latin America and how it is a part of the process in culture. I wish I could've been at the symposium myself to hear his talk as well as other parts of the symposium.

Having myself grown up in Latin America: Uruguay, Panama and El Salvador
I saw the symbolism of culture in jewelry, the Pre-Colombian gold jewelry as well as the handicrafts of locals using natural/found materials.
Jewelry, as much as ceramics, is a very important element in the studies of Anthropology. Telling rich stories about the people of a given region. I could write an essay on this (maybe I will...) but for now, I'll propose the question, what story(ies) does your jewelry hold? Pin It

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Otherworld creatures

That is what Christy Langer's sculptures remind me of. In Celtic myth if a person saw a white creature with red eyes they were said to be in the Otherworld (aka. heaven).

Christy was recently featured on The Shooting Gallery's blog. I'm a huge fan of getting insight into an artist's studio and how they work.

Some of her sculptures show animals in motion, as if being attacked or attacking another animal in the wild. They are absolutely beautiful and more captivating painted white with red eyes.

*I'm not posting photos as they are copyrighted so please read more of the interview and view images on the Shooting Gallery's site.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Charmed, I'm sure!

Last night one of the undergrad metal students, Tara Locklear, held a charm swap, and it was super fun. We'd been attempting to organize one with the entire guild but it just got so busy in the studio so Tara just said anyone come that wants to exchange a charm. It's a wonderful way for us to keep a memento of each other and represent their work. I got a charm from Laritza Garcia, a graduate student.

The charm I made was somewhat of a test piece for future work of moth wings. I chased lines and pierced it and then enameled soft blues and purples. It came out nice. All of us agreed that we want to do more charm swaps. Pin It

Thursday, April 8, 2010

scrap or something new?

Whenever I get stuck or take a break or when I'm waiting for something to dry or pickle, I go through my bench drawers to see what I've put away for another time.

In January I was working on my broken hearts and I had been working on one brooch that wasn't working with me. so I took it apart and kept the pin back setting, I thought, this may come in use later as it had a perfectly good pin back setting.

so I took a lil' break and looked at the pin back setting and thought, why not just leave it as is and wear it as a pierced brooch? I did some more piercing, oxidized it and voila! I have something that is just fun and not too serious.
What do you do with scrap or pieces that didn't work immediately? Pin It

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jewelry of the Day: Drown

I just found Drown jewelry via Worn online magazine, via Fashion Hayley (it's amazing what you find once you stumble on a blog to another blog).

Drown jewelry is a side project of Drink Me, Alice, by Australian jewelry designer Alicia. I especially love her Nebula collection made of acrylic, resin, onyx and oxidized metal. I myself have been quite inspired by nebula photographs and beautiful starry photos via National Geographic.


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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

currently in the studio

It's chaotic! I spent several hours today working on my champleve pendant but I got out of there as there was a roomful of metal survey students working on their projects...and it can get somewhat cramped.

Here is a process shot of the 3 colors I'm using for the pendant.

I thought about splurging and purchasing more leaded enamels but right now I'm trying to save some money so I stuck with the enamels I have and after testing these three blue/green colors I'm very happy with the combination. To me, the pendant looks like floating sea algae.

I'll post more pictures, close up ones, once I'm done. Pin It

Monday, April 5, 2010

Jem and the Hollograms and Gems

Back in the day when I was a little girl, I LOVED Jem and the Holograms. I'd wake up Saturday mornings, I think around 8am just to watch the show. I wanted to dress like her, basically be her.

One Christmas I got the Jem doll, with light up earrings and a very cool waterbed. She was so rockin'. Anywho, I was watching a video of Jem on youtube and I realized how cool her style is, albeit very 80's but I kinda like it now. I mean, check out the colored hair and neon outfits?!

Her makeup and accessories have me somewhat inspired to make some lightening jewelry...not that I haven't already done that.

For your viewing pleasure here is a video with Le Tigre (one of my fav Feminist bands) singing along to Jem.

Okay for reals, on Gemstones, I just got LarkBooks 500 Gemstone Jewels and it is packed with the most beautiful gemstone jewelry work I've ever seen.

I highly recommend purchasing this book. I flip through it almost daily.
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Friday, April 2, 2010

Gold Rush

Yesterday I was trained at the Jewelry Doctor, a repair shop in Greenville, NC where I will work/train part time this summer.

Ellis, the owner, showed me some of the basic repairs he does. He repaired a hollow chain, butterfly pendant and diamond ring that had a crack in the gold. I was thrilled that he took the time to show me and also marveled at the rapid rate one can heat and repair gold. It's certainly nothing like working with silver, when you have to heat the entire piece to solder one spot.

I have exciting plans to begin my journey with working in gold this summer with a rad triangle cut lapis lazuli stone! Pin It

Jeweler of the Day: Mari Ishikawa

I just found Mari Ishikawa via Klimt02. Her dark, organic looking brooches intrigue me. I especially enjoy her gold brooches. Pin It