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, August 31, 2010

brooch 1: cuttlefish casting, in process

Here is my idea for the brooch, I haven't completed it yet (just arranging it) but I'm SO psyched to get it done. Feels like it's all coming together and I've never been this energized to produce work.

I love being in art school! Pin It

Monday, August 30, 2010

cuttlefish casting

(photo courtesy of Greenpeace)
Today was the 2nd day of my Casting I class and it was SO much fun. For the first part of class we're learning about casting with cuttlefish because it is very simple and basic.

Via Wikipedia the Cuttlefish are marine animals of the order Sepiida. They belong to the class Cephalopoda (which also includes squid, octopuses, and nautiluses). Despite their name, cuttlefish are not fish but molluscs. Recent studies indicate that cuttlefish are among the most intelligent invertebrates.[1] Cuttlefish also have one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of all invertebrates.

The great thing about cuttlefish is you simple design a negative relief design in the bone (it's a powdery substance) and what you pour in (silver is best) is your positive relief.

This is just one of my designs that is going to be a brooch with black coral (perfect timing!) and red coral.
Irene, my classmate, is heating up the silver. Our larger torch kept blowing out so grad student Abigail Heuss (our instructor, Tim Lazure's assistant) loaned us hers. She's a great teacher!
Above are sketches of my three projects; a brooch (the cuttlefish carve out above), a brooch/pendant and a black coral ring.

I completely forgot to snap photos of the casting I did, I'll get those tomorrow. I can't wait to get going! Pin It

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Anna Sui

Yes I'm on a video tangent again.

Here's a short video of Anna Sui talking about her evolution in fashion design. Since I was 12 years old, I've loved Anna's work. Very much gypsy/bohemian.

American By Design - Anna Sui from Edward Bishop on Vimeo.

The beautiful comparison of fashion and jewelry is that it's very much alike in how the designer conveys a message. Pin It

Friday, August 27, 2010

Video of the day

This song is so catchy, and yes the lyrics are profane. But who hasn't had these same kind of thoughts sometime in their life?

Pin It

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

P.S. I Made This

Seriously, how did I just find out about this RE-DONKULOUS website?! Erica Domesek is a freaking genius. She comes up with the most random and easy craft projects. Like taking turquoise soldiers and stringing them on a cord and ribbon.
She's brilliant! I think I've got a girl crush. Pin It

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First day back in school

And I'm jazzed to dig into them!

I'm taking mixed media with Bob Ebendorf which is always a treat, Wood survey, Casting I with Tim Lazure and art history.

3 studios in one semseter. I can handle it. Pin It

Monday, August 23, 2010

branching out

Yesterday I began to cut small pieces of the black coral. Kinda made me sad but it has to be done.

And I'm sporting a simple coral bracelet. I loves it! Pin It

Sunday, August 22, 2010

black coral jewelry

In researching more about black coral I came across Alejandra Zabala's enigmatic and graceful Black Coral collection.
Black coral has such a lovely elegance, especially when used with gold. I like how she inlaid gold with the same shape as the coral.These drop earrings have an art deco look.
Alejandra is based out of Barcelona, Spain and was previously an interior designer until she turned her creative energy towards jewelry making. Pin It

Friday, August 20, 2010

Extravagent and bold

Is how I would describe Melody Ehsani's plastic jewelry.

It's on a cartoon level, of bright, primary colors. I'm diggin' it. In this video, Melody describes her jewelry and how she got into designing.

Melody Ehsani for Vimby from gregthedude on Vimeo.

You can see more of her jewelry on her website.

One caveat is that her jewelry isn't handmade - but done in China. But aren't most of our daily products and other plastics? Pin It

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

going nuts!

My Panama update continues.

As I'd stated in my first post, Panamanian artisans are very talented and like most artisans in Central and South America; they make the most of their environment and utilize what the forest and the earth provides them to make their art.
Tagua nuts are found primarily in the jungles of Central and upper South America. They come in various sizes as seen above. I bought 5; one especially big. I first came across tagua art when I visited my extended family 4 years ago. I bought one of the carved and painted animals (see below). I was enchanted (one of my overused words).

Tagua art is just so cool and fascinating. So with my recent visit, I was determined to learn more and of course, buy more! I spoke with a local artist near Panama Viejo, the woman I spoke to was SO nice. She gave me the tagua painted beads below.
Carved and painted tagua animal necklaces; I LOVED these too. (sorry for the horrible photos!) The necklaces below are of a sloth and jaguar, I think.I asked her where locals found the nuts and she told me that in Panama the tagua nuts are found in the Darien region, bordering Columbia (which is kinda far from Panama city). She also told me that one must wait for the nuts to dry out and then crack the outer shell before carving. Tagua nuts are very similar to animal ivory, only humane and sanctioned.
I'm going to attempt to carve my new tagua nuts...we shall see how they turn out! Pin It

Monday, August 16, 2010

coral and mangos on the beach

On my last day in Panama my cousins and I drove to Isla Grande (Big Island) for a day at the beach. Despite the cloudy weather (it's the rainy season in Panama) we decided to take a risk. Often times it rains in short periods, plus it's a 1.5 hour drive from the city.

Anywho, we discovered we were pretty much the only people at the beach, along with one couple. And we had a fun time, eating fresh mangos and drinking wine.
Plus, I was in heaven collecting white coral that washed up on the beach.

This large piece of black coral is by far my most prized possession of the trip. And no need to worry, I did not tear it from a coral forest or anything.

After lounging on the beach for awhile we decided to eat lunch. We walked along the shore and came upon a small restaurant. The owner also makes beach jewelry with coral and seashells. I began asking him where he found the enchanting black coral, and he pulled out this large branch. Needless to say, it took my breath away. The branch coral washes up along the shores of the island, they warm it up with a cigarette lighter to bend it.
I had already bought a bracelet make from this coral and a necklace and was out of money! My older cousin whispered to me, trade him what you bought for that branch. I wanted the branch coral SO bad. And he did trade it with me for what I'd already bought.

I CAN NOT wait to use this to make some breathtaking jewelry!!! Pin It

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Panamanian artisans

whoa, what a trip I came back from. I have so much to tell and show that I'll have to do it in phases.

First off, I am in awe of the artisans of Panama. They are extremely talented and hardworking and very underapreciated by the local Panamanians. however, tourists eat up their work! And it's no wonder why.

Above is a (bad) photo of woven jewelry, it's made from dyed palm leaves. They're so beautiful. I wanted to buy everything! but I held back.

more to come later... Pin It

Thursday, August 5, 2010

my last day at the jewelry doctor...for now

Yesterday was my last day working at the jewelry doctor. I was sad but not completely because most likely I'll be working there in the Spring of 2011.

Ellis Cuttrell always hires ECU metal students to assist him part time, and during the summer I replaced Sarah West, fortunately she'll be graduating in the fall of this year so I can take her place again!

Of course I'll miss Sarah, 'cause she's an awesome friend but I feel so grateful to have the coveted opportunity to work with Ellis. I made the earrings above, initially to sell at his store but he said I could keep them as a gift! I really like them and of course their my style.

P.S. I'm going on vacation for about a week and my blog's going to also have a vaca. But I'll be back with plenty of pictures and awesome souvenirs to show off! Pin It

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Justin Giunta and Subversive Jewelry

Another video for ya'll, but great along with the others I've posted.

Justin talks about his arrival in NYC and how he got started in the jewelry business. I definitely think Justin was right on the cusp of when the public (ie famous stars etc.) began to fall in love with semi-precious jewelry.

Jewelry that isn't traditional but funky and unique.

American by Design - Justin Giunta from Edward Bishop on Vimeo.

Pin It

Monday, August 2, 2010

not renewing my website contract...

uh oh! my website expires tomorrow, and I'm not renewing it - but I still have my blog!

All work updates will be posted here or on flickr.

My reason for not renewing it, is mainly cost and design. I just wasn't happy with what I could do with it and until I have the resources and money, I'm sticking with ma blog. Pin It

Recyle = Rad jewelry

As the the saying goes, one person's trash is another's treasure.

US jewellers Christina Miller, the Co-director of Ethical Metalsmiths and Susie Ganch traveled to Brisbane, Australia to demonstrate to students and jeweler's at Queensland College of Art their movement of Radical Jewelry, taking old jewelry and making it into something new.

"We came up with a project that involved the local community donating their old unwanted jewellery," explains Christina Miller, the Co-director of Ethical Metalsmiths.

You can read and listen to QCA Jewellery and Small Objects Convenor, Elizabeth Shaw talk about the project here.

*I tried to upload the video/mp3 but didn't work! Pin It

Sunday, August 1, 2010

copper box cont'd

I made decent progress today on my copper box, though a good bit of time was spent sanding it down to be flush with the lid.

Then I sawed out the bottom and top for the box and lid. I got the bottom soldered on and I should finish it before I go on vacation...cross my fingers.
Initially, I sketched prong setting shards of glass however, I'm not sure I want to do that. I've got several other ideas, perhaps doing coral and then adding the glass around the sides, with epoxy.

We'll see, I'm just having fun and learning from this project! Pin It