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.

Monday, November 29, 2010

whats on my bench = lots of work

My castings...gotta file, perfect and polish these babies up. Why can't it be the holiday break now? Pin It

Sunday, November 28, 2010

a new treasure

While visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, and helping my Mom set the table one evening, I came across the silver repoussed cup below. At least I think it's repousse, I'm not sure how the beautiful art nouveau design was done.

I immediately persuaded my Mom to let me repair the dents and polish it...and keep it! muahahaha, no I'm kidding, knowing my Mom she will make sure she gets it back. I'm always asking her to give me some beautiful old jewelry or clothing of hers.

It was my Mom's Aunt's cup, I just love how the stone is set and the engraved initials are arranged.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Featured Artist: Sarah West

When I first moved to Greenville and started classes at ECU, I didn't know anyone and in the studio it was even more awkward as I wasn't even taking jewelry/metals classes because I had to take my foundation (figure drawing and design) classes.

However I was allowed to have bench space and Sarah West was the first friend I made in the studio. She was really nice, welcoming and friendly.

Sarah is very talented and knowledgeable. Sarah is the person in the studio that almost everyone goes to when they need advice, feedback or help with their work. She's also there for a good laugh or when you need to vent...which I've done a few times.

Sarah also works part time at the Jewelry Doctor and asked me to replace her earlier this summer while she was studying abroad. I felt really lucky to get that opportunity!

Here are photos of some of her award winning work.
The above champleve brooches are my favorite.
The brooches above are somewhat deceiving from above but when you look at the side of them, you can see how much work and time it took Sarah to make them.You can see more of Sarah Wests work here. Pin It

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving to my North American readers/subscribers!

I hope you are enjoying the day with loved ones and eating delicious food. I have so much to be thankful for; my family, friends, my beloved cat, Squints (pictured above) and especially having the opportunity and hard work behind me, to be able to attend art school and do what I love.

Thank you for reading my blog! Pin It

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

warm colors

On my drive to school and work I'm greeted by warm colors and the crunch of crisp, fallen leaves.

I wish the beautiful colors the trees possess would remain year round.

The picture above is a view of my walk to campus. Pin It

Sunday, November 21, 2010

all in one day...or more

I have three projects somewhat due this week...right before Thanksgiving break. I'm almost done with my wooden jewelry box; it was due last week. Oh and I need my wax rings ready for investing tonight and one more project due on Tuesday....I don't have enough time or hands! ack. Pin It

Thursday, November 18, 2010

my students work

Above is a coral ring Lindsey made, her first ring. I really like it, this is the first ring Lindsey made and she did a prong setting which was a challenge but she did a great job.
And above is Molly's skull pendant. She riveted the skull to a patina back piece and added the flower. I really like how she thought about the layout and colors. I'm so proud!

I think most of my students in this class are going to sign up for the winter session; which I'm very excited about because I really enjoy their presence. Pin It

Holiday shopping

There is so much coming up, I'm wondering how all of this crept up on me? I've got to get going on making some new work for the holiday sale and holiday gifts. This weekend I think I'll be sleeping in the studio.

As you can see above the ECU School of Art and Design is having our annual holiday sale, if you're in the area come by and check out some awesome handcrafted work!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

woodworking advice

Working with a new medium is similar to making a new friend. May sound like an odd analogy but hear me out. You have to get to know a person to know and understand their quirks, personality and reactions to work well with them.

Such as wood; I am still a bit intimidated by the power of the tools and also taking a risk with a cut, a design and execution. But I am getting comfortable handling the machines and ALWAYS having respect for them. At first I had the same sentiments with metalsmithing but now, metal and I are besties. I still have my good and bad days but we always get along.

With that said, I'm doing some research on wood and came across Kent Perdue, via Crafthaus. His work is fascinating; his technical skills are impressive. He's also good with instructional videos.

Which is perfect in my attempt to get to know my new friend, wood. I've been doing okay so far with my jewelry box in my wood survey class but watching videos really help to imbed in my mind the techniques.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

you've been charmed

A blurry photo of the charms laid on the table. It was hard to get a shot with all of them because many of us couldn't help but pick up the charm and inspect them. The one I made is in the middle with black coral and pyrite. I got Autumn Brown's charm! Autumn uses porcelain and sets small gemstones in them. very cool! Pin It

Sunday, November 14, 2010


so pretty here in North Carolina, the beautiful golden orange, red and burgundy hues feel inspiring.

This is a huge oak tree at the entrance of the art building. Pin It

Thursday, November 11, 2010

charms sale success

The ECU metals guild is busting through the roof on our sales!

We had a rush of customers this morning and still throughout the day and a great range of charms.
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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ECU metals guild charm sale

We're hosting our 'first' (we had one many moons ago but no one from our current guild organized that one) Charm sale!

Following our successful charm swaps; we decided to create a good event to sell our charms - perfect in preparation for the holidays. I'm definitely excited to see other work this coming Thursday at the sale.

Timothy Weaver
, a graphic design major, at ECU designed the poster. I think it's pretty sweet.

Here is a professional photo of my charm from the last swap. Tara Locklear has been very good about getting photos taken of the charms for a future book...I've mentioned before.
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wax on, wax off

Next project in Casting I is to make three rings with our wax ring blank.

It's been a loooooong time since I've done wax carving. It's much harder than one would think but I'm really excited about this project. I'd like to cast more than three, make some more for the holiday sale.

Here are some initial sketches and a bench shot.
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Friday, November 5, 2010

what do you see?

These two panels of wood will be the doors for my jewelry box that I'm making in Wood Survey.

Or at least trying to make. I've been a little slow in my progress. We only have access to one wood shop this semester (the other was shut down) so we've got lots of people in the studio trying to use the same machine. And I've been procrastinating too. It takes a lot of energy and careful measurements to create a good wood project.

However working with a new material is challenging to the senses and mind. Many factors must be considered. Wood has the most beautiful patterns; such as above.

Today I tried to be very careful treating my wood, my teacher helped me plane the panels but then we decided to hand plane the wood so as not to tear out the knot above.

One step at a time...hence slow progress.

P.S. I see a face, a mean face.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

my new obsession

Deer antler! One of my bench mates in the undergrad studio had been working with deer antler for awhile and I asked him where he procured them. Well, luckily, he gets them from another undergrad metals student, Luke Price. His family does alot of hunting (what family in North Carolina doesn't?).

So I spoke with Luke and we did a trade; a pack of smokes for two antlers. Deer antler has this beautiful ivory/tree grain quality, and it's soft. So I began cutting it up and found that the antlers worked really well with my starfish cast pieces.
And above are 3 of my pieces for Casting I class...I still have 2 more to knock out before tomorrow...so I plan on making earrings. That makes 2, right?
I hadn't really seen any of Luke's work until this morning and I almost had a heart attack from the beauty of his 3 brooches for Mi-Sook Hur's Jewelry I class. Luke also used antler, he carved them into 3 cabochons, of varying sizes. I really, REALLY, want one of these brooches. Luke also used wasps hives...at first I thought they were beehives. Aren't they gorgeous? Pin It

Monday, November 1, 2010

ECU Metals Symposium

Yup, we're doing it again and it's going to be just as awesome and interesting as it was last year!

I'm really excited because we're going to have great workshops with leading artist and instructors. The metals grad students created a blog to disseminate information and sign up and exhibition forms.

We'll be adding some new events to the symposium: a charm swap, sketchbook exhibition and more. I'm particularly excited about the sketchbook exhibition because I just love looking at how artists develop their work.

Hopefully you can attend the symposium, I promise you won't regret it. Pin It