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.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Oh if I could travel for a day

Today, I'd fly to Germany and visit the Pinakothek Der Moderne - Museum, where the video below was shot and absorb all the fascinating international jewelry.

About 10 years ago I traveled to Europe and visited Amsterdam and the coast off the Netherlands. At that time in my life I wasn't a jewelry maker, nor much of a jewelry aficionado, but now...oh it'd be different, I'd schedule my trip around jewelry galleries and exhibitions.

video via Katie Jayne of Kaleidoscope blog.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

wrapped around your little finger

Last nights Design with Wine was alot of fun! I had wonderful participants that were all very creative in how they designed their wire wrapped jewelry. As you can see above, Rebecca, one of the participants loved her necklace so much she had to wear it out!
I was really impressed with Lynette's wire-wrapped pendant and wrapped necklace. The agate she brought in was very smooth and presented challenges with wrapping wire around it, but she successfully got the copper wire to hold the bead.
Terry and Sylvia (first women in the table shot above) were great fun and are both avid beaders and jewelry enthusiasts, I enjoyed getting to know them.
And of course the ladies definitely enjoyed the wine and snacks. It reminded me of my days of scrapbooking, long time ago my friend and I would go to her aunt's scrapbooking store and make pages and have a little wine and cheese, it was always fun.

At the end of the class I asked the participants for feedback and advice, and they offered up great suggestions. It's really important to me, as a somewhat new teacher, to understand how I can be better and provide a quality class.

After hosting my first Design with Wine class, I can say that I'd definitely do it again!
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Design with Wine

Doesn't that sound like fun, mixing a bit of wine and crafting?

Tomorrow night I'm teaching Wire wrapping at Emerge Gallery's (Pitt County Arts Council) Design with Wine events. Attendants get to learn either painting, jewelry, ceramics and other craft activities.

I'm really looking forward to teaching the class and enjoying the company of curious new jewelry enthusiasts.

The amber, silver and swarovski bead necklace above is the first silver wire necklace I made. I just loved it so much at the time, and still do, I think I sold it to a close friend.

Either way, I'm proud of where I've come since then.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

raising and plaiting

A little update on my raising and forming class with Tim Lazure, it's going pretty good. I've decided for my first project to create a bowl imitating a snail's shell and then using prisma color to add a pop. Before I apply the color though I want to do some repousse work.
Here I am raising my copper bowl (at 8am in the morning) that I initially sank. I really hope my idea comes out the way I plan...sometimes you never know, especially when you're trying a new process.

Speaking of which, below is my plaiting project for my textiles class. Plaiting is another term for basketry, it's a wonderful way to give a strong structure using a light material.
Next up in textiles, fabric dyeing!
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DJ play that funky music

I continue my corniness with that title...

I'm very psyched to announce that I got a part time gig DJing at ECU's WZMB Pirate radio station!

In honor of my music jobby job, I present you with my latest song obsession, Lykke Li's new song, I follow Rivers. Her album Wounded Rhymes drops in early March.

I saw her live 2 years ago in DC and she's just as great in person. Oh how I miss the DC music scene.
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Winthrop Intercollegiate Exhibition

I got two of my pieces in! Whooopeee! Yes, I am a dork.

Y'know that thought, that all artists have, the doubt of not getting into an exhibition or thinking, "My work is not yet worthy".

Well, I'm chucking those negative thoughts and entering my work for exhibitions this year! To read more about the Winthrop Intercollegiate Exhibiton, and Winthrop's metals department check out their website.

I have to admit, I'm envious of their awesome cleaning posters and marketing...I think ECU's metals guild needs to catch up.
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channeling the goddess

Copyright ©2007 Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust

As corny as the title may sound, lately I've received inspiration and ideas from my Goddess Cards; cards that describe Goddess' from all cultures and feature the amazing prints from Susan Seddon-Boulet.

Over the years I've bought her calendars; her prints are so enchanting and aethereal.

Seven Moons Passing
Copyright ©2007 Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust

One of her cards has given me inspiration for my deer antler necklace. I imagine a young huntress wearing it and a modern day elegant yet stylish woman.

Persephone and Demeter
Copyright ©2007 Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

pan's labryinth

I recently purchased the director's cut of Pan's Labryinth and it has wonderful insights and interviews from Guillermo Del Toro. He is a brilliant and creative producer.

When I first saw Pan's Labryinth I couldn't stop thinking about it and how our world can move within other worlds. It's a twisted story but one that has so many paralelles to our own experiences.

I love the detail del Toro put into his movie, colors, symbols and animals represent emotions and ideas. Check out the clip below of creating Pan and the scary child eater!

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

20-3-20 Rings

There were several exhibitions, like the 20-3-20 Ring, that occurred during the symposium weekend, and it was great to view them with all my friends from art school.

The 20-3-20 ring exhibition was curated by Justin Klocke and Michael Ruta and has traveled from Chicago to Greenville, NC and hosted an opening last night in Athens, Ga.
Rings on the swinging display.
Wonderful way to display them, and fondle the beautiful rings
Several of my studio mates, Margaret Puckett,
Dale Evans, Sam Woitovich and Heath Wagoner.

A trend I have recently noticed is the number of exhibitions created by fellow metalsmiths and makers that highlight each other's talent and a way to generate buzz for our work. It's also a great way to learn how to put a show up and understand the mechanics of getting galleries to purchase work. Got me thinking about maybe, doing an exhibition myself.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

in the studio today

Today I cut up some new deer antler so I could mount them on the acrylic for a rubber mold.

I hit a block when coming up with the design for this necklace and then bam...it was there, with help from a studio mate, Dale Evans.

I can't wait to get through this side of the process and then have the castings. It's like opening a present slowly!
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Powder coating with Michael Dale Bernard

As I'd stated in my previous post on the 2nd ECU metal symposium, there was a wonderful dynamic of old and new guard metalsmiths.

In my opinion, Michael Dale Bernard represents some of the new guard metalsmiths. His work is edgy and urban but still holds true to the values of metalsmithing. I thoroughly enjoyed his lecture and demo on powder coating.

Powder coating (definition via finishing.com) "is the technique of applying dry paint to a part. The final cured coating is the same as a 2-pack wet paint. In normal wet painting such as house paints, the solids are in suspension in a liquid carrier, which must evaporate before the solid paint coating is produced."
Here you can see Michael using the powder coating gun.

Some samples and car parts Michael brought in.
More samples. Ashley Brodie shows off some pieces Tara Locklear brought with her to have coated.

Powder coating is a much faster and more inexpensive way of coloring metal (versus using enamel). Of course enamel has it's own wonderful properties but I find myself really digging powder coating. It has this wonderful pop of color that is more slick.

Several of the grad students at ECU have been implementing powder coating in their work such as Marissa Saneholtz, Laritza Garcia, and Laura Wood. And powder coating is a fairly inexpensive process as compared to others (casting and enameling), for that reason the ECU metals guild has decided to purchase a powder coating set up (primarily a powder coating gun, the colored powder, a toaster oven and ventilation system).

I haven't yet decided how I'd like to utilize powdering coating in my own work but I have a feeling I'll definitely use it!
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Monday, January 17, 2011

ECU metals symposium was A-MAZING

Back row: Tom Muir, Bob Ebendorf, Michael Dale Bernard, Linda Darty and Nicole Jacquard
First Row: Provost (I don't know their names)

I'm going to start this post with a great photo of some incredible and legendary metalsmiths and jewelers. Tom Muir was in one word, funny. As you can imagine a legend like Tom would have many great stories and an incredible sense of humor. His workshop was excellent as well, I learned some great catch tips.

And there really is no introduction to Bob, I had a great time learning even more from him and also picking his brain for some future plans of mine (more on that later!).

Nicole Jacquard, well, many of us women in the symposium developed a bit of a girl crush on her, I know I did. I also developed a bit of a crush on Caroline Gore (not in this photo). Caroline has this calm and collected energy that she exudes that makes you feel that way too.

Michael Dale Bernard definitely has some incredible tricks up his sleeve. I really enjoyed the dynamic of the conference, this representation of legends along with innovative-thinking new 'legends' or more aptly worded, old guard and new guard. Michael did a workshop on powder coating that was super cool and fun.

I really could go on and on, and I will but one post at a time. For now though, I'm going to catch up on the sleep I lost from this wonderful extended-weekend.

I still can't believe I was surrounded by so many of wonderful people.

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Friday, January 14, 2011


Here's a snapshot of my notebook and my 2nd 'sunken' bowl.  It's a 6 inch, 18 gauge copper disk that I started sinking on Wednesday.  I've taken raising and forming, but a looooong time ago (probably 3 years ago) and I learned a new method from Tim Lazure, using a different kind of hammer and then planishing it.  

I think I'm really going to enjoy this class, Tim is a good teacher and makes it easy to understand new methods; for those of us that don't know them!

My goal for this course is to make a silver baby cup for my newborn niece, Doris.  She's a beautiful little munchkin, I can't wait until she gets older and shows more of her personality.  Here's a photo of my brother making her smile.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

ECU Metals Symposium Student exhibition

This weekend is the 2nd Annual ECU Metals symposium, I'm beginning to get super pumped about it.  We're going to have amazing artists visit with workshops and demos, just a bunch of metal geeks being geeky together.

Here are some blurry photos I took with my phone of the student exhibition.  
My black coral, pyrite and chased silver brooch is in the upper left corner 
next to Liz Steiner's white necklace.
And there in the lower middle on the wall is Kat Cole's new piece, I really like it.

You can read more about the visiting artists and workshops here

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

1st day of classes

It's a new year, and new classes; this semester I'm taking a textiles survey class, Jewelry I with Mi-Sook Hur, Raising and Forming with Tim Lazure and art history. 

I'm just a bit nervous about this semester...for several reasons, (1) Mi-Sook is a great teacher but hard; she is a meticulous metalsmith (which is exactly what I need),  (2) I'm already worried I'm going to get some serious forearm cramps from raising (I hammered today and that hurt!) and, (3) I'm teaching Thursday nights (hopefully, if enough students sign up).  I worry that it'll be quite a load; we'll see how it goes?!

But I'm hopeful and excited about this semester.  I know I'll be challenged and I vow to finish all my projects.
I don't have a photo for first day of classes, so I give you a photo of Liz Smith's brooches and sphere from her course with Mi-Sook.  Liz is really talented and good at metalsmithing. Liz and I have a similar design aesthetic. 

Brooches: cat bone, copper and sterling silver.  Sphere: Sterling silver. 
If you are also in school studying metals - I wish you luck and if you're a working metalsmith - good luck with your sales this year!
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Friday, January 7, 2011


A happy song and cute video from an old movie.

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clustered jewelry

This is a quick snapshot of my dresser; where most of my jewelry boxes reside as well as small altar ornaments.  An old friend and coworker gave me the blue hand and it's perfect for hanging all my rings and prayer beads...whatever I can hang on it!

I've begun to run out of room to store and display my jewelry.  You're probably thinking, didn't Lisette say she was making a jewelry box?  It is one of my unfinished projects.  I'm on the fence as to whether or not I want to finish it because (a). I dislike having unfinished projects and (b).  I said I was going to finish HOWEVER, it's not the best made box...I didn't glue it up very well.  So, should I finish it for the sake of finishing it, or chuck it and come to the conclusion that I'm not good at making wooden boxes?

Anywho, the angel was also a gift from a friend and I love dressing her up with all my jewelry.  One way I like to display my jewelry is to create 'mini' altars around my apartment.  I'll keep a cluster round stones, a little buddha statue or some photo along with a bracelet, ring, necklace, pendant...laying near it or on top of it.

Where do you store your jewelry?  

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

book of the month: Fashion Jewellery: Catwalk and Couture

I've been wanting this book for awhile, and I finally broke down and bought it...I probably shouldn't have considering the spending I've been doing this holiday season, but oh well!

I highly recommend this book, if you love fashion and jewelry. What I especially like about the book is the interviews with the artist and learning how they got into the business. And how they relax as well...

David & Martin interview, Q & A.
And how do you relax?
Martin: Hunting, riding my motorbike, diving
David: Spending time in the forest, sauna, sex.
*So classic I had to post it.

This book features jewelry artists that have collaborated with major fashion designers, such as Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, Commes de Garcones, Alexander McQueen and more.

Here is a quote that I find interesting, from Ludovik Colpaert of Atelier 11 " 'Too many people still think of jewellery in terms of gold, silver, pearls and diamonds, We try to show them that contemporary jewellery can also be fun and what's more that it's entirely possible to be experimental and still be commercial."

You can see photos from the book on Coolhunting's website, they did a great review.
If you want to purchase the book, I'd get it from Amazon.

I'm still devouring this book. Jewellery books are my new obsession so...if you have any interesting, good jewelry book recommendations, let me know!

As always, thank you for reading. Pin It

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Hope you're having a wonderful new year day!

I'm celebrating in fabulous Brooklyn with my brother, Meg (sister-in-law) and Doris, my beautiful niece. I'm loving it, no better way to ring in the new year.

P.S. I'll upload super sappy cute photos upon my return to NC. Pin It