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, May 30, 2011

handembroidered textiles

Was perusing Etsy's blog and came upon this lovely video of women who hand embroider clothes in Lefkara, Cyprus and the business of handcrafted versus machinery.

Lacemaking in Lefkara, Cyprus from Etsy on Vimeo.

I love little old ladies that have so much knowledge. Makes me miss my Abuelita in Panama and my Grandma Fee in Omaha, NE.

Hope you enjoyed the long weekend, I sure did!
Pin It

Inspiration resource: National Geographic

This past Christmas I received a subscription to National Geo from my parents, and it's been such a resource for me. Their photographs, and stories, feature some of the most intriguing creatures and landscapes.

I like to tear out the photos and paste them in my notebook for references and ideas. As my previous blog post/quote states - nature is the ultimate creator or better said, evidence of the creator offering wonder and awe.

And as cliche as it is, butterfly's have beautiful design patterns...
A peacock butterfly

New photos of space and the universe.

A terrifying volcano.

Pattern on the back of a cobra hood.

Rattlesnake. *awesome power and repeating design.

I'm finding that much of the work I'm making is so related to my own habitat and geographical location, example using deer antler from local hunters, and black coral from Panama. I think it's my own need and being raised as a youth across the globe to connect with where I live and find meaning in it.

Pin It

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy laws my services are bound. - William Shakespeare
Pin It

Friday, May 27, 2011

harmless jelly fish

I'm just bursting with video finds today!

I'd like to go swimming with these fun creatures.

JELLYFISH LAKE, PALAU from Sarosh Jacob on Vimeo.

Pin It

Colonial silversmithing

Whoa - I wish I'd seen this video months ago when I was trying to chase my first bowl! Often process techniques don't occur to oneself until you see someone do it and then it's an aha moment, or for me, "duh?!"

I will say that when I'm sinking a bowl I use a much larger hammer and more hallowed out tree stump. Lately I've really been getting into raising and forming. My goal is to have three 3.5 inch diameter bowls raised, planished and chased by mid-summer for the trunk show. I've already got one raised and planished, and another half raised - so I'm almost there!

Thanks for reading and have a great Memorial Day weekend!
Pin It

Song of the day: Fleet Foxes "Grown Ocean"

Fleet Foxes just released their new album, "Helplessness Blues" and it is so lyrically beautiful and resonates so much with my life now.

Enjoy the official video for Grown Ocean.

Oh and added new items to My Etsy shop - Eilisain.
Pin It

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

new items in my Etsy Shop

Fresh New items in my Etsy shop - Eilisain Jewelry.

I've made new black branch coral earrings, beautifully treated and polished to bring out the woodgrain qualities of coral.

I love wearing these earrings with my hair pulled up - you will too!

Beaver teeth earrings, $30.
I'm just completely fascinated with these beaver teeth,
it's crazy how long they get!

Asymmetrical purple enameled heart earrings, $35.
Fantastic ear bling - to flash this summer.

Thank you for visiting my blog - hope you had a great day!
Pin It

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Collagraph in Printmaking

For the first part of summer I'm taking a printmaking class, and I'm quite enjoying it. I'd always been intrigued by the craft/art form since purchasing several lovely prints from classmates.

Our first project is a collagraph, which is a basic collage in the beginning and then sealing it with polyacrylic, allow to dry and then coating with black ink. Then you roll the inked print through a roller onto BFK paper (super soft paper) and the raised and recessed forms give you an interesting and abstracted image (depending on how you arranged your collaged pieces.My collagraph was to evoke an image of an underwater seascape, with seaweed and odd floating creatures. I think I somewhat captured that image.

Hope you enjoyed reading and thanks for visiting my blog.

Pin It

Monday, May 23, 2011

guess what my earrings are made of?

Beaver teeth!! A fellow metalsmith student gifted me beaver teeth and jaw bone her Dad had gotten from a beaver he hunted - I wasn't sure what to do with them but after some consideration, why not wear beaver teeth as earrings?

I'm really psyched about them and plan on acquiring more. As far as ethics go, yes I am a total animal lover but I feel that hunting is human and animal nature and as long as we protect the habitat and respect the animal we should be able to hunt them. Of course, I'm usually not the one hunting them...however since living in Eastern NC for the past 2 years, I'm somewhat tempted to experience what 'hunting' is like.

Most of what I make has organic elements to them, bone, coral, nuts, stones - pretty much anything that comes from the earth and looks weird and fascinating.

Thanks for reading!
Pin It

Friday, May 20, 2011

Song of the Day: Second Song by TV on the Radio

TV on the Radio never lets me down, they are definitely an 'art' band - committed to the art of music. I wonder who did the video - so very cool.

Enjoy and happy Friday!
Pin It

New items on Etsy...with photos

Small gold leaf moth pendant

Above are just several of the new items in my Etsy shop; I know I posted an updated yesterday but I should've put up new images, I'm still getting the hang of cross posting and promotion.

I plan on adding more in the next several days - I've been a very busy bee in the studio - and I love it because I've got it all to myself!!!

Enjoy and happy Friday!
Pin It

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Etsy listings

I finally photographed jewelry I've had squirreled away for local sales and shows. Why not list it on Etsy, duh?!

I've added several sterling silver rings with beautiful stones and my new 'Gold' moth series. They're quite elegant and sexy - hope you like and purchase an item.

Thank you for reading and your support, means very much.
Pin It

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Featured Artist: Marissa Saneholtz

Okay, so I will preface this post by saying, that ECU metalsmiths and artists in general get first dibs as featured artists on my blog because, well, I know them and they are ridiculously talented.

Anywho, so this week's featured artist is Marissa Saneholtz, a very recent graduate from the MFA metals program. Marissa is a ball of energy around the studio and she is so, so, so crafty and skilled in her work, I always get blown away by her amazing technical skills!

There are many reasons why I enjoy Marissa's work but I think the best part about her work is the irreverent and tongue-in-cheek commentary on traditional womens' role in society. She tells a story of the traditional 1950's woman that has had it with being the one to cook and clean, the feminine mystique, if you will. Oh and if you ever see her work up close...the details are truly amazing, universal joints and all kinds of hidden settings and magical ways of displaying her work.

She Had No Intention of Listening to Her Biological clock, brooch

She Excelled in Situations Like These, brooch

How Would Anyone Ever Resist Him, brooch

He Would Have to Fight Them off With a Stick, brooch

Revelation, tea infuser
The Idea of a White Picket Fence Terrified Her, necklace

The Trophy Necklace
The Trophy necklace detail shot

A Lady's Pocket Knife, Damascus steel
(Sooooo badass!)

I hope you enjoyed viewing her work, you can see more on Marissa's crafthaus site and the fun titles, they are perfect descriptions. Thank you for reading!
Pin It

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Oh Coco Chanel, how I admire thee

Early this evening, while reading through the Wall Street Journel's, Spring 2011 Design issue, I was reminded, once again of my adoring and utmost respect for Coco Chanel. She was, in my opinion (perhaps there were earlier), first womens' fashion designer.

Coco made a movement, for women to dress in casual outdoors wear but also many other fashion 'taboo's, such as wearing costume jewelry instead of real gemstone jewelry in the daytime. She was a pioneer in so many ways. As you can imagine, I have a bit of a girl crush on her, one of my many crushes. It's so important to have role models and women to admire and know that if they made it, I too can make it!

Okay, so back to the other reason why I'm posting this; the WSJ article also writes about how Karl Lagerfield went back to, and employed, the custom embroiderers, shoemakers, jewelers and textile artists of Paris to work on this Meteiers D'Art design collection. What a revelation and celebration for Lagerfield to return or perhaps concretely employ of true artisans to create the line.

About a year ago I watched several movies on Coco Chanel, her life and experience of being a fashion designer. She was so resolute and unyielding in her belief of true fashion and art. She never married and had several passionate relationships; you can see the wistfulness but also deep dedication to her art.

It's ironic yet amazing that I've met women in my own field of metalsmithing, just like Coco.

Well, thanks for reading and hope you had a great weekend!
Pin It

Saturday, May 14, 2011

wax in a lathe? brilliant

Whoa...blows my mind that Etienne is using such a small lathe and with wax!
Pin It

Friday, May 13, 2011

Charm Swap

Last night we held another charm swap, as usual it was fun to look at everyone's different methods and display.

I got Joshua Craig's charm (not pictured), it's an awesome little spiculum with a magnet to detach it!

Someday I plan on making a bracelet for which to hang all my awesome charms. Thanks for reading.

Pin It

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Quote of the Day: Vasily Kandinsky

"Art in many ways resembles religion. Its development consists not of new discoveries that obliterate old truths and stamp them as false (as is apparently the case in science). Its development consists of moments of sudden illumination, resembling a flash of ligtning, of explosions that burst in the sky like fireworks....This illumination reveals with blinding clarity new perspectives, new truths that are in essence nothing other than the organic development, the continuing organic growth of earlier wisdom, which is not cancelled out by the latter, but remains living and productive as truth and as wisdom."

-Vasily Kandinsky, Reminiscences (1913)

From Russian Legends: Folk Tales and Fairy Tales
Pin It

Monday, May 9, 2011

funny Mother's Day video

I'm a day late but I promise, you will love this comedian's skit on Mother's Day. John Roberts is ha-larious.

For all you Mother's out there, I have mad respect for you. I hope you had a lovely day and treated like a queen.
Pin It

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dirty LAM studios open house

Parents in arms: Mario Paredes' Mom and Laura Wood's Mom, two very supportive ladies
Ms. Laura Wood posing in front of her studio space and with an Andy Denton mug!

Autumn Brown's lovely display case.
Her porcelain mini-sculptures are like small worlds!

Autumn's studio space/workstation.

This past Friday evening was the open house for Dirty LAM studios (Laura Wood, Autumn Brown and Matt Amante shared studio space).

It was a fun event and really great to see their new space and how they work in their respective mediums: Laura with paper and metal, Autumn with porcelain and metal and Matt with his sculptures. I also learned how Laura stores all her pulp and Autumn with her porcelain. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of Matt's space and work.

LAM studios participated in Greenville's First Friday art walk, residents can ride a trolley and visit all the local art studio's, galleries and participating restaurants and business'. It's a wonderful way to nurture Greenville's small but burgeoning art scene.

It's super comforting and reassuring to see my friends and fellow metalsmiths establish themselves and open their own studios. Hopefully I can do the same one day.

Thank you for reading and visiting my friends websites!
Pin It

Friday, May 6, 2011

Recommended Reading: Bauhaus Women

I've had this book on my wish list with Amazon for awhile and finally purchased it with a gift card for my birthday.

Though the Bauhaus style and design is not one that I initially gravitate towards, I was more intrigued by the personal stories and lives of the women of the movement and their struggle to be recognized as experts in their field, as well as studying in the art schools.

It's so easy to take for granted the right to study whatever we want, as women, because nowadays we don't have to fight for those rights but back in the late 19th and early 20th century it was not commonplace for women to attend art schools, and if they did, they were relegated to women studies such as textiles.

Not to say that there still isn't sexism in the arts because there is plenty of it; in lesser degrees. I recommend this book for anyone that is interested in the history of Bauhaus and art movements in general.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Pin It

Thursday, May 5, 2011

bench shot

Now that classes are over, I can make whatever I want! I'm planning on making a 'man' brooch. We'll see how the guys in the studio respond.

Pin It

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Viva la weirdo

Viva Vena Cava, blog of fashion designers Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai is so weird but fascinating.

These ladies make the coolest of the cool clothes, if only I could afford it. check it out.
Pin It

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

crowd funding: great post from Crafting an MBA

Megan Auman has such remarkable marketing and business savvy posts - that's pretty much what her blog, Crafting an MBA is all about.

She is one of my guru's for my business research.

Her recent post is something I've been considering as an option to fund my possible residency adventures. Crowd funding, basically advertising your plan to the open market for financial support. It's a brilliant concept but one that has definitely been done before.

Pin It

Monday, May 2, 2011

no rules

Pin It

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dirty little lamb

Such a great name for Laura Wood, Autumn Brown and Matt Amante's studio.

L (Laura) A (Autumn) M (Matt) are having their studio opening/soiree next week, Friday May 6th, for Greenville's Uptown Art Walk. I'm psyched because I've heard so much from them on how they love working in their studio since graduating and I want to see how they have it set up.

If you live in the Greenville area please come and join us to toast to their new studio and enjoy local art!
Pin It