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.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Modern Jewelry from the 60's

I'm not usually into modern looking jewelry, as you can tell by the jewelry I make, which is very organic. However, there is a wonderful simplicity and attractiveness to "modern" jewelry.

Jesus' earrings have an awesome disco vibe. And Gio's necklace below is very sexy. The black and white shots are great too...may have to do that myself.

"A Rhodium Treated Silver Necklace"

Jesus Raphael Soto
Venezuela artist
"A Pair of Parcel-Gilt Silver and Gold Earrings"

"A Gold Bbracelet"
Snagged photos from Mondoblogo.
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Song of the Day: Tin Man by Future Islands

Greenville represent! Future Islands singer is from G-Vegas.

Future Islands have such a danceable vibe, puts me in a good mood.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Sweetness to my ears

Brand-spankin' new earrings and
displayed on a chased copper bowl I made earlier this year.

Finished this sweet pair of earrings today, though I had a little battle with those prongs, I won! Petrified wood and oxidized sterling silver make a lovely combination.

Now on sale in my etsy shop - check'em out!
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Metal God

A good friend gave this prayer to me years ago, I keep it above my bench to get the day started off right.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Ring a Day video

This is such an awesome, very well-edited video.

Such a fun and crazy-idea challenge! Maria Apostolou uploaded this video on vimeo. She also has a fun website and blog.
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Mexico Post part 3

My posts about my Mexico trip are still coming in, there was so much beautiful and rich art to drink in - I couldn't help take photos of everything!

The second day Laritza and I were in Mexico we visited several museums, one of them had a very extensive exhibit on the history of Mexican art, from all mediums - textiles, clay, metalwork, sculptural and murals. The artwork spanned decades of traditional mexican art, such as masks (the ones you see here), murals, ceramic wear, textiles, jewelry - much of the work is around the fascinating and evolving religion. I've always been drawn to how humans and cultures manifest their belief system in art work - essentially cultural anthropology (my first degree).

The mixture of indigenous groups, such as Mayans with Spanish and European influences is so visually appealing. My main love affair is with the intense love affair with the Dead and spirit world. I could go on and on but here I will allow the photos to explain themselves.

Enjoy - and have a great weekend!

A ceramic Catrina doll. Craft is ridiculous!

Virgin Mary Catrina.

beautiful, the hand has such a morbid but cool aesthetic.

Mermaid skeleton - love it!

Lil' old Abuelita (Grandma)
dead and still smoking - kinda like the secretary in Beetlejuice!

Flying devil/trickster.
The interpretation of nighmares and evil spirits into
the devil and his faeries - not so uncommon around the world.

My brother would love these masks (he collects them).

Laritza absorbing this beautifully painted mural.

Gorgeously repoussed silver crown and cups.

These pendants remind me of replicas my Abuelita has.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

what's to come

A mold for new work....very exciting!!!

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

metalsmiths are worthy too!

I completely agree, history is the foundation.
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Coppersmiths of Santa Clara del Cobre

One of the highlights of my trip to Mexico was visiting Santa Clara del Cobre, a small town just outside of Patzcuaro in the state of Michoacan. The town centers around the coppersmiths that create beautiful and magnificent copper bowls and all sorts of other objects.

What is most impressive about these smiths is that they use the most basic, bare-bones tools and yet they create such impeccable and almost flawless objects.

Some of the basic tools the coppersmiths use.

One of our new friends showing us how he uses the spinning lathe
to create little pear and apple vessels.

A hardworking copper smith

Spinning copper on a lathe.

One of the shops with many beautifully chased jars.
It takes roughly 2 days from the copper block to polishing a jar.
That is quite impressive!

whoever made this jar has some killer skills!

When Laritza Garcia and I arrived in Santa Clara we wandered around and visited several of the shops and studios where the coppersmiths display their work, the town is somewhat similar to Taxco in that there are shops on every block that feature copper work. But lucky us, we came across the most generous and humble shop owners, Juan Jose and Rosi that own Cobre el Porton. Lari and I went directly to the back of the shop where two coppersmiths were working on a bowl and they gave us a demo on how they take block of copper and slowly hammer it out into a disk and then a bowl - I was very, very impressed...because here in the states, we just order a copper disk from Rio but not these guys!

A copper disk after a round of forging.

See that steam rising up - that's how HOT it gets

Here's a video Lari shot of the coppersmiths bangin' away...pretty awesome!

So to finish the story, as Lari and I were walking out of El Porton, we were greeted by Juan Jose, the owner of El Porton, and he told us how the coppersmiths of Santa Clara did not learn the trade from visiting Spaniards (back long ago) but that it is a passed on tradition that originated in Santa Clara. Our conversation led us to tell Juan about our school and studies - next thing you know we're having dinner with his wife and daughter. We made life long friends that day. It was such an amazing trip and education on artists from another country.

Hope you enjoyed this post.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

new photos!

Some goodies I have been storing and finally took some quality photos.

Black coral and ammonite set in sterling silver.

Pyrite and animal claw with jet set in fine silver
with sterling silver ear wire.

and showcased on a turtle shell my Dad found on his property.

Analcite stone set in a sterling silver cuttlefish casting.

Hope you like! And of course these can be purchased on my Etsy site.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vote for the Trifecta Trunk Show Crafthaus grant project

We are so close but we still need more votes to win - please take the time to quickly and easily vote for our project, #10 on the list.

Crafthaus is offering a grant for a project that promotes art jewelry and educates the public about what we do. So our plan is to do another trunk show in Brooklyn and we've submitted a proposal to Crafthaus for the grant.

If you have already voted, thank you SO much. But if you haven't - you can still help us by voting today!

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Penland Update Part 2

Leslie with her Giving Tree model.

The Giving Tree model - be careful it's hot!

Adrian Lesoing, Leslie Tharp and my dorky self.
We had fun being silly.

Leslie Tharp (aka badass sculptor)

One of the things I really loved about being at Penland was visiting the other workshops and meeting artists in different mediums and from diverse backgrounds.

It's no surprise that there were more women than men at Penland - we dominate the craft field! And I met so many amazing, talented and driven women. Leslie Tharp is one of them. She is a sculptor from Gainesville, Florida (an alumni of University of Florida - a fellow Gator!). Leslie has this infectious and happy spirit, I really enjoyed hanging out with her - especially watching her in sculptor action.

Leslie has a commission for the city of Gainesville to create a sculpture for the Senior Recreation Center. Her sculpture is called the Giving Tree. It is quite beautiful and elegant. I was really excited to see her model and designs for the bench.

Not only is Leslie busy working on her commissions she also has a brilliant side project called The After School Project. It's a group of emerging artists, recently graduated from fine art schools, from all kinds of mediums that meet to help each other develop in the field, share practices and create a community that fosters growth and knowledge. The concept and idea is wonderful because when you graduate you lose a bit of that community that art school provides. Hopefully I can find a group like hers when I graduate - or maybe even form my own!

I have a feeling I'll be seeing Leslie soon, the group of women I bonded with at Penland made a pack to have a reunion, at Penland or inbetween states.

Hope you enjoyed this post and thanks for reading!
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Swept away

When I was in Taxco, Mexico, as you can imagine, there was so much to buy and on I limited budget, I had carefully choose what to buy and I had a hard time making up my mind! Of course I gravitated towards the earthy/watery materials...like black coral and this awesome ammonite.

I decided to combine both and make this mini-brooch. It looks like a small squid, with the coral being it's tentacles.

What do you think?

Petrified ammonite set in sterling silver prongs.

A giant seashell my grandparents gave me.

The squids tentacles.

Stamped and ready to be worn!

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Starting up a business

Ms. Laura Wood (friend and ECU metals alumni) has an awesome post on her new experience of officially and legally starting a business.

check it out!

P.S. I'm already purchasing this book.
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

2nd Update on Jessica Calderwood Penland workshop

Here is another update on the workshop I attended this past week at Penland School of Crafts, NC. For the second half of the workshop Jessica showed us how she incorporates ceramic decals and photo transfer paper to add images on enamel. It was really, really cool and many of us were excited by the possibilities of it's use.

The last day of our class we also had a 'sharing is caring' moment of displaying all our hardwork and discussing how we could take the techniques she showed us even further. It was alot of fun and also great to meet other people (that aren't university students) who are just as interested in jewelry processes.

I'll be posting more Penland updates, so stay tuned!

Jessica Calderwood with some of the students in class.

Fiona Mork's meticulous painted and drawn enamel wall piece.

Avery Luca's drawn hands. I love how it blends with her hands.

My ceramic and photo transfer decals.

Another shot of my bench.
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