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.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New pieces

Just got these photos back from my good friend Tara Locklear, aren't they great?  These pieces were both in my senior exhibition.  

My favorite is the Keeper necklace, it's such a statement piece that I can imagine a shaman wearing.  I call it the keeper because the turtle is said the be the keeper between realms of earth and water and combined with the beaver which is a builder of it's home, and is constantly working at perfect it's goal of building a dream.  

The Deep Sea necklace is very close to home for me, the black coral is from Panama and the ammonite was gifted to me from a dear friend (Kat Cole).  It represents the change in time and how water can transform wildlife to a state of permanency.  

I hope you like and thank you for visiting! 

The Keeper, cast bronze from a turtle shell, copper, silver and beaver teeth

The Keeper back detail.
Deap Sea necklace. Black coral, ammonite, and sterling silver. 

Deap Sea close up. 
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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Caffeine and Sawblades Call for Entries

 The deadline has been extended to December 28th!! 

Caffeine & Saw Blades  is a juried metal design showcase that will feature work completed by East Carolina University students. The purpose of the showcase is to highlight the accomplishments of ECU students (both past and present.) We also hope to provide insight into the mind of the student and allow the observer to experience the work from a students prospective.

This showcase is open to any current or former ECU metals student. In order for work to be accepted, it must have been completed while attending ECU. Mixed media work will be accepted, but metals must be the main component.

ECU Metals Faculty


Calendar (Dates are subject to change)

December 28
Submission Deadline
December 26th-January 1st
Notification of Acceptance
January 2nd- January 13th
Receipt of Accepted Work
January 18th
Exhibition Opens
January 18th (6-9pm)
January 20th
Exhibition Closes
After January 21st
Return Work

There is a non-refundable entry free of $10 for up to 2 pieces of work. Payment must be submitted via PayPal to caffeineandsawblades@gmail.com After completing payment, email the entry form, along with photographs of your work to: caffeineandsawblades@gmail.com Please submit high-quality photos. Incomplete entries will not be considered.

Shipment and Insurance of Accepted Work:
All work must be shipped through USPS, FedEx, or UPS. Shipping costs to and from ECU is the responsibility of the artist. A shipping address will be provided with notification of acceptance. We recommend that work be insured during shipping as we will not be accountable for damages occurring during shipping. A prepaid return shipping label must be included with artwork. Work that does not arrive by the January 13th deadline will be excluded from the showcase.

Questions can be directed to Mariah Lee Ross at: caffeineandsawblades@gmail.com

Caffeine and Saw Blades Entry Form:
(Email entry form, receipt of payment and photos of work.)

Forms will not be considered without payment of entry fee ($10).
Graduation/Anticipated Graduation Year ___________________________
Graduate or Undergraduate Program (circle)
Email _____________________________________________________________
Phone #___________________________________________________________
Title of work______________________________________________________
Year Completed __________________________________________________
Dimensions ______________________________________________________
Materials _________________________________________________________
Preferred Way of Display___________________________________________
Possible Wall Text: Please provide an Artist Statement for the piece. (50 words or less) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Enjoy the times and...

May you have a wonderful Christmas or whatever holiday you may celebrate 
and may you be blessed for the future year and beyond!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

My new studio space at Art Avenue

Moving out of the ECU metals studio took a bit of a push but once I started packing my stuff I realized that I was very much ready for a new chapter in my life.

I'm so very excited about the possibilities at Art Avenue; currently we're awaiting a city grant to move forward with renovating the space for roughly 10 private studio spaces.   It's so necessary for a recent art graduate to have some kind of working space, which most of us have a hard time finding.  But with Art Avenue, there is so much potential.  Working with Jeremy Fineman, Claire Edwards, Andy Denton and Autumn Brown...it feels fresh and exciting!

And the Gallery space is huge, we have a great location and large windows to showcase handmade artistic work.  I'm praying to the art gods that we receive a blessing in the form of this grant!
Front Gallery
Side wall of gallery.  My pieces are still up!
BEFORE photo of initial set up of my studio (I get my own room!! for now)
AFTER my studio with all my junk!
Jeremy's lovely bowls...I need to get one eventually.
The ceramic side of the 'active' studio
The soldering and kiln area.

And in the most final and exciting news is that i'll be able to set up a casting studio!!! With the help of Autumn and my boss at the Jewelry Dr., I'll have the equipment and space to do it myself.  I love the process of casting, watch the metal melt and turn into something I created...it's powerful.

Stay tuned for more news about Art Avenue and thank you for reading!
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Friday, December 21, 2012

4th Annual ECU Symposium Material Topics: Making Marks

Gosh it feels like just yesterday Laura Wood was planning the first symposium!

Here it is 4 years later and ECU graduate students have carried the torch.  This year my good friend DJ is running the show and she, along with the rest of the grads and undergrads have a super awesome weekend planned.  This year's title is Making Marks and I think that is very applicable to what is happening in the field.  So many new and up and coming (as well as veterans) metalsmiths and makers (whatever you want to call yourself) have created new opportunities, techniques and methods of working on their craft.

I'm really looking forward to being a part of the symposium and attending.  There is STILL time to REGISTER for the symposium.

Awesome poster! 

I'm so impressed with the roster of workshops and discussions...can't wait and I hope to see you there!
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Friday, December 14, 2012

I've been bad...

about blogging! It was so hard to balance everything with graduating and my senior show that I just had to put this on the burner.

However, I come back with some amaze-aballs news?!  I got featured on one of my favorite websites - Refinery29!!! I love reading about fashion and general news they feature - especially the DC edition.  I was lucky enough to have Holly E. Thomas, the DC editor of Refinery29 to come to the trunk show at Redeem last Saturday night.  She is as uber-cool as you would think a DC fashionista would be. 

The trunk show was a great time, meeting new and old customers, such as John Michael of DC Dilemmas and seriously killer style - we share a love of international art. Also two of my old coworkers and friends from HRC came out, Tiffany Dean and Jeoff Lara - makes a girl feel loved!

I miss DC, and it's always good to go back and catch up and get a bit of the city life!

Below are some quick photos I snapped...forgot to take more with my better camera.
the display at Redeem
there is very sweet Holly Thomas checking out my jewelry!
And my new Eilisain Jewelry packaging!!! Per my hard as nails letterpress class!
Thanks for reading!
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Numen: Divine Will or Power Exhibition

Last Saturday was the opening reception for my senior exhibition, titled Numen: Divine Will or Power.  It was one of the most exhilarating nights of my life, it was so special to share what I've worked on over the past three years with my family and friends.  And the best part of it all was that my older brother flew in from Brooklyn, NY (while sick) for the show!!! That really made my day.

I was smiling ear to ear the entire night.  I did the show with a fellow senior, Kendall Temotio, which I'm so glad I did, it was good to have someone to rely on while preparing for the show.  Kendall and I have a similar aesthetic, we both love organic materials and are inspired by nature; my style is more rough and aggressive whereas Kendall's has a more delicate and refined quality.  We had the show at Art Avenue of course, I love how much the community has pulled together in support of Art Avenue and having a space for art graduates to continue their work.  Andy Denton and Jeremy Finemen have been the two background players - setting up tracking lights and really improving the structure of the space.  I'm really looking forward to setting up my studio and working with Art Avenue to make it even better.

So here are some photos from the opening reception - it seriously turned into a big party, we had to eventually kick everyone out at 9pm (closing time) as Kendall and I wanted to celebrate afterwards with our friends and family. 

Window shot of my poster and deer antler.
We had so much food (and wine)!
Here I am cheesin' with my parents and older brother.  My family has been so supportive of my dreams.
It's Ellis, the Jewelry Dr. (aka my boss)! and his lovely wife Margaret.  I was SO happy he came for the show. 
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How to care for your jewelry

18kt gold plated crow claw ring and amethyst.
I've been thinking this over the past couple days, how frustrating it can be when people come to the Jewelry Dr. (where I work as a repair assistant part time) and are baffled that their jewelry broke or why a stone came loose, etc.   Then it got me thinking, well no wonder they don't know why their jewelry broke...because, maybe no one told them how to take care of it!

Most jewelry doesn't come with 'how to' instructions, but they really should.  For example, plated jewelry (gold and silver plating) must be removed from the body before coming in contact with soap or water, because if you don't the plating will come off.

So here are some simple steps on how to care for Eilisain Jewelry as well as any other jewelry.

1.  Remove your jewelry before washing your hands or any contact with water IF it is gold or silver plated AND if there is a sensitive stone/gem.

2.  Store your jewelry in a jewelry box or a bag with chalk (especially if it is silver, chalk prevents tarnishing).

3.  Check your jewelry and look at it closely from time to time (say once a month, if you wear it often).  The way I check for loose stones and diamonds at the jewelry dr. is I run my fingernail along the edge of the stone, if the stone moves...well then it needs to be tightened.

4.  Also remove your jewelry if it has been epoxyed, aka glued.  Some of my stones are additionally set with epoxy.  Epoxy is a very strong adhesive for metal objects - most jewelry out there has epoxy in it, even fancy (aka expensive) and commercial jewelry.

5.  And even if you've checked your jewelry yourself, take your most prized jewelry once or twice a year to a jeweler to have them inspect it professionally.  Most of the time this is free, unless it needs repair.

6.  POLISHing:  There are several methods to polishing your jewelry.  One is to buy the soapy liquid at the store...those never seem to work! A polishing cloth is great, you can usually buy one at a fancy jewelry shop or maybe at Michaels.  Sometimes just an old soft tshirt does the job. Dish soap works just as well, use your hands and gently clean your jewelry with just a teeny bit of soap.  Then dry with a soft cloth.

I hope that these tips help you in caring for your jewelry.  I know I do it myself because, I LOVE my jewelry and I don't want to lose it or have it damaged!

Thanks for reading.
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