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.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Eilisain stickers

Just got these stickers in the mail.  They will go wonderfully with all my other packaging.  Hope you like!

stickers courtesy of Moo cards.
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Scenery and wildlife at Penland

I'm going to sound a bit cheesy as I write this, but Penland is a magical place.  It's almost like Wonderland, especially with the mountains as a backdrop and mushrooms, butterflies, multi-colored insects around, all the while art is being created.

Most of us during my session (4) collected all kinds of random bugs and insects.  Here are some photos of what caught my eye.
There were beautiful butterflies all around Penland.
The wishing 'well' at Penland
Schroomies! They were everywhere too..
A cabin which features a pottery studio.
The moths and insects on campus were pretty cool too.
 A furry moth my friend Mariah gifted me.
This was an especially cool schroomie with fungus dripping from it.
The Pines at night, a good ole dance party went down that night.
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Geek Chic

John Michael of DC Dilemmas, lookin' uber geek chic with The Hunted Owl talon ring. 

Close up shot
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Classmates at Penland

It's funny when you take a workshop, you end up learning just as much from your classmates as you do from your teacher.  My classmates at Penland are very talented and creative; we all had different backgrounds but had a really great time making diverse pieces out of our alloys. 

Here's a review of my new friends from Penland. 
Kim Zitzow working on her boat. 
Kim made a very cool boat from her alloys, I wish I had a photo of it.  And for the background of the boat she used her rust water on paper.  It was a perfect backdrop.  Kim and I bonded over working for Biba Schutz, tho I never did production work for Biba, as Kim does currrently, however Biba's zany personality is something to bond over!
Laurel Fulton working on her copper 'paper' bag.
Laurel is such an awesome and funny person, as well as a multi-talented artist.  Laurel has been coming to Penland for over 5 years now.  She does printmaking, painting and metals and she's an art teacher in Colorado.  Good times spent with this lady.

Carol Haggig and Amir Friedman, two of my favorite people at Penland.
There really are no words for Carol and Amir, the three of us had too much fun exchanging ideas, gossip and enjoying the creative process at Penland.

You can read more about Amir in my artists profile.

Carol will get her own profile review soon.  I will say that I truly enjoyed her generous, positive and open spirit.  Carol challenged me to always work and get moving.  She couldn't stop making! In that, she and Amir are very alike, they love to create - constantly.
Carrrrol (as we say her name) working on her many beautiful pieces.  I just love her french accent.
Keramit Reiter making tiny, tiny jewelry.
I didn't get to know Keramit as much as I would've liked but I'll say this, she loves to make itty-bitty pieces.  I admire her willingness to go small, very small.

Our lovely assistant Julia Heineiccus.
Julia was my refining buddy, she was great at getting us all set up and keeping everything safe.  I love her ingenuity in her jewelry too, she makes elegant bracelets and rings from brass wire and gold plates them.  Very lovely. 
Casting with Amir, was a bit wild (he likes his flasks HOT!)
Towards the end of the two weeks at Penland, Amir was hell bent on casting.  He was using any machinery possible.  It was fun casting with him because he has such high energy and I learned a new secret....shhh, I can't tell!
Robbie Wolff taking one of his many naps.  He has an amazing collection of stones. 
I hope you enjoyed reading about my new artist friends.  Thanks for visiting.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Plastic Beach

One Plastic Beach from High Beam Media on Vimeo.

Everyday we don't realize how much we 'throw away' but it never goes away, it ends up in the ocean where can't see it but does affect us, when fishes swallow plastic bottle caps and somehow we wonder where cancer comes from. 

Sorry to rant but it's frustrating.  Recycle, Reuse, Compost, do whatever you can to lessen your impact on our world. Pin It

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Geoflora Trunk show

ECU undergrad and up and coming jewelers Ellen and Margaret Hinrichs are hosting their first 
trunk show at Nancy Couick Studios & Gallery in two weeks.  Very exciting! If you are
in the Charlotte/Triangle area go see their jewelry.  
And if not you can always SHOP at their Etsy Shop.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Featured Artist/Jeweler: Amir Friedman

When you're at Penland you meet so many talented artists and people and it's so stimulating and invigorating to the artistic soul.  In my class was one such artist and jeweler, Amir Friedman, he was one of the scholarship students from Israel.  Amir was also in Jana Brevick's Melt class and we got along so great.  I learned alot from him.  

Amir is one of those artists that never rests!  And you can see it in the work he makes, meticulous and very detailed.  Amir brought along his display case of his rings; I was so enamored with them, specifically the one below that I'm wearing...we are currently working on a deal for me to get it.  I couldn't stop trying it on.    

Amir loves to cast and play with tools, and he's innovative in how he casts.  He actually casted a ring embedded black crystal quartz!  Visit his website to see it and more of his pieces.  

Oh and psst...we may be teaching a class together at Penland next year...I'll be his studio assistant if all works out.  

Detail view of Amir's ring.  He specifically left the imprint of the CAD design. 
Amir's beautiful ring collection.  I want a case like that!

Craftophilia Show book. 
Continuation of the cover design, very clever.
My ring! I don't have it yet but he plans on sending me one.
Here it is again, I'm a bit obsessed with it...
Close up of a ring in resin.
His rings in resin orbs.  LOVE this concept.  Kinda reminds me of the orbs David Bowie twirls in Labryinth.
And watch this very cool video of Amir's 'Can it' machine: 

Thanks for visiting and reading!

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Refining Gold

Refining gold, or cuprification (I think that's how it's spelled), was probably the most exciting part of the session I took with Jana Brevick.  I felt like a scientist and it was also somewhat powerful to learn this fascinating part of refining metal.

Here is a basic run down of how we performed our refining:  
Julia Heineccius, the studio assistant for the class also did a refining.  First you must weigh how much gold you want to refine and then multiply that number times 5 to get the weight of how much copper you need to add to the gold you already have. 

Once you have the clean copper weighed out you must melt it with your scrap gold.  Then clean and dry your scrap gold/copper alloy and put it in a large beaker.  

Then put the beaker under a very well ventilated area in a separate room, DO NOT do this at home, it is so dangerous.  I put on a face shield, plastic apron and long rubber gloves.  

I then added a decent amount of nitric acid to the gold copper alloy and watched the science happen - it was fun but amazing too.  You let the gold/copper alloy sit in the nitric acid solution for about an hour or two, then do the process again with clean (unused) nitric acid.  After two or three times the gold/copper casting becomes a sludge type of material.  

You then clean the sludge with water and let it air dry - once it is air dry you are ready to melt out the nasty sludge to reveal pure gold!!! See below for the step by step photos. 

The 10 kt gold I first 'refined' (aka cleaned).  Was my Aunts watch band.

My lil' baggie of gold, was about 8.62grams and my copper 41 grams.
Then I melt the 10 kt gold I had with the 41 grams of clean copper.
Excited faces (Julia, Keramit and Jana), we were giddy over doing this!

The two ventilation systems, this is a MUST, when you are refining gold.  The fumes are highly toxic.
Pretending to guzzle the nitric acid.  Don't you love my long black gloves?
This is what happens when you add the nitric acid to the gold/copper alloy. 
And this is what the 'gold' aka sludge looks like when you pour out the used acid.

Refining Gold from Eilisain on Vimeo.

And here we have my semi pure gold (23 kt). 
And there you have it my friends, how to refine gold.

There are still more Penland posts so stay tuned.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Copper in Glass

This is my friend Alexandra doing her thang, she is a ceramicist by trade but decided to take glass blowing.  This is a piece of glass with copper in it! Whoa, isn't that cool and badass?!

The glass studio at Penland is infamous for always having a good party and jammin out at all hours of the night.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Penland: Melt Class Post 2

Last week Jana showed us how to pour ingots and then make alloys of copper and fine silver.  As you know, I am a bit of a fan of melting metal and I truly enjoyed being a 'mad scientist' and creating my range of 7 alloy (some did samples from 9 parts pure silver/1 part copper and to the other end of the spectrum 1 part silver and 9 parts copper).

It's been very interesting watching the process of how the metal responds to forming, drawing out to wire etc.  What I've noticed is that the alloys at the higher end of the spectrum are more malleable and the ones in the middle, say 30/70 and 40/60 are more brittle.

This week we're finishing some pieces we made in class and also experimenting with gold alloys - which is so very exciting.  That'll be my next post and I'll share with you some stories about my classmates.

below are photos of Jana in action.

Thank you for reading!
Jana melting her metals (in kooky outfit - Jana's style)

The red hot ingot.
Pouring a sheet of pure silver ingot.

Jana showing us how to repair flashings from the ingot.

And Jana's wedding ring.  Lori Talcot made it for her...I'm a bit obsessed with it!

Silver and Copper alloys ranging from 10 % silver/90% copper to 90% silver/10% copper.

Some of our alloyed samples drawn into wire or flattened.

Iron and gold alloy...not sure what can be done with this, it's too hard!

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Penland: Melt workshop with Jana Brevick

 It has been one week since I've been at Penland and for some reason it feels like a month.  Time seems to be warped when you're here, which can be good but also, I am getting a bit homesick.  However, I've put that out of my mind because time here is precious and wonderful.

The first several days were sweltering hot, but now it has been raining and cooled off, which many of us were grateful for since there is no central AC at Penland.

The Melt workshop has been very educational, we've been testing and making samples of our fine silver and copper alloys, which has been very fun.  However we've been restless too, it's hard not to want to immediately make something with our alloyed samples, I think that's what will happen next week.  My plan is to make an Alloyed mixture necklace, ring and cuff. 
Below are several photos from my first week here.  I have many more, so stay tuned!

The view from the Craft House, where most of the workstudy women stay.
The relaxing rocking chairs on the porch of the Craft house.

The Lower Metals studio, where our class is being taught.

Jana getting all set up at her bench.  I love her large glasses!
The view from my bench.
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