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, September 30, 2012

It's almost here - The Keeper

Tomorrow is the release for my new collection, The Keeper, cast from the shell of a turtle. 

Don't worry, no turtles were harmed in the process of making these pieces, my Dad found the turtle shell on his property, almost a year ago and I'd been saving it for a mold.  I'm very pleased with the simplicity yet detailed form of the turtle spine. 

I'm still working on additions to the collection, so this isn't all of it.  

Whenever I begin working on a new collection, especially when it is based upon the parts of an animal, I become fascinated with the history of the animal.  In the Celtic history and lore the turtle is known as the keeper to the doors of the faerie realm; thus I chose The Keeper.  Turtles sense vibrations through water and through their skin and shell, they are amazing survivors; with very good hearing and sense of smell.    In the Far East the shell of a turtle is the symbol of heaven and the square underside a symbol of earth.  The turtle is also one of the oldest reptiles and has one of the most ancient mythologies.  

From my Animal Speak book by Ted Andrews he writes "If turtle has shown up, it is time to get connected to your most primal essence. Go within your shell and come out when your ideas are ready to be expressed.  It is time to recognize that there is an abundance out there for you." 

The Keeper cuff

The Keeper earrlings - cast in Ancient bronze
The Keeper hoop earrings.
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Protecting wild and endangered species

I've been donating to The Center for Biological Diversity for several years and it's been even more important for me to support them and other environmental protection groups since incorporating animal remains in my jewelry.   The CBD works through science, law and creative media to ensure a future for all species, big or small. 

I don't think most people realize how interconnected humans are to animals and how just a small change in their environment can greatly affect our future.  I try everyday to do small things myself, recycling, reusing and bringing my lunch in a reusable container.  I hope you do too and maybe, if you can make a small donation to the CBD or any environmental protection organization. 

And thanks for reading!
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Talk the talk, walk the walk

I can't believe it's been almost 3.5 years since I moved to Greenville and also left Washington, DC and my old job at the Human Rights Campaign.  Sometimes it feels like 10 years ago!

Working at the Human Rights Campaign taught me so much and I feel so lucky to have worked there and with the amazing individuals that work tirelessly to further LGBT rights. 

With that said, every year I gift a piece of Eilisain Jewelry to the silent auction for their annual national dinner, held at the convention center in DC.  The National dinner is, how shall I say this, a big deal.  I'll never forget the first time I worked, I was starstruck, not just by the big names (Sarah Jessica Parker, Obama, Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, Tim Gunn, to name a few) but by how exciting it was to celebrate all the hard work we'd done and also look to the future.

I decided the badger claw pendant would be a perfect gift, it represents a tough animal. 

Some badger totem info: The power of the Badger totem is its aggressiveness and the willingness to fight for what it wants.This aggression can also be turned to healing - for Badger is the keeper of Earth's healing herbs. Badger people are quick to express their feelings  without concern for the consequences. They are often healers who have the courage to use unconventional methods. Badger has the ability to persist to find a cure. Badger people are often leaders and bosses, the one who will get the job done. 
Ancient bronze badger claw pendant.
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Friday, September 21, 2012

Southwest School of Art

Southwest School of Art Success Stories from Mark & Angela Walley on Vimeo.

 Southwest School of Art sounds like a wonderful place, I've been wanting visit for awhile to also catch up my friend Laura Wood and meet Alejandro.  I've heard so much about the school and several other artists that teach and work at SSA such as Lorena Angulo, Jillian Palone and many more.

It's wonderful to hear the personal stories of artists that work at SSA and how vital the school is to the community.   I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Ancients Made These

My good friend Andy Denton (ECU MFA sculpture alumni and former WZMB DJ) curated this exhibition, The Ancients Made These which will be shown at Art Avenue next month and will be opening on First Friday.  I'm really looking forward to the show, Andy has excellent taste in art work, as well as installing exhibitions.

Andy has been one of the driving forces behind Art Avenue's movement towards a shared studio space as well as gallery.  After I graduate I'll have studio space at Art Avenue, and I'm so grateful for all the hard work Andy and all the other amazing people that have put time and energy into Art Avenue.

So, without further ado, I command you (if you live in the G-Vegas area) GO TO THIS SHOW, you won't regret it.

Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Purple lace

I have to say, I miss screenprinting.  I really enjoyed the class, so I've continued, on my own to do some printing, mainly for my jewelry and displaying it on these lovely little cards.  They were supposed to be boxes but it's just too much work constructing them!

These sweet lil' cards will be prefect for putting my earrings and having them for sales and such.

I have however, moved on from screenprinting to letterpress, which I'm taking this semester.  It's somewhat similar to screenprinting however it requires much more precise coordination and using magnesium plates which are used to mechanically transfer a jpeg image - almost like etching onto a plate.  I haven't started on my first project...of course I"m waiting until the last minute.  Anywho, I'm excited.

Also, I just listed my screenprinted totem cards, 4 for $6 in my Eilisain Etsy shop...check'em out!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Don't forget...I'm having a SALE!

It's the middle of the month and also only two weeks away until my Autumn SALE ends! oh no, but there is still time to receive the 12 % off all my jewelry in my Etsy shop.  

I'm making room for new inventory I will be releasing in October, which I'm very excited about.  My Hunted line of jewelry has been quite successful but it's time to move on to new work - it's just as morbid but just as fascinating!

The Hunted bronze owl talon earrings, normally $125 but with 12% off it's $110!
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Saturday, September 15, 2012


Just a little preview of what I've been working on in the studio.

I haven't written much about school or the fact that I'm graduating this December...I'm excited, sad and anxious all at the same time.  When I think about my skill level three years ago, I'm very proud of how far I've come and how much better I am at finishing jewelry, my integrity and design level.  That's not to say I still have so much to learn but I'm very happy with where I am now.

I've also reconciled what kind of artist and jeweler I want to be.  I think in our profession, especially coming from an art school perspective, there is the mindset of becoming that you must either be an art jeweler or a production jeweler however I want to be both.  I love creating multiples of my casting and varying them yet I truly enjoy making weird, funny and quirky pieces. 

So on to the preview...I'm not telling what this wax model came from but I will say that these creatures walk very slow and are one of the oldest in the world.  I can't wait to see how the castings come out and the reaction of my customers. 

Wax model of my SS 2013 line...still haven't come up with a name yet.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cat Eyes

An homage to my fur babies, Squints and Stevie, I present my Cat Eye brooch.  Lately, over the past three years since finding Stevie, I've become cat crazy.  I love my cats and anything with cats on it...yes I'm sure one day I'll be an old cat lady. 

I made this brooch over the summer in an independent study course with Bob Ebendorf.  I was so excited about making this brooch because I got to use several techniques I love - enamel decals, powder coating and stone setting.  However it was challenging and definitely out of my comfort zone.

I will openly admit, I'm not the best at layering pieces nor blind rivets but I think that's the beauty of it, tackling new approaches and techniques.

Can you guess what kind of paint the black is?? I'm not telling...
Oh and I decided to submit this brooch to the ECU Metals Symposium Tongue in Cheek Exhibition. Only 4 more days to apply...

2012, Cat Eye Brooch, front. Squints is the cat on the left
and Stevie is the cat on the right, though not caramel colored.
Cat Eye brooch, back.  I used a tin that had a cute kitty on it!
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Song of the Day: "Livin' in the Jungle"

I've had a lil' crush on these guys for awhile, they seriously know how to jam out!

Speaking of jammin' I'll be on the radio this afternoon, my usual 4-6pm over at WZMB 91.3, with the Smooth Soul set.  I'm on air every Tuesdays and Thursdays at the same time.

I guarantee it'll be a good time!
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Enamelist Society Student Exhibition

I'm so honored to be a part of the Enamelist Societies Student Exhibition.

The pieces featured in the online exhibition are quite impressive and beautiful.  I especially love Dru Patrick's wall piece, you can view the rest of the entries and winners in the link above.

My Heart on Fire brooch, below, was accepted into the exhibition. 
Heart on Fire,
Copper, sterling silver, powder coating, enamel, decal.

Thank you for stoppin' by.
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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gem is truly outrageous!

As you've already known, from reading my blog, I'm a dork, a nerd - especially about gemstones, jewelry, and Jem the 80's cartoon.  Anywho, I just got in a shipment of beautiful amethyst points and some small tourmalines from Points of Light.  Aren't they gorgeous?

The carnelians I got from a local shop for a custom order.  I haven't used carnelians in the crow or talon pieces but I think they'll look beautiful.

oh and psst - don't forget I'm having a special Labor Day/September sale - 12% off ALL my jewelry - ONLY this month.  

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