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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Art Avenue Contemporary Gallery & Studios profile

Just got some really great photos Aileen Devlin took of me for Art Avenue Contemporary Gallery & Studios Facebook page.  It's interesting seeing myself at my bench, I look super serious, which I love!  Aileen is a photographer for the Greenville Daily Reflector newspaper and part time photographer for AA.  She is just one of the amazing and generous volunteers for Art Avenue. 

Some days I can't believe how lucky I am to have landed such a wonderful opportunity to have a studio at Art Avenue and to work with such talented artists like Aileen, Autumn Brown, Andy Denton, Claire Edwards, Jeremy Fineman and Sarah Setzo.  These great people are what make an art community grow and become something bigger. 

Getting ready to grind some castings.

Grinding the excess metal on castings.
Now which stone to choose?
My inspiration table.
Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoyed this post!
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thrift Shop

I seriously can't get enough of this song.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Prints Charming

Isn't this poster and concept fun? This is a city wide event, celebrating LOVE for the week prior to Valentine's Day.  Art Avenue will be participating with the concept of Prints Charming, meaning we will have the ECU Printmaking guild come out and screenprint tshirts, prints and cards.

You can RSVP for the event on Facebook.  I'm excited about it because printmaking is one of my other favorite crafts, besides jewelry making.  So, if you are in the area I hope you'll come visit Art Avenue and my studio space!

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

SALE - Valentine's Day

I've got some new pieces in my Eilisain Etsy shop, just in time for Valentine's Day.  And I don't think Valentine's day is just for couples, why not get yourself something?  As cheesey as it sounds, loving yourself should come before loving anyone else and I'm a firm believer in spoiling yourself every now and then.

I'm running a special promotion with 14% off my entire jewelry collection, use coupon code VDAY14 at checkout. 
Triple owl talon pendant in bronze with purple fluorite faceted stone. 
Large Beaver teeth earrings
Yes, that's me wearing the earrings. 
 In other news I've got a new collection of work I'm preparing to release pre-spring, I'm very excited about it so stay tuned...and of course I'll be back with more photos and news about the ECU Symposium.

Thank you for reading!
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Friday, January 25, 2013

Autumn Brown demo at the ECU symposium

As I stated in my previous ecu metals symposium blog post, there were so many great demos and visiting artists, and I was really excited to see my good friend Autumn Brown demonstrate how she combines metal and enamel with porcelain (cone 6).  I wasn't able to take extensive notes but I'm going to borrow words from the ECU Ceramics guild blog: "She fires the porcelain with the metal in an enameling kiln at 1500-1535 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes.  The decorative porcelain pieces are then set into constructed metal frames with clutching prongs that hold the porcelain into the metal backing."

My favorite part of how Autumn combines metal with clay is the use of copper wire placed on the porcelain making cool shapes or images.  She showed us how you can use thin 22 gauge wire to make a saw frame on the porcelain.

Autumn is an MFA alumni of the metals program received her BFA from the University of Georgia.  She currently teaches several courses at Pitt Community College (here in Gvegas), works out of her studio at Dirty Lamm, AND contributes to Greenville's newest gallery and studios over at Art Avenue -whew, she's busy! I met Autumn when I first moved to Greenville and she is a great source of knowledge for me and advice; I'd say she's my big sister metalsmith!

Autumn getting her demo ready.

Autumn's eery  yet goregous samples and pieces.

Linda Darty enamel and silver cups

Felicia Szorad necklace (enamel, silver, felt).

Kathryn Osgood's delicate yet strong pierced enamel pieces.

Above are several shots I snapped, very quickly between workshops, of the Enamel Exhibition. 

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

the beginning

I'm looking through old photos of my jewelry, back from 2001 and I can't believe how far I've come and the utter joy I had when I made my first ring.  It was back when I was finishing my senior year at the University of Florida, in Gainesville and I took a wire wrapping class at the student union. 

Turquoise set, 2001.
Sunfire necklace, 2003 (now owned by my Aunt Bonnie)
The first night we began our project of a wire wrapped cuff.  I loved it, I was there every night after that and when I saw the other class making rings, well, I had to do that too. 

It took me about 2 years after that initial wire wrapping class to get back into the studio, but ever since then I haven't left.  I'm proud of my tenacity to stay with making jewelry, it can be such a tough journey in any art form to fail, fail and fail again.  I'm still learning but that is part of what makes it so good, when you learn and get it right.

I deviated tonight from my blogging of the symposium to reminisce; but I'll be back next time with more fun tid bits on the ECU symposium.
Thanks for reading!
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Jillian Moore demo at the ECU Making Marks Symposium

I'm going to kick off my blogging of the ECU Metals Symposium: Making Marks with a bang of color and dive right into the best part or shall I say one of my favorite demos of the weekend, was Jillian Moore's demonstration of how she makes her awesome freaky sea creature (in my opinion) jewelry!

Before I delve into Jillian's demonstration, I'll start off by saying that she is one of the most approachable, open, patient and self-effacing artist I've met.  When you attend conferences and symposiums like SNAG or Yuma, it can be intimidating and scary to talk to your artist crushes, but Jillian is authentic and very true to herself and I really enjoyed that about her.

Okay, so here goes...she makes her sculptural jewelry out of foam and then coats it in several layers of resin! And she paints along the way.   there are certain brands and specific types of materials she uses but that is not for me to reveal.  

Like many other jewelers and metalsmiths fresh out of schooling and training, Jillian didn't have all the resources and tools she had in school which led her to be very inventive in how she started making her creatures.  With lots of experimenting and trial and error she landed on her current pieces and method of constructing them.  Something else that I found refreshing about Jillian was how open she was about her process; it can be very difficult in our industry to share knowledge because it is often abused.  But in the end I think if you are confident in yourself and those that support your work; the public will see and know which is authentic and which isn't. 

Jillian Moore specimen
Close up of a Jillian Moore piece
Several of Jillian's done pieces.
Foam, carved and ready for dressing (aka resin)
Attendees enjoying Jillian's demonstration.
Jillian is speeding up the process of the foam pieces
Jillian and Nick Mullins working at the foam station.
Jillian, coating her foam in resin.
I will be posting more about the ECU symposium - so come back and visit my lil' blog in the future, kthxbai!
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Venom that heals

National Geographic is one of my top sources of inspiration.  I've been getting their photo of the day for awhile now but never really looked at the email.  I finally did yesterday.  This is a poisonous mamba snake from Cameroon that may actually save lives. 

I find snakes incredibly fascinating and beautiful to observe.  The patterns of their scales, how they move and wide variety of them is awe-inducing. 

So drink in this graceful photo and click on the link  for more information.

Thanks for reading!
Photograph by Mattias Klum
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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Obsessive in a good way

Susan has such an easy manner of explaining her methods and techniques.  Though her jewelry style is one I'd typically wear, I truly admire and wonder how she does such intricate work.  She is a bit obsessive with the repeated design but it works for her.

Hope you enjoy this great (but dated) video.
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Friday, January 11, 2013

New pieces in my Etsy shop

This year is already proving to be very productive; I'm submitting all my papers for a practicing business in the state of North Carolina, I've decided which bank to, finally, open a business account and I've made several new pieces of jewelry.  

Within the past several weeks I've also been slowly setting up my studio and the metals studio at Art Avenue; getting an air compressor for my wax injector and getting the right tools.  It's costly but fortunately I've made some sales this month already and it helps fund all of this new equipment I need for the studio.  I'm also fortunate that my boyfriends dad is gifting me an oxygen and acetelyne tanks, along with a torch tip system.  It's so wonderful when your family and friends support your dream and do whatever they can to help, I'm a lucky lady!

So enough of studio talk, here are some new pieces I finished this week.  I really love the little geode and crystal earrings.  I've kept those geodes for about 6 months and finally got a chance to make them into something pretty to wear.  Also some new beaver teeth earrings added, these are slightly thinner than previous teeth earrings. 

I hope you like and thank you for reading!

Resurrection earrings - geode crystals (from Points of Light) and quartz crystal points.

The Hunted - Beaver teeth earrings

The Hunted Crow claw pendant with amethyst in bronze.

The Hunted - Triple Crow claw ring with rough aquamarine, 18kt gold plated bronze.
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Monday, January 7, 2013

Caffeine and Sawblades Exhibition

I can barely contain my excitement for the Annual ECU Metals Symposium: Making Marks!!!  Every year it gets better and better.  The demos are awesome, the speakers are super talented and innovative and I get to see all my favorite people from years past at ECU and meet new metalsmiths from other schools.  It's great fun.

The first night (Friday, January 18th) of the symposium is always a big party of exhibitions; and this year it'll be more awesome as the Greenville Jolly Trolly will take us from event to event.  

Art Avenue will be hosting the Caffeine and Sawblades Exhibition(Friday, January 18th 6-9pm) of the ECU Metals department; past and present, undergraduate students and graduate students.  I'll have my Alloy necklace in the show, very psyched about that.

And of course, Dirty LAM Studios will be open and hosting a special event of ring making and very special Cotter drinks!  I definitely don't want to miss that event.

For those of you in the Eastern NC area - you should come to these events, it's fun, FREE and filled with amazing artwork!

Thx for reading.
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The year of growth and letting go

I don't usually write my personal or business goals on my blog; I've often felt they are too personal to publish however there is power and debt to making a public proclamation.  

And I do feel a sense of announcing goals here because then I can look back at the end of 2013 and see if I held to them.

But first I will reflect upon 2012:
  1. Graduated with my BFA in metal design/jewelry from ECU
  2. Advanced my business by selling in brick and mortar stores/galleries
  3. Curated my first exhibition (Preyed Upon)
To me these are the top three accomplishments, I feel moderately satisfied in them, though I wish I had pushed myself more artistically.  Which leads me to 2013, I have five goals which are more broad:
  1. Advance my business further; in revenue and sales outlets
  2. Curate two exhibitions (one in the spring and one in the fall)
  3. Create a new artistic body of work
They are similar to last year but double the work.  It will be a challenge to get my business off the ground - but I'm not alone; my boyfriend and family have been so supportive and encouraging of my dream, I feel confident it will continue to be successful!

And now I leave you with an image from the Alexander McQueen exhibition, Savage Beauty.  I recently purchased a book about the amazing designer and I'm inspired by his past collections and how he worked.

I also would like to wish you a wonderful and happy 2013!!  Thank you for reading!

Savage Beauty - Alexander McQueen (image from MOMA)  
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