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, December 31, 2014

All you need is a wishbone

As this year comes to a close, of course I'm reflecting, but also feeling incredibly grateful and blessed.  I don't think most people do that often enough or take the time to say everything is going to be alright.

So with this new year coming, I wish you many blessings and to take the time to meditate and appreciate.  I searched for something that was appropriate but unique.  I came across this lovely design card.   It's serious and humorous.  

HAPPY NEW YEAR  dear friends and followers! Cheers to you!!

Jasmine design card.  Available here.
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Recommended reading, my shero Diane Von Furstenberg, The Woman I wanted to be

You may recall my admiration for Diane Von Furstenberg in a post from years ago.  She's just amazing and she seems so down to earth.

I recently purchased this book for a friend and have yet to give it to her....so I've been reading it! haha, it's what happens.  But the more I've read, the more enamored I am of Diane's full life.  She married a prince, moved to the city, divorced and then remarried, began her own business while raising two children and then running an empire!

Here is a lovely video of her recounting her amazing life.

My personal review is 5 stars, it's an easy and informative read about how Diane does what she does; being amazing.
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Friday, December 26, 2014

Tuning in and tuning out

This time of year is not my favorite in terms of the colder weather and bundling up however I do love it for the sole reason of having an excuse to stay in more, read and journal.  Journaling and writing down my thoughts, goals and reflections is meditative to me and is one step in the process of achieving my dreams.

It's much akin to some of the points in Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit.   For the creative piece to take shape and become form, it needs a beginning with thinking and dreaming.

I'm reading several books now that are providing me with reflection on religion, history, love and introspection.   People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks is one of my favorites that I'm re-reading.  Brooks weaves an incredible story spanning lifetimes, it's a beautiful read.

So I leave you with this, take this time of year that provides shorter days and longer nights and look inwards and just let your mind wander - it is so good for the soul.
Photo by Katerina Plotniko

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Year in review

Traditionally I celebrate the new year on Samhain however with calendar goes I still review the year in December/January.  This has been a year full of so many successes, memories, achievements and lessons.  I've learned so much and I've challenged myself much more this year to go beyond my own expectations.  I think it's important to measure my success by my standards and not so much by comparison, it's less stressful and more fulfilling.

So here is a lil' recap of some of the memories and events I'm most proud of:

1.  Helped in rebuilding Art Avenue's gallery and studios.  
Working with the generous, hard working individuals (Claire Edwards, Sarah Seztco, Autumn Brown, Andy Denton, Jeremy Fineman, Sim Asher, Aileen Devlin, Holly Lyco and more) of Art Avenue has made me respect and care more from the Greenville artist community.  If I didn't have AA as a studio and space to work...well let's just say it'd be so much harder to run my business!

Painting the doors of the back studios at Art Avenue
 2.  Worked with some amazing photographers, models, videographers and graphic designers
Creating a brand and business does not just consist of the work I do but of the work of other talented people.  And my group of friends are seriously talented.  Like this image of Claire Fletcher (model) by Aileen Devlin for the Valkyrie Collection SS14.  I've worked with Aileen twice and it's been a dream.  She works hard to get just the right image.  And I have to say this is one of my favorite images this year. 
Loving this gorgeous image by Aileen Devlin from the Valkyrie Collection S/S 2014
And this badassery right here!

Origins NJAL (Not Just a Label) Italy
With my husband in Vicenza Italy

3.  Participating in all kinds of shows
This one is a mixed bag. I took several risks participating in shows, some that were not so successful and some that were.  All in all though, every time I go out and introduce my jewelry to new people I'm making   connections and contacts and that is important. Of course the most exciting show was in Italy for the Origins: Passion and Beliefs fair.  I'm still amazed that I was invited, to be amongst such talented artisans was truly awesome!

4.  Hired help
This year I invested in a good accountant, photographer, graphic designer and assistant.  It's just too hard trying to do it all myself, and if I tried, I'd f***k it up! It was money well spent and it's shown in my business.  Next year I plan to refine this part of my business and maybe even hire a book keeper.  

5.  Challenging my skills
I really wanted to learn more stone setting this year and taking in commissions.  I learned how to prong set emerald cut stones as well as other tricky settings.  I definitely couldn't have learned stone setting without my mentor and boss, Ellis Cutrell (aka the Jewelry Doctor).  He's been patient and willing to show me his secrets. In addition, I refined my casting skills with the help of Autumn Brown.  Casting can be unpredictable and at any stage something could go wrong.  I've kept a notebook of each casting with notes on what went right and what went very wrong.  

As you can tell with this post, this year was a growing period and in that I grew with the help of my talented friends, colleagues whom were willing to teach me and show me how to do things the right way.  

And of course with your help and support.  I hope you had a successful and prosperous year as well - and as always, thank you for ready! 
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hunted II is here!

I apologize for the lack of posts lately, I've been having issues with posting on blogspot.

This month has been the busiest ever for me, which I can't complain but I'm still learning how to manage all the orders, and for those of you reading that have ordered - thank you for your patience!!

So the Hunted II Collection debuted earlier this month.  I'm just so pleased with these elegant pieces.  Much of them were inspired by talking to customers and fans that love The Hunted line but also wanted more silver pieces as well as gold plated pieces.

So here are some great shots, the shoot with photographer Becky Parker went so well and Megan Kennedy was a rockstar model!

Loving this back shot! Hunted II jewels piled on.
Photo by Becky Parker
Model Megan Kennedy
The Hunted II double badger claw pendant with a gorgeous moonstone. 
Photo by Tara Locklear

The Hunted II silver double owl talon torc necklace. 

Badassery right here!
Photo by Becky Parker
Model Megan Kennedy

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Shop Local Holiday Gift Guide

Shopping small businesses is a great way to invest in your community. Independently owned businesses generate 70% more local economic activity per square foot than national retailers. Money spent at a local business generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy than big box retailers. Independent makers are much more likely to use recycled materials.

If every family in the US spent an extra $10 a month at an independently owned business instead of a national chain, over 9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy.

This holiday season, let's support our community by shopping local.

1 & 2. Choose from a vast collection of handmade art, accessories and more. Featuring vegan leather and vinyl clutches and bags from The Wayward Stitch and canvas bags and accessories from BabyPeach.
Art Avenue
212 E 5th st

3. The coffee-lovers and foodies in your life will love a gift certificate from The Scullery - now featuring local milk from Simply Natural Creamery in Ayden!
The Scullery
431 Evans st

4. Your favorite workaholic could sure use a break - give them the gift of yoga with a five class pass for 50.00.
Purple Blossom Yoga Studio
302 S Evans st

5. Handcrafted using found animal parts, rough coral and gemstones, animal teeth, and the alchemical properties of metal, Eilisain Jewelry represents the vitality of myth the belief that adornments can transform ones perspective.
Eilisain Jewelry
Art Avenue
212 E 5th st

6. Your tea-loving friend is sure to appreciate a teapot basket!
Tipsy Teapot at Limelight
409B Evans st

7. Your favorite little Pirate will love learning their ABCs with Coach Ruffin. 12.99 at UBE.
University Book Exchange
516 Cotanche st

8. Art and good wine go together like, well, art and good wine. Your creative friends will love Sip, Savor and Create from Emerge. 30.00 for Emerge members, 45.00 for non-members.
Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge
414 Evans st

9. For your favorite little Picasso, gifting the Clay Luminaries January Workshop at Emerge would be a great way to give an experience rather than just another toy. 20.00 for Emerge members, 30.00 for non-members.
Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge
414 Evans st

10. Gift the gift of glamour with the wide selection at your local university boutique!
Catalog Connection
210 E 5th st

11. Functional, dishwasher safe ceramics available in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Bullfrog Ceramics
Art Avenue
212 E 5th st

12. Hand-cut and enameled, these skull earrings are a perfect gift for an ECU fan. Multiple color variations make for a unique gift every time. 48.00
Art Avenue
212 E 5th st

13. A gorgeous sunset over Dowdy-Ficklen during the UNC game. Starting at 32.95.
University Book Exchange
516 Cotanche st

14. Baja hoodies are great for keeping warm in Greenville's chilly winter weather. Only 24.50!
Uptown Art Supply & Gallery
529 S Evans st

15. Earrings and other jewelry by local photographer and maker Aileen Devlin.
Art Avenue
212 E 5th st

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kathleen Sommers Annual Bracelet Show 2014

I participated in this show last year and I really loved it; specifically because bracelets are such a wonderful way to incorporate new techniques in a stylish way.

And ironically enough this season I made quite a few bracelets.  The Black Abyss, a fan favorite and the Asteria bracelet which uses cast oyster shells.  

If you live in San Antonio, TX it's a great place to see one of a kind art.  The show will be on Thursday, December 4th.  Hope you can make it!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Shopping small can be big!

Shop Small in a Big Way from Old Town Boutique District on Vimeo.

I used to work in Old Town several years ago and I loved the feel of walking through a tight knit neighborhood where much of the business' are locally owned.

You can do that this Saturday where ever you go; your gifts are more meaningful and you get to know the people that make up the community.

Greenville has that same feeling as Old Town, you walk through the shops and visit people and they want to give you something special.  
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Eilisain Jewelry official show schedule

So it's officially here, the schedule for my fall shows (excluding the DC craft Beer festival which is this weekend).  

I'm beyond (into the netherspace) excited about the Hunted II Collection as well as the beautiful photos from my newest lookbook.  I feel that they are my most well edited and styled photos, and the pieces are seriously killer and modern at the same time.   

I hope to see you at one of these events!

Photography by Becky Parker, model Megan Kennedy
Photo of bracelet and graphic design by Tara Locklear
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Into the Wild interview by The Futurist

The Futurist - Paola De Luca Group is a trend forecasting company and they were at Origins 2014 in Italy earlier this year and picked up my postcards and we kept in touch.   The questions they asked me for this feature interview were really thought provoking and helped me to better understand my own direction and future of Eilisain Jewelry.

I feel so lucky to get this kind of earned press, it's not easy and it definitely takes some continued relationship building to get there, but it is so worth it.  

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Beer and Jewelry, always a happy combination

This will definitely be a fun event to work at, the DC Craft Beer Festival, next Saturday on November 22, 2014 at the Washington DC Convention Center.  We were approached to be a vendor and after mulling it over, I thought it'd be a great time and since I have friends and family in the DC area why not make a trip of it! 

I'll have pieces from all of our popular collections, the Hunted, Vespa, Valkyrie and Asteria Collection.  I do love the variety and ability to provide a wide collection of pieces that suit any person, male or female.

So I hope to see you there!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Being Ethical...an Ethical Metalsmith

     I was recently called on the other day by Christina Miller, Executive Director of Ethical Metalsmiths to check in on my studio practice and inquire anything she could do to facilitate a better, and more ethical studio.  It was very refreshing to receive this phone call as well as inspiring.

I feel guilty saying this, but I hadn't really thought about it.  Yes I do try to use recycled metals and try to be as ethical as possible but then it got me thinking, what exactly is ethical in my studio practice?   It really is a hard place to be in, I love making jewelry and need metals to make it yet  I'm so removed from the entire process of how the metal actually gets to my door! 

I do know that there has been proposed mining in Alaska for copper and other metals and I've opposed this mining by contacting my senators and legislators.  And I take any opportunity I take to make my voice heard against the destruction of more wildlife is very, very important to me and my practice.  However, when it comes to where the silver and bronze comes from....I'm not as clued in.

So here goes, I'm going to make a goal and statement of becoming more involved and vocal about where I source my materials, specifically metal.  For any of you jewelers out there that would like a listing of ethical suppliers you can look here.

Below I list some of my current ethical practices.

Bronze castings fresh from the kiln.
 Current Ethics of Eilisain Jewelry are as follows:
  • All deer antler, bones, and talons have been found, not killed or hunted.
  • A twice yearly contribution is made to the Center for Biological Diversity, Nature Conservancy and Ethical Metalsmiths
  • Some metals are recycled and reused.
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fierce and fresh - Hunted II Collection Debuts December 4th

Last night I received the lookbook images for the Hunted II Collection and I'm just too excited about them not to share a tiny morsel.  Here is Megan Kennedy, model, makeup artist and former bandmate of the Ethnographers.  Doesn't she look killer? 

Megan, Becky and I had a great time on this shoot.  Megan came prepared with all sorts of sexy and cool outfits.  She brought the energy and just the right attitude for the shoot. 

So yes the Hunted II Collection is debuting Thursday, December 4th - so mark your calendars! 

Eilisain Jewelry, Model: Megan Kennedy, Photography by Becky Parker
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Day in Uptown Greenville

Since I moved to Greenville four years ago there has been an incredible amount of revitalization and support for small business' in the Uptown District of Greenville.  I'm really excited about it and the potential to keep young people and small business owners here.

I was super happy to participate in this fun video, documenting the day in the life of working and living in Uptown Greenville.  

A Day In Uptown from Black Tree Media Group on Vimeo.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Upcoming events - oh my!

We're on the cusp of the holidays, actually probably in the middle of it!
And I'm happy to announce I'm participating in several shows.  Below is the information for the Bust Holiday sale.  I'm SO excited to be heading to NYC for a weekend, it's been a long time, especially to Brooklyn.

Below is also an image of new work I'll be debuting at a trunk show that I'm doing at Redeem, in Washington DC on Thursday, December 4th.  It'll be so great to debut this line at the first boutique to carry my jewelry when I first got started. 

As usual, thank you for reading!
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weird and Wonderful jewelry

Maybe it's just me, but I've felt and seen such a surge in small & independently owned business' and it warms my heart!
Peculiar Vintage jewelry shop in Brighton, United Kingdom has been receiving wonderful press and here is a nice snippet of an article about the new shop.  I also love the title of this piece...aptly describes my own jewelry. 

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Owl den

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Memento Exhibition

Equinox Gallery consistently has well curated and meaningful exhibitions and I love participating in them.  My favorite exhibition to participate is during the Dia de los Muertos events.  

Below is the postcard for the exhibition events happening in a week.  I'm honored to be among such talented artists and friends like Avery Lucas and Lorena Angulo.  

You can view more of the artists exhibiting at Equinox here

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween SALE

Over the past two years I've noticed that right around October sales really start to pick up and I know, it is closer to the holidays however I believe it's partly due to the fact that Eilisain Jewelry is very much tied to death and rebirth - two words very much associated with Halloween.

The crow and owl are both birds of prey and throughout mythology have represented either being harbingers of death and birds that are between two worlds.

With that I'd like to let you know about a special sale I'm having in honor of Samhain (the original pagan holiday).  Samhain is actually the new year celebration and was a time to reflect upon the past year and a time to honor the dead.  

Use coupon code: WEEN20 to receive 20% off all Eilisain Jewelry in my Etsy shop.  

The Hunted bronze crow claw pendant with a pink tourmaline stone.
$180 but with 20% off = $144
The Hunted bronze small owl talon earrings, $75, with 20% = $60
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Thursday, October 16, 2014


This vid is fun and entertaining but I can't help but wonder why all the goldsmiths are so clean and not dirty from polishing and finishing their jewelry? 
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Sneak peak

This summer as I did my usual casting and working in the studio I began to experiment a  bit more with my wax models, and thinking more on how popular the Hunted line has been.

So I came to the decision to come out with a Hunted II (2.0) version.  These pieces will be a new experimentation and advance from the first collection.  I'll be adding stones and mixing metals.  I'm really excited about presenting it to you and the public....which most likely won't be until mid-November.  Until then, here is a sneak peak.

I hope you like, and stay tuned for more!

Bronze double owl talon ring.
Photography by Tara Locklear
Sterling silver claw drop earrings.
Photography by Tara Locklear
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Recap of closing exhibition for the Asteria Collection

The closing exhibition for the Asteria Collection was a great hit, we had so many friends come out for First Friday in Uptown Greenville. I'm so grateful for the community support in Greenville.  I've told several friends and colleagues how surprised I've been by how much people in Greenville do support the arts, but the key word is community and rallying individuals to understand that buying local feeds the local economy.

Here are some shots of the display and my favorite images from Amber of our photoshoot.
I love my new packaging!
One of my favorite shots by Amber Burnette.
And the shoot at Starlight Restaurant.
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Asteria Exhibition closing reception at Art Avenue

Though the Asteria exhibition was not officially on exhibit at Starlight for the past month, Amber and I decided to keep the presence of the jewelry and images with a 'closing' exhibition at Art Avenue for October's First Friday Art walk in Uptown Greenville.

The monthly First Friday Art Walk has been so great for promoting independent artists, as well as established artists in addition to nurturing the emerging artists from ECU.  When I was in DC last week, I realized how much Greenville has to offer in terms of new talent.  We're brimming wit it!

Here is one of the designs Tara Locklear did for our postcards.  I love how she used an old style font for the title.  And of course the lovely Jena as our model.  

Comet earrings; lapis lazuli studs with 'earring jackets' - business in the front,
party in the back!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Standing out

Last weekend Eilisain Jewelry participated in our first Crafty Bastards show in DC and it was hugely successful.  I was a bit pessimistic, as in the past I have not done very well at shows.  However part of me also knew that many of my friends and old colleagues would come out in support.

Part of what I loved so much about participating was meeting people face to face, hearing their thoughts about Eilisain Jewelry and also suggestions.  I've learned so much just from one weekend.  And I LOVED meeting the other artists at the show, so much talent! I even met Jay McCarroll from Project Runway, he was one of my favorite designers.  

This show also had me working on my display set up, and I finally purchased a beautiful banner.  And of course, Ms. Tara Locklear-Extraordinaire designed my banner below.  I'm super pleased with it. 

As always, thank you for reading!
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

More additions to the Asteria Collection

After years of taking photos of my own jewelry, for Etsy, my website etc.  I've finally broken down and invested in having them photographed & edited.   And really, it is the best investment an artist or any business person can make.  However, I have this mentality that I have to do everything myself... yes I am a bit of control freak!  

Anywho, I'm very, very pleased with the additional images I had done by none other than Tara Locklear.  She's becoming quite the hyphenate, jeweler - designer AND photographer! 

So here they are images of the collection combo of the Vespa shank and the terminated black tourmaline stone from the Asteria collection.  I've gotten such a great response to this ring so I definitely ordered more of the stones!

Such a great shot, combining three positions of the ring.
Black Abyss ring, $175 available exclusively at Eilisain Jewelry.
They make such a great pair!
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Stoneware: Cement casting workshop with Tara Locklear

I wish that I could attend this fun workshop at the Baltimore Jewelry Center with my talented friend Tara Locklear.  We were in school at ECU when she began working and experimenting with cement and making truly unique and one of a kind pieces.  

And now she's teaching workshops, I'm so proud of her.  So if you live in the Baltimore area I highly recommend taking her class.  

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Now International

So much has been happening these past few months, it's been hard to keep up with posting all the news!

It's official now though that Eilisain Jewelry is international! We've been picked up by Peculiar Vintage, a jewelry company and now a brick and mortar shop that carries the guest designers below.

We'd been working towards getting international representation for awhile and I'm very pleased that it is through a fellow jeweller.  

If you live in Brighton, or London go to their opening, it's on Saturday, September 27th from 12pm-6pm. 

The Hunted bronze badger claw pendant, one of the pieces currently at Peculiar Vintage.
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Undercurrent Exhibition in London

It really is a wonderful thing to have friendships with other artists and makers abroad, I love hearing what they are doing and sharing it with you.

My friend Sophie Main is part of the Moving On Collective, contemporary jewellers working together in exhibitions and pieces that go beyond the general idea of adornment and wearable objects.

And psst, you may recall me writing about Moving On Collective back in February and the project they did then.  So inventive!

I apologize this is somewhat late in posting but the show will be up until October 11th.  If you're in London definitely see the show, I wish I could!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Recent press

I won't deny that it's a treat when Eilisain Jewelry makes it in the press, and I've been very fortunate to receive great features.

The Futurist is a trend forecasting company and I met one of their reps back in May in Vicenza, Italy.  I'm happy that they've included the Hunted sterling silver owl talon ring in their Wicked Garden spread.
And then come to find out that the Vespa III Citrine ring was featured in the September issue of the Washingtonian magazine! This really made me happy, as I used to read the Washingtonian when I lived in the DC area.  

It's kinda hard to see the ring, but it's in there!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A couple of things

I've got some great events coming up, and per usual I'm scrambling to get things done, like jewelry, displays and so much more.

One event I'm looking forward to is Crafty Bastards in Washington DC.  It's been roughly 6 years since I attended my first Crafty Bastards and I loved it, great art, food, music and more.  

I'll be at booth #71 and stocked with all my new and most popular pieces.  I hope to see you there.

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