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.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Holiday ICE Spectacular in Atlanta

As I've already posted on here, holiday shows are in full swing!

Seriously, I LOVE doing these shows - I get outta town, meet new people and sometimes I buy myself and my family and friends handmade gifts for the holidays - it's a win/win situation here folks.

The same can be for you too, if you shop at the ICE Holiday show or really any local craft show. 

I hope to see you there or at another handmade craft market.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Momento Mori

Earlier this year I was given a very deep and personal custom request by an equally deep and close friend.  I'd always wanted to create a momento mori piece but I didn't think or know how creating a piece would make me feel. 

Caroline Hedgepeth (my tattoo artist and friend) had lost her father a year ago and she was incredibly close to her father and since his passing wore his dog tag every day.  Caroline wanted me to create a piece that would hold the tag but also be able to remove it should she pass it to another family member.

I loved this idea and also the challenge.  Being out of art school a jeweler doesn't receive the same type of intense and complex projects unless it's a custom order or submission to an exhibition (unless you're an art jeweler).  Thus began my procrastination of creating Caroline's piece.  It's funny because when we sat down together to discuss her piece I was very thrilled and honored but also completely nervous and scared! What if I messed it up? What if she doesn't like it....all the what if's and it's what kept me from starting the piece.

Until finally I really had no choice as I promised to get it to Caroline before the anniversary of her father's passing.  And deep down, I knew that once I began working on it, I'd love the process. 

Front of the necklace/object.

Back side of the piece/object.
Caroline and I discussed how she wanted to have both her father's birthstone and hers on the piece and something that symbolized her father's changing from death to a new life (aka the crow claws).

I also decided that I needed to rivet the two pieces so that it'd be less stressful for me, as it'd be about 6 solders on one piece if I didn't and that can get messy.  Her father's dog tag fit perfectly, however during the process I had to use a supplement so I used my father's dog tag.  Once the piece was complete and I kept checking for the size of my father's tag it hit me how sentimental and precious this piece would be to Caroline.  I thought, what if it had been my father that had passed? As you can imagine I was hit with a wave of emotion and gratitude.  

When I was finally finished with Caroline's piece I was relieve and just so happy to have been given the opportunity to work on such a sentimental piece of jewelry.  It really changed how I view adornment and the honor I have as a jeweler.

As always, thank you for reading!
Stay lovely,
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Song of the Day: Stevie Nicks "Sisters of the Moon"

I don't think there is a more perfect song for this time of the year or month.  I've always loved this song and found it so mysterious, what is Stevie really singing about? Personally I feel it is a song about casting a spell or a ritual performed amongst a coven. 

Stevie is so freaking magical.  Soak it in friends.
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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Holiday Show schedule

This month I'm gearing up for all the shows next month, it's going to be nonstop!

Here's a sweet preview of them in a fancy postcard design I just put together.

These will be going out in the mail soon - once I get them ordered!

As always, thank you for reading.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Morbid curiosity

This is really the true season of spookiness and macabre attire.  And I LOVE IT! Ha, seriously I've got pumpkins all over my apartment and pumpkin scented candles.

Of course Eilisain Jewelry pieces go so well with this time of year, I created a collection of some of my favorite pieces for the season. 

I hope you enjoy the season as much as I am!

Thanks for reading lovlies,
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Transition and making changes

It's interesting how when the weather changes or it becomes, Autumn/Spring, especially I find that some pretty major life changes happen - especially for me.

Over the past several months I've weighed heavily on my work schedule and how to best manage my time.  Some of you, my dear readers, may or may not know that I juggle about 3 different jobs.  While of course my main focus is running Eilisain Jewelry, I also teach classes at Emerge one night a week, I work part time at a law firm and I also worked at a jewelry repair shop - whew! Just typing that out sorta stresses me out.

I love staying busy and I managed this for awhile however I never really felt like this was productive for me.  In comes a special email I received about a month ago from Ashton Neibel, a recent SCAD BFA graduate, inquiring if she could work for me.  Well, as you can imagine with juggling three jobs I was in no position to hire, however I was definitely looking for an apprentice and team member.

And thus I made the decision to cut down my work load and increase my hours in the studio and have Ashton work with me at Art Avenue.  I just started this schedule this week however I'm already feeling incredibly light and fulfilled.  Even though this could be a pay cut, I'm much happier with my work load and future - so stay tuned, the future is bright and exciting!
Life can be a basket full of flowers! Photo by Aileen Devlin.

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Monday, October 19, 2015

The Afterlife exhibition at Art Avenue call for entries

The call for entries is finally here for the Afterlife Exhibition at Art Avenue which will be opening the weekend of the ECU Metals symposium.  As you know from my previous post about the symposium, I'm super excited to host and jury my second exhibition.  It's been much too long and I feel that professionally it is very edifying to run an exhibition.  You learn so much about how to handle work, correspond with artists and view incredible work.

With that said I present the poster for the CAF, it's a bit hard to read as I had to snapshot the pdf of the poster - but for now, all the details are there. 

If you're interested in submitting, send images of your work to eilisain@gmail.com with Afterlife entry in the subject line.  Submissions are $20 and can be made via paypal to ecusymposium@gmail.com.

And of course let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for reading and as always - stay crafty!

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

On the Shortest Days by Joyce Sutphen

Photo by Aileen Devlin.

On the Shortest Days

At almost four in the afternoon, the
wind picks up and sifts through the golden woods.

The tree trunks bronze and redden, branches
on fire in the heavy sky that flickers

with the disappearing sun. I wonder
what I owe the fading day, why I keep

my place at this dark desk by the window
measuring the force of the wind, gauging

how long a certain cloud will hold that pink
edge that even now has slipped into gray?

Quickly the lights are appearing, a lamp
in every window and nests of stars

on the rooftops. Ladders lean against the hills
and people climb, rung by rung, into the night.

“On the Shortest Days” by Joyce Sutphen from Modern Love & Other Myths. © Red Dragonfly Press, 2015.
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Monday, October 12, 2015

Revamping my website

It took me long enough, I finally migrated my website to a newer version.  I kept putting it off as I usually do for tasks that I can't stand doing.  I'm quite happy though that I made the migration, as the new tools for my website are fantastic!  You can view model shots as well as shots of the jewelry on the same page.

Check it out for yourself! 

And the product views are much better.  So with that said, take a look at my updated site and do some shopping while you're at it!

Thanks so much for reading and stay lovely!
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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Washington DC City Paper featured the Brigid Bridal Collection

I have to say I've been quite fortunate to receive press lately, especially from participating in local craft shows.  Prior to the Crafty Bastards show in DC several weeks ago, I was contacted by the City Paper for images of my work to be included in the insert of their weekly publication.

And I simply love the way they paired Eilisain Jewelry with Heart of Gold headpieces, they look perfect together! And on the front page of the vendor sneak peek, it really made me happy.  

Brigid Collection rings, photo by Tara Locklear.

The awesome photo Tara Locklear took of the Brigid Rings
One other way I've been very fortunate is to have a fantastic photographer! Tara does such a great job of not only photographing my pieces in groups like the image above but she also edits them very well.   It's been such a relief to trust someone to know how to photograph my pieces just right and Tara get's it.  So if you ever need a person to photograph your work I highly recommend Tara Locklear!

As always, thanks for reading and stay beautiful!
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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fall Art Star Craft Bazaar

This year has been the year of shows, I've never done this many and it was a choice I made to get out more in the public and introduce my jewelry to people who normally wouldn't see it online or at my stockists.

And the hard working individuals that put these shows together are super awesome to work with.  Thus I'm happy to announce I was accepted to be a vendor at my second Art Star show in Philadelphia!  I had such a great time in May participating int the spring show that I definitely decided I had to do another one, especially for the holiday season.

Art Star Craft Bazaar poster (isn't it a great design?)
The event will be held at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum
6825 Norwitch Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19153
$3 Door Fee to enter both the bazaar + the museum
(please note the museum normally charges a $12 admission fee,  but for our bazaar you will be able to get in for the discounted rate of $3. This includes admission to the bazaar AND the museum!)
Street Parking (free) or $5 to park all day in the Museum’s Parking Lot
Rain, Snow or Shine!
The Bast one of a kind necklace, $600.  Photo by Tara Locklear.
So if you live in Philly or know people there, please share this event and support the handmade movement!

Stay lovely ya'll,
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

ECU Metals symposium presenter lineup

Wow I can't believe it's October and I also can't believe that we're already seeing posts for the annual ECU Symposium 2016.

As usual I'm super excited for the symposium and seeing all my old friends/classmates as well as participating in all the great workshops.  Every year the metals grad students and undergrads do a killer job of presenting thoughtful discussions and selecting fantastic presenters.  The symposium is completely student run and I'm always amazed at how they cover every detail and make the school welcoming to so many attendees. 

I'm even more excited about the symposium as I'll be curating an exhibition in conjunction with the symposium that will be held at Art Avenue, of course?! I haven't curated an exhibition since Preyed Upon, which was back in 2012.

The Afterlife exhibition will display works/objects that give new life to the bones of the departed.  Bone art has existed for as long as humans have been alive and the significance to bones is deeply rooted in many cultures.  Over the past several years I've come across some amazing artists that use bone in such fascinating ways.  We will be releasing the call for entries soon, in the meantime I wanted to drop a lil hint.

Afterlife Exhibition print design by Kayla Staigvil

Sarah West represented at the Jewelry Edition pop up at the ECU Symposium 2015
As always, thanks for reading and stay lovely!
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Friday, October 2, 2015

Monsters Under the Bed exhibition opening tonight

The title for this exhibition is just too perfect for the Halloween season.  I'm happy to announce the Bast one of a kind necklace was accepted into this show.

Granted cats aren't monsters under the bed however ghosts do linger and perhaps even ghosts of animals? The First Friday Artwalk is this evening in Uptown Greenville and Monsters Under the Bed will be exhibiting at Art Avenue, you can RSVP for the event here

As I've written previously, Bast is the patron deity of cats in Egyptian culture and this cat specifically was the remains of my husbands family cat.  I'm paying her homage by having her next life be as a necklace.  But really what I felt was appropriate for the exhibition is that skulls and skeletons are spooky, they're hollow and bereft of life.  

If you're out and about tonight, please do stop by Art Avenue to see this very well curated exhibition; I already got a peak at some of the pieces and some are super haunting and a bit scary!

Bast necklace, 2015. Photo by Tara Locklear
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Thursday, October 1, 2015

A day in the life series: Leslie Tharp, blacksmith

Welcome to my new monthly blog feature, a day in the life of an artist.  I want this feature to go into detail and elucidate what a day is like in our life, as one that makes art or creates for part of their income.  

Many of you are my friends, and or acquaintances and I know that we all juggle various roles and jobs.  So this series will give the public the real deal of what we go through on a daily basis to make art or handmade objects.  

My first guest is Leslie Tharp, blacksmith and part time singer (I kid, but it's really how we bonded at Penland).  You may recognize the name as I've mentioned Leslie several times on my blog.  I have a bit of a crush on her, she's just SO amazing! Okay so here goes, I'll get to the meat of the interview. 
Photo taken by Tukufu Imagery on the Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail in Atlanta, GA.

Artist name: Leslie Tharp       
Medium: Forged and Fabricated Metalwork 
Website: LeslieTharp.com

A simple yet pleasing design of a dinnertime chime.
  1. Give us an idea of how a typical day begins for you?
WITH COFFEE. So much coffee. I’m a total morning person, so I like to do all my decision making and emailing first thing in the morning, jacked up on caffeine. Once I get good and twitchy I’ll grab some snacks and head to the shop.

  1. Do you have a personal studio space or area in your home where you work?
I have an office space and painting area in my house, and a separate metal shop I work in about 15 minutes away.

  1. What are some personal rituals or habits you maintain to keep the creative juices flowing?
I try to make time for at least one all-day outdoor activity a week. Getting out to the water helps me stayed balanced. Other than canoeing and fishing, I enjoy mixing up my tasks throughout the week so things don’t get too redundant. I’ll work on one project one day and then a totally different project the next, unless I’m on deadline than it’s time to push everything to the side and werk.

  1. Who/what are your sources of inspiration?
Adventuring outdoors, attending low budget performances and music shows, obsessively watching blacksmithing YouTube videos, and carving out time to play in the shop – especially with artist friends who challenge my skill level- all this helps me to push myself and explore new ideas.

  1. Which artists do you admire and aspire to be like?
Oh man, all of them. I see craftsmanship that I aspire to in the work of so many. I see a creative understanding of resources in the field and how to attain them to support your making practice by so many successful artists who really know how to make their practice work for them. And at the same time I take lessons from those who prefer to separate the headache of funding and making their art, and just create, whether it’s bought or not.

  1. What is your favorite studio snack?
Bananas with peanut butter on top.

  1. Whose studio space do you envy?
Any metalsmith with a studio larger than mine, and especially if they have cranes and stuff. I want cranes and stuff. Oh and if it’s on a big ol plot of land. I want that too!

  1. What is your favorite time of the day to work?
LOVE this piece, it'd looks so lovely at my future home.

Another beautiful installation created by Leslie.
Thanks so much for reading and stay lovely!

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