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.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

American Craft Council

I've finally been accepted into an American Craft Council show! Well the Hip Pop show, I had applied last year and wasn't accepted and this year that changed.  I'll be participating in the Atlanta show in March.

When I first began working and learning about the jewelry field back in 2004 when I lived outside of Washington, D.C. I worked at the American Craft Council show for several jewelry artists, such as Valerie Hector and Biba Schutz.  It was such an invaluable experience, learning the behind the scenes hard work of doing such large shows.  I recall telling myself that I wouldn't participate in them due to the immense about of preparation and how draining it can often be, as you can imagine my mind has changed a bit.

The ACC shows are the top tier of craft shows, they only select the best artists in the country, so it is essentially a stamp of approval when an artist participates.  Granted, I will say that when I worked at the previous shows (roughly 8 years ago!), the clientele is a bit older and not necessarily my demographic.  That has changed, ACC has done such an amazing job reworking their image and inviting a younger audience to the shows as well as engaging emerging artists.  The Hip Pop shows allow emerging artists like myself to participate and show our work without breaking the bank.  I'm incredibly grateful for this opportunity and so looking forward to meeting the other artists as well as established ones.

Hopefully I will see you there in Hot-lanta!
Thanks for reading.
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Friday, January 29, 2016

If you love jewelry and history

Then you have to read Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession and how desire shapes the World.  I've been reading it over the past several weeks and it's fascinating how much jewelry has influenced and changed our world.

There is no denying that what has shaped humans and culture is our handmade objects, our inventiveness specifically with ceramics and jewelry.  It is how anthropologists and archaeologists have learned about our past.

I'm loving this book for the drama and the fact that I learn about jewelry and historical facts, such as how the French Revolution began. I'm making it a goal to read more this year and take time to learn more of the history behind jewelry so this was a perfect match!

As always thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend!

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Going swimming next month

It's a fun play on words for my venture into wholesale tradeshows.  I'm so nervous and excited that I'll be going to Las Vegas next month to participate in Pooltradeshow.

They say that you have to take risks when you run a business and this is one that I'm praying will pay off.  Sometimes it can be very tricky to know where to invest your money when it comes to shows; as you know I learned alot last year from participating in smaller craft shows. 

This year my goal is to broaden my market and get directly in front of buyers.  So here it goes, next month I take a big trip to the city of Sin!

Here is a fun poster I designed for the show, with my booth number.  And psst. if you're a buyer maybe I'll see you there.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

A Red, Red Rose

Brigid Collection photoshoot, by Aileen Devlin

A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve is like a red, red rose,
     That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody,
     That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
     So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
     Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
     And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
     While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare the weel, my only luve!
     And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
     Tho’ it were ten thousand mile!
“A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns. Public domain.
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Friday, January 22, 2016

My first workshop

I'd been planning to reach out to some small art schools to teach but I never got around to it last year, y'know with doing shows and making jewelry some plans and goals get dropped off!  Well I couldn't say no to my friend Danielle James (and fellow ECU alumni) when she asked if I'd be interested in teaching a casting workshop at the Eureka Springs School of Art where Danielle is a metals instructor and coordinator for the programs.

It's going to be new and exciting and I love those kinds of challenges.  I'll be teaching students how to recreate nature/objects into jewelry and finished pieces.  Plus I get to visit this infamous town, Eureka Springs.  Danielle waxed on and on about it before she left Greenville, after graduating with her MFA and I knew I had to visit!

You can view the class description here and sign up.  My session is 9 and begins July 4th through July 8th.  It's perfect timing - fireworks and casting? Hell yes! I know that not only will my students learn a new process but I'll learn how to teach a good 4 day workshop.  I'm just super pumped and excited about this class.
my cheesey profile photo and description
 as always, thank you for reading and stay warm and lovely!

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dressing the body

Looking over images for postcards and promotional materials, I begin to see a pattern and I realize how much I love the photos by my photographer and friend Aileen Devlin.  She's just so damn talented!

I recently sent out this collage to my email list.  This moment of holding jewelry and the way the ring lays down the finger is just so seductive! It's what I love about jewelry and dressing the body.

thx for visiting!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

recap first day of ECU symposium

As I usually do I'm going to give a lil overview/recap of the ECU symposium.  The theme for this years symposium was In Flux, a play on words if you will.

Some of the presenters and workshops were by more seasoned artists such as Martha Banyas, Barbara Minor and Don Friedlich and then there were new and upcoming artists and designers such as Leah Pierce, jewelry designer for Bottega Veneta and Lauren Tickle (she creates intricate pieces using money), Ben Dory and Marissa Saneholtz.

I thoroughly enjoyed Martha Banyas presentation and the inspiration behind her work, from her trips to Bali to creating batik prints with her enamel.   And her enameling techniques and paintings are exquisite!

So here are some quick snaps I took during the symposium and I'll be adding more posts throughout the week.  

One of the awesome aprons by the ECU Metals Guild
My guests and friends: Erin Younge, Danielle James and ECU Metals Professor Ken Bova.
A lovely pin from the pin swap.
Audrey Peck and myself. 
Of course we hit up Christy's for after hours talks and catching up. Half of the fun is what happens after the symposium.

Me, putting in my 3rd blade, drove me insane at the Saw, File and Solder race at Dirty LAM
This quick video Tara Locklear took should work but it may not!
thank you for reading and stay lovely!
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Monday, January 11, 2016

A bit of Cabin Fever?

Back in December the Washington City Paper posted that they'd be holding a winter Crafty Bastards - how exciting and timely as I'd been discussing it with another maker that they should hold two events a year, maybe three.

It's such a fun show and Crafty Bastards is one of my best shows so of course I jumped at the chance to participate again.  As you know I love going back to DC and participating in events like this, I get to see old friends, customers and other amazing makers.  The full vendor list is here

And the great part is it will be indoors at the Hecht Warehouse in Ivy City.  You can purchase tickets here.
Bast single spine ring, will be available at the Cabin Fever show. Photo by Tara Locklear.

Bast single spine earrings. Photo by Tara Locklear
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Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Afterlife Exhibition and the ECU Metals Symposium

Ya'll know the routine here (in January) - I get super excited and tell you all about how amazing the ECU metals/jewelry symposium is and what's in store.  One of the big reasons I love it so much is I get to reconnect with my old friends and geek out over jewelry and metal objects. 

As you know I'm co-curating an exhibition with Barbara McFadyen to be held during the symposium at Art Avenue.  The Afterlife Exhibition showcases objects and artwork that display imagery of bones or using bones in a new and dynamic way.  The submissions were all beautiful and amazing and we curated pieces that work so well with each other. 

I'm really looking forward to meeting some of the artists at the reception/symposium.  So here's a bit of a sneak peak at some of the exquisite pieces in the show.  AND if you are in town, here is the FB event for you to RSVP.

The poster I designed last night, I love the simplicity of it.
Royal Mourning by Luci Jockel

Garrett Allen's super cool bracelet.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Making badass jewelry

It's that time, to teach classes at Emerge Pitt County Council of the Arts next week.  I really do love teaching these small classes, I learn alot and so do my students.

In the last session several of my students took it to the next level with their pieces.  One of the best parts of taking a jewelry/metals class, as well as teaching, is that making objects trains your brain to think in new ways.  You are actively challenging yourself to figure out how parts can go together and which way of connecting them makes the most sense.

Works in progress by Carrie Hodge.  I love the design and texture of both of them.

All three pieces designed and created by Caroline Hedgepeth
In the pieces Caroline made, especially the enameled pendant on the left, she made two pieces and tube riveted them together (or that is the plan).  She wanted the texture of the piercing to overlay the splatter enamel she did.

Sooooo, here's my pitch. If you live in the Greenville area and want to learn jewelry making or take your jewelry to the next level - take my class! It's every Tuesday night, 6-8:30pm at Emerge Pitt County Council for the Arts.

As always, thank you for reading and stay lovely!

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Sunday, January 3, 2016


Yesterday my husband and I went for a walk and we began discussing our future travel plans and bucket list of places we most definitely want to visit.  And coincidentally we also got the loveliest holiday package from our friends in Norway. 

As I spread homemade berry jam from Norway on my pancakes I dreamed of walking through snowy towns of Norway.  Bobby and I want to go SO bad.  So I'm devising ways and methods to sock away money for this trip one day.  Mind you, we also want to buy a house and have kids - our dreams are large my friends!

Either way, I think it is achievable and why not dream and dream away of what can happen?

by Bergen64

I mean how can you argue with the beauty of Seven Sisters waterfall and picturesque towns like the one above?

And not just that part of me knows that travel and exploring is in my blood, I grew up moving every three years and along the way visiting beautiful cities and towns in South and central America.

For the short time being though, Bobby and I decided we can take short lil vacations to nearby cities, such as a weekend getaway in the mountains or maybe even visit New Orleans!  Either way, one of my biggest goals this year is to save money so we can travel and explore more.
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