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.

Monday, February 29, 2016

I've got a SNAG, and it's a good thing

Okay, cheesy title yes but it got your attention right?

I'll never forget that day I was working at the Golds Gym when I lived in Arlington, Virginia.  I found a copy of Metalsmith and flipped through.  It was the spark that got me moving towards taking metals and jewelry classes.  There were ads for several schools and places to take classes and I thought, I need to do this.

Shortly after I joined the Society of North American Goldsmiths, an organization (one of the founding members was my former professor Bob Ebendorf) to further the advancement of the metals/jewelry community and foster growth and provide cohesion to the field.

Then as I further delved into this new field, and began to consider studying professionally and earning my second degree I decided to attend the conference, this was back in 2008 and it was held in Savannah, Ga.  And this was also my first trip by myself, meaning no friends and no family - I knew no one at this event! It was a bit scary but I make friends easily, a by product of being an Army brat.

When I arrived at the airport I made friends with the Kansas State people, Elliot Pujol was so friendly and we chatted waiting for the shuttle bus to take us to the conference hotel.  I was incredibly grateful to have made friends and since I was born in Kansas, hanging out with the Kansas crew seemed very appropriate.  Thus at the conference I gathered brochures and 'interviewed' other students about their schools and what they liked about them.

I was very much interested in going to Savannah College of Art and Design, plus I loved the city.  However the pricey tuition kept me from seriously considering it an option, back then it was $32,000 a year (very near the salary I was making at the time!).  In the end, East Carolina University offered the most for my money - four amazing and diverse professors and the tuition was very affordable.

Okay sorry for the long winded story but SNAG took me on the journey from the beginning of where I am today and that's why, if you're a jeweler or a metalsmith or both you should JOIN - there are fantastic resources - job opportunities, grant offers, exhibition announcements and many more.  I'm super excited to attend the upcoming SNAGneXt Conference in Asheville this coming May.

For me as a studio jeweler that doesn't often get a chance to commiserate and share the trials and journey of a jeweler I LOVE getting to catch up with my friends at the SNAG events and geek out over jewelry and objects.

I hope you join and understand that it feeds and fosters the community.
As always thank you for reading!
Pin It

Friday, February 26, 2016

Poem of the day - Guide to the Other Gallery

Guide to the Other Gallery

This is the hall of broken limbs
Where splintered marble athletes lie
Beside the arms of cherubim.
Nothing is ever thrown away.

These butterflies are set in rows.
So small and gray inside their case
They look alike now. I suppose
Death makes most creatures commonplace.

These portraits here of the unknown
Are hung three high, frame piled on frame.
Each potent soul who craved renown,
Immortalized without a name.

Here are the shelves of unread books,
Millions of pages turning brown.
Visitors wander through the stacks,
But no one ever takes one down.

I wish I were a better guide.
There’s so much more that you should see—
Rows of bottles with nothing inside,
Displays of locks which have no key.

You’d like to go? I wish you could.
This room has such a peaceful view.
Look at that case of antique wood
Without a label. It’s for you.
“Guide to the Other Gallery” by Dana Gioia from 99 Poems.
Pin It

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#girlboss, bossbabe, BOSSLADY

So lately I've really been owning these words.  It's not because I have an intern or that I'm telling someone what to do, it's more with that fact that I respect myself so much more and hold myself accountable.
Me at my bench 3 years ago. 
It feels liberating and scary to admit that I'm my own boss; that I control the wheels of my destiny.  Back in 2008 when I was first getting started working in the jewelry industry I thought to myself that I could never run a business and that I'd need someone else to set the standard and tell me what to do.

But things started to change while I was in school at ECU (East Carolina University), I started making plans and projecting where I wanted to be in 5-10 years.  And low and behold I'm getting there.  I've secured grants, studio equipment, created my own website, do my book keeping, market my work - the list goes on and on.  And now, even having an intern.  I think that cemented in my head that now I'm mentoring and teaching someone else how to be a #girlboss.  And it is SO gratifying.

Kristie Esposito King and Caroline Hedgepeth - two bossbabes that I truly admire and respect.
And when I did begin my journey into the jewelry industry, I had such amazing and supportive mentors (Dawn Benedetto, Valerie Hector, Biba Schutz, Ellis Cutrell, Lawrence Miller, Timothy Lazure, Ken Bova, my parents and so many others).  Jewelers that gave me access to their studio and equipment.  As well as invaluable advice and lessons that I'll never forget.  I think for any industry you may be in, to have someone guide you and provide insight into journeying your career is so essential.

So there you have it, I declare myself A BOSSLADY! 

haha, thank you for reading and stay lovely friends.
Pin It

Monday, February 22, 2016

Of mermaids and nymphs

I've been a bit absent from my blog as of late, it's been a busy several weeks.  I was in DC at the beginning of the month for the Cabin Fever hosted by Crafty Bastards and then a week later (aka last week) I was in Las Vegas for my first wholesale show, Pooltradeshow with Magic and that was just craziness!

So here I am, finally at home and in throes of starting/finishing my spring/summer collection Ondine and I'm super excited about it.  It didn't take me too long to know how I wanted this collection to be and whom to work with.  We will be shooting this weekend with Aileen Devlin and it's going to be a blast.

I wanted to give you some insight into the new collection, I'm going back to the ocean for these pieces.  I truly love going to the beach and though I'm not much of a saltwater person there is so much mystery and beauty in the ocean.  I began to do research and came upon the story of Ondine, written by Frenchman Friedrich de la Motte Fouque, a tragic love story of a nymph that falls in love with a human.  Of course this story draws upon the myth of sea nymphs and mermaids, this collection isn't just based on Ondine but of the sensuality and otherworldiness of the ocean and it's vastness. 

I haven't set a date yet for the release but not to worry my friends I will keep you posted. 

As always thank you for reading and stay lovely!
xo Lisette
Pin It

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The good, bad and the ugly

It seems that everyday when I log onto Facebook or check my yahoo account somewhere in the world, beautiful animals are going extinct, ancient forests are being torn down and there is toxic lead in our water.  It depresses me most of the time but also makes me determined.

I ask myself, what can I do? How can I help make a difference in the world.  I'm sure some of you have the same thoughts going through your head.  Or perhaps you don't know about the fact that palm oil is used in many American products such as coca-cola, snack etc. however palm oil comes from Indonesian and South American countries specifically it comes from the habitat of animals like the orangutan and tigers which no longer have homes due to the destruction of forests with palm oil.

So I decided to come up with suggestions and ways you can 'take action' from the comfort of your home.  Simple everyday steps that help protect your environment and ones far away.  Some of you may think, 'what difference does it make?'  but that question is very easy - a BIG difference.  When you multiply you times a thousand others it creates a huge effect.

1.  Send emails, calls, faxes to your members of congress, legislators and council members.
Dedicate an email address specifically for your calls to action, that way you won't get spam mail to your personal address.
Some of my favorite organizations are:
The Ocean Conservancy
Alaska Wilderness League
Sierra Club

2.  Share this information with your family and friends, educate and urge them to take action.  The more the better!

3.  Do your part.  Recycle, reuse, reduce.  It is that simple.   Pick up trash on your walks and throw it in the trash bin. 
  • Reuse shopping bags
  • Donate old clothing to homeless shelters or use them as drop cloths
  • repair and maintain the stuff you do have instead of throwing it away
  • Use a water bottle instead of purchasing more water bottles
  • Volunteer in your area or get to know where you live.  
If we all do just a little bit, that compounds into huge changes. 
thank you for reading and stay lovely!
Pin It