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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Having a teammate

Ya'll have heard me sing the praises of having Ashton Neibel in the studio, and it's true.  Not only is it fantastic having her assistance but also it's amazing having someone to bounce off ideas and share the ups and downs of being a jeweler.

I look back over the past six months of having Ashton in the studio with me and I cringe to think of how I would've survived if I hadn't had her help.  Obviously I'd survived but it would've been incredibly stressful.
It's not just having her help that has made my life in the studio easier but also mentoring Ashton and watching her grow has given me a sense of purpose, pride and made me more aware of my habits and work ethic.

So here are some fun and candid shots Aileen Devlin took of us in the studio.  Laughing, working and being silly.  Oh and side note, can you tell I love to accumulate notes, inspirational cards and stuff?!

This is the true spirit of my studio, being real and having fun!

On the grind, literally.

Talking out ideas, upcoming events and our adventures from the weekend.

We're trying to be cool here. 
Ashton Neibel in the zone...jewelry zone
Thank you for reading and indulging me in celebrating my amazing intern!
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

My journey with animals

I love animals and my fascination and appreciation for them has grown quite a bit over the past several years.

However, I will say, I wasn't always comfortable interacting with them.  I'll never forget back in my 20's I was visiting my friend's parents house and her mom had 3-4 rabbits.  One got loose in the backyard and my friend told me to grab it, well I got scared and I let her do it.  My friend gave me a hard time but honestly, I didn't want to get bitten.

Gangsta Squintsy, my first cat.
Stevie, my 2nd fur baby aptly named after Stevie Nicks.
I didn't grow up with animals, cats or dogs or any other small creature.  I certainly wanted one, and asked Santa every year. Alas, I never got a puppy.

Finally in my late 20's, around December, when I was working at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria.  There were posters for a kitten with no eyes that needed a home.  Of course this broke my heart and I said to myself 'you are a grown woman, and you can finally have the pet you want'.

So of course I picked up Squints, she was an itty-bitty kitten with no eyes.  The cutest cat ever, and mean too! She loves to bite but she's also a cuddler.  Then about 4 years later I found Stevie 'meowing' from a gutter.  Stevie and Squints definitely didn't like each other, they still don't but they now tolerate each other.  She is the sweetest cat! She loves to be petted and....well I could go on and on about my cats.

The point being of this post, is that it can take awhile to get comfortable around any animal but what I've found is that respecting them, learning about their habits and needs can help with living with them.  Not only that, animals help us to learn about ourselves.  I think it's so important and critical to our own survival as humans to respect them and their habitats.  Also, take time to visit the animals in your area.  Or go to a place that shares them and treats them humanely. 

Anywho, thank you for reading and indulging me in writing about my most coveted fur babies!

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Why you should sign up for my newsletter

I'm sure you get inundated, like myself with lots of emails.  And half the time you may not even open them.

However I will tell you that there are probably a handful of newsletters that I truly enjoy getting and that I KNOW I'll learn something new.

One of our most recent email offers.

With that said, I want to give you some very good reasons as to why you should sign up for my E-LIST.
  • I'll tell you how to take care of your Eilisain Jewelry, as well as all of your jewelry.  Such as, how to remove tarnish on silver.
  • You'll understand how to wear your jewelry - new and fun ways to be creative with adornment 
  • You get special invitations to shows and events across the country 
  • Find out more about our future collections and what we're doing in the studio 
  • And lastly - you get FIRST dibs on new collections and SALES
    Whoops, last and BEST reason why? You get 15% off your first order when you sign up!
I provide to my subscribers the first chance on sales and first pick to new pieces.  And also I won't spam you, yes I email about once a week which pales in comparison to the deluge of emails you will probably get from other sources.  

So I hope these reasons will only further encourage you to sign up
As always - stay golden!
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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Re design and changing

This is the year of change and transformation, for myself and my business.  As you know, if you've been reading my blog, I learned quite a bit last year especially about running a business.  I had a big learning curve participating in craft shows as well as managing new collections etc.  

So with that said, I am in the process of having my logo redesigned and I'll be migrating to a new website/platform within the next 6 months. My current website, as much as I love the ease and functions of it, does not have some necessary features I want in a website.  Part of my vision for my website is for it to be easy to navigate and purchase pieces and learn more about Eilisain Jewelry.

I share these goals with you because my audience is a big reason for these changes, including myself.  Online shopping is a major part of our lives these days, and I like mixing my brick and mortar shopping with online.  And to be honest, it makes life extremely easier when you're busy running around, working and you don't have time to go store to store.  I'm incredibly hopeful about these changes, I'm working with a fantastic graphic designer and I'm planning the future of my business so it's sustainable and successful. 
 As always, thank you for reading and joining me on this journey!

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Song of the Day: Kavinsky "Nightcall"

I've been obsessing over this song for the past week, I had it several years ago when it came out and I've just re-discovered it.

It's so good.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The shared collective

Last week I was in Atlanta for the American Craft Council show and I had such a great time and met so many cool people.

Thus I want to share with you that when I participate in craft shows, the best part of them is meeting other artists and sharing our experience and knowledge.  Of course I enjoy meeting new customers and participating but seriously, I so enjoy getting to know other artists and finding out how they balance a creative life with family and life demands. 

We all share the collective hardship of trying to be successful.  So sharing a booth with five other people was fun and made the show so much better! 

Jewelry trade score!! From top left, Olivia Shih earrings, Oru pendant and earrings, Betty Jager ring and Leia Zumbro ring. 

My Hip Pop booth
Trying to look profesh'
Meet Ms. Ruby, she stole the show at our booth!

All of my neighbors and Hip Pop artists were so cool! Niki Frisk the booth behind Ms. Ruby is an aerialist!! I mean, how cool is that and she lives in New Orleans.  Then there was Jim Charles with his beautiful pearl and plastic necklaces and earrings, he was the lone male in the show.  And so many other amazing people. 

I am looking forward to the next Hip Pop show!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The process

I realized the other night that as much as I post about new pieces or collections I'm working on, I haven't elaborated enough on the process.   How do I make all my jewelry you may ask???

And though you may be well aware that the method I use to achieve my pieces are through casting, the beginning is researched and sketched out several months in advance.

My notebook is where it starts, writing out ideas, small sketches that move into images and drawings of stones.  I also 'play' and arrange some bones and random bits I keep in my studio.  Then once I have an idea of what stones and bones will be used I layout the pieces and put the connections together, of how they will interact.  This is truly the fun part for me, where the collection fleshes out.

 I also create a Pinterest board, collecting colors, outfits and more that shape the mood of the collection.  For me this is where my inner fashion designer lives. 

Once I have a strong and cohesive collection designed, I work on the actual pieces.  I make molds of the bone, for example the Bast collection and play with the wax pieces.  Combining them in new ways and how will these pieces work on the body and hands. 

I transition throughout the weeks, sitting at my wax station to finishing the pieces at my bench.  I do enjoy the back and forth of creating and then finishing.  I've gotten better at it over the years as well, knowing when I need to sit down and dream up new pieces. 

So there you have it, the process in a nutshell!
Thanks for reading.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Necklace sizing chart

I just discovered this handy chart! All of our chains are 28" which hang just in the middle of the chest.  However with the next collection we chose 20" to display our prominent pendants - don't worry you will see soon!

I thought some of you may appreciate this chart, next time your shopping for chains or you need a guide to help you determine what chain is best for you. 

As always thanks for stoppin' by!

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

It all comes back to water

I'm a true Pisces sign, I love the water, I can be a bit emotional at times and all the other qualities that go with being a water sign.  With that said, throughout the past several years the theme of water and ocean resurface in my collections.  As you may have noticed with the Ondine collection, it's based on a nymph. 

Well, I was going back through old photos of my first collection when I moved into my studio at Art Avenue, this was back in the spring of 2012.  I loved this collection as I used old coral from my trip to Panama and it was a challenge in how to put these pieces together.  Also I'd never used brass, it's a beautiful golden color but no fun to solder!
Aragonite stones with brass and sterling silver, 2012. 

Aragonite, copper and sterling silver. 2012

Black coral electroformed and spray painted, brass. 2012

Black coral, electroformed and spray painted, sterling silver and brass. 2012

Sometimes going through old photos like these get's my creative juices flowing and also reminds me of the variety of pieces I've made.  As much as I love working with the talons, I enjoy breaking away and trying a different approach.  Most of these pieces have sold and aren't listed on my website or on Etsy.

I hope you enjoyed viewing them and as always thank you for reading!
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