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, March 26, 2015

What's been inspiring me lately

It's been awhile since I've done a post about books and such that inspired me.  And this is perfect timing as I just acquired several new books.

I'll be honest though sometimes I feel guilty that I don't reread some of the current books I have, I feel that because I spent good money on it, I should devour it! I've been an avid reader for a long time and books are a refuge when I'm feeling a bit lost or need to go back and refresh my creativity.  

Here are three books that are either on my nightstand or on the coffee table.

The first is Muses: Women Who Inspire, I received this book from my close friend Cate for my birthday.  She knows me well in that I love a good 'coffee table' book (aka beautiful images and good content).   I've only just begun to leaf through this book but I do enjoy that the majority of women go back to the early 1900's and is rich in drama and passionate relationships between artist, writers, painters and more. 

(I apologize for the blurry images, saved from the internets)


Now this book is for the inner geologist in me, as you know I LOVE stones and gems and I'd seen this book previewed on other sites, such as DesignSponge and wanted it.  It's very ironic that the author, Jennifer Altman used to work at Points of Light in Asheville, NC - where I source many of my stones.   This book is an easy read and provides just enough information about select gems and minerals.  

You can purchase Bob's new book here.
And now to a recent book purchase I made locally (and not from Amazon).  Bob Ebendorf currently has a very extensive collection on exhibit at the Greenville Museum of Art.   And I finally got a chance to see his amazing collection, ranging from his early days making rings, to his immaculate hollow ware pieces (in silver and gold! gasp).  This book is fantastic and should be in every jewelers bookshelf as Bob is the grandfather of the early art jewelry movement.  Many of the pieces are a permanent collection at the Racine Art Museum in Racine, WI.  You can purchase this book on RAM's website (in the link above). 

As usual, thank you for reading!
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Stellar shots of the Brigid Collection

As I'd posted in several months ago that I finally buckled and hired a talented jewelry photographer (ahem, Tara Locklear).

And here is the product of them, but I need to preface this by saying that for some reason Blogger has muted the background of the images and they are not white as they should be so please forgive the weird gray background.  You can see the perfect images here, on my website.

Brigid Bridal Collection of rings. 


Super lovely set with smoky amethyst.
Faceted genuine amethyst with dyed mojave turqoise.  I want these for myself SO bad!

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Brigid Collection is finally here!

After much buildup and anticipation I'm very pleased to unveil the Brigid Collection, a collection of jewelry for the lovers and the dreamers (you definitely don't need to be a bride to purchase them!). 

For many reasons I'm very proud of this collection and the project that went into it.  Especially when quite of bit of energy and preparation goes into it, such as the video and photoshoot.  But I'm so happy with the outcome and most especially the people that worked with me on it (read the previous post here for all the deets).  

This collection is also very close to my heart because of naming it after one of my patron deities, Brigid.  I've prayed to her and sought her guidance many times in my life.  And for what she represents (smiths, poetry/inspiration and fertility) those are big aspects of my own life.  Oh and Ostara (Spring) is my favorite time of the year, the earth is reawakening and shifting, birds are chirping...it's beautiful!

So here I present to you the video we shot at the same time as the photoshoot for the collection.  I was very fortunate to find Ryan Shackleford (through my previous videographers) and as a videographer he was super professional and great to work with. 

the love in this video is real...Chris and Ashleigh are partners in life, aren't they just the sweetest???!!!
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The BRIGID COLLECTION is almost here

The tension and excitement is really building for the Brigid Collection.  And the photoshoot/videoshoot made it even more special. 

For this shoot/collection I wanted to work with new and old people, such as Aileen Devlin.  Aileen and I have worked together for two shoots (Vespa and Valkyrie) and our chemistry is great.  I never really need to direct or tell Aileen how to capture my jewelry, she just gets it.  As for the rest of the team, I couldn't have found more talented individuals.

Amanda Adkins, owner of The Lucky Owl Shop, creates really beautiful flower bouquets, arrangements and flower crowns. So I knew Amanda would need to be a part of the shoot, then came on Meagan Wilson a freelance makeup artist. Lastly, I was able to grab two gorgeous dresses from my girl Paula Chrismon's shop, The Closet Consignment Boutique as well as blouses from Catalog Connection both located in Uptown Greenville. 

The day was beautiful and breezy and the setting was perfect - a cemetery! When I told some friends they were a bit confused but to me, it works so well, marriage is meant to last until ultimately you pass into the next life so why not shoot the collection where others have gone to depart but are buried next to their spouses and loved ones?

Photo by Aileen Devlin
Model: Ashleigh Bowden
Flowers by Amanda Adkins of The Lucky Owl Shop

Stay tuned - the Brigid Collection drops the first day of spring - March 20th!

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Upcoming shows and events

Spring is my favorite season, I love it for many reasons - the birds are chirping more, flowers are beginning to bloom, the weather is warmer and well, my birthday is also right before spring!

And the major part of Spring is all the wonderful outdoor events! I've been applying to shows and I finally got into one, I'll be a vendor at the Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philaphelphia on May 9th-10th. 

Art Star poster.  Find more info about the event here.

And I'll be releasing the Brigid Collection on the first day of Spring, Friday March 20th.  This is the first 'bridal' collection I've done and it is a small yet well edited collection of rings and one of a kind pieces for the unique bride. 

I made pieces that were simple and affordable.  I put the term 'bridal' in quotes because as much as I'm putting a name on these pieces, really they don't have to be for a bride just as much as my other collections have been used as ceremonial pieces for weddings. 

And I decided to name this the Brigid Collection after the Celtic Goddess Brigid; she has been one of my patron deities and a triple goddess.  She represents the fire before the summer months, she is the Goddess of Imbolc (one of the pagan sabbaths).  There are many stories and tales of Brigid, she is the the bards muse, the patron of Smiths and herbal healing.   

I hope you'll visit and stay tuned for more images of my new collection and as always, thank you for reading.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Blessing


Photo by Aileen Devlin, Model: Claire Fletcher for the Eilisain Jewelry Valkyrie Collection

The Blessing by John Updike

The room darkened, darkened until
our nakedness became a form of gray;
then the rain came bursting,
and we were sheltered, blessed,
upheld in a world of elements
that held us justified.
In all the love I had felt for you before,
in all that love,
there was no love
like that I felt when the rain began:
dim room, enveloping rush,
the slenderness of your throat,
the blessed slenderness.
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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Basics of how shopping local has a big impact on the economy

This is such an informative infographic on the basics of how much of an impact buying local can have on our economy at large.

It really breaks it down, and I love that the local jewelry shop is featured! 


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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Fugheads and Spazzing out

It's been awhile since I've posted any events happening in Greenville and especially at Art Avenue; we're still going strong and hosting great exhibitions.

This upcoming First Friday in Uptown Greenville Art Avenue will have Andy Denton display a variety of his works; sculpture and ceramic pieces.  Andy is a playful artist and has delved into a variety of materials which I really admire and appreciate.  Andy's latest venture of creating facial mugs, bowls and planters are fun and comical. 

You can RSVP here.

Another awesome event coming up is SpazzFest, founded by local music supporter and manager Jeff Blinder.  And of course Art Avenue is participating.  There is still time to apply for the exhibition, here are the details:

Spazz Within Juried Exhibition: Deadline *HAS BEEN EXTENDED* to SATURDAY MARCH 14TH! Drop off your works during business hours (12-6pm at Art Avenue) OR submit via email at contact@artavenc.com. This exhibition includes all types of medias. Entry fee is only $10 ($5 for second entry, etc.) Cash prizes will be awarded! Submissions must include a paragraph that relates to the exhibition theme. The theme is celebrating uniqueness within a community. This can be expressed in any way you can think of. Examples: It may relate to personality, personal style, artistic style, micro view point within society, a personal experience, macro/existential ideas, and/or spirituality. Reception will be held at Art Avenue March 21st, 3pm with music performance to follow!
 

As always thanks for reading!
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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Speaking of Brides...

I'm not sure if I ever posted on here that I got married in October of last year! Ha, I was thinking about it this morning, about the bridal collection of jewelry I've been making and how I was just a bride last year.   It was a beautiful day filled with love and my family and closest friends.  

And I loved how very simple and yet special wedding it was especially because at every aspect we had friends and family involved.  We held the wedding at our favorite local restaurant, Starlight Cafe and the food was AMAZING! And so were the drinks. 

We also hired my husbands cousin, Jessica Lee of Jessica Lee Photography take the photos and she did such an excellent job.  *All the images below are hers. 


My favorite photo of all!
Loved playing with my niece, Dottie!

Gotta have that amazing cocktail post vows

Love of my life, Bobby Pittman


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Trying to fit in

We all go through it in our lives, wanting to be accepted as part of the group.  And even in my mid 30's I still sometimes have the urge to want to be accepted into certain groups.  I realized this when I applied to be part of an exclusive jewelry collective.  I was rejected and as I wrote back I had a revelation; that I didn't know at the time that I was trying to fit into 'art jewelry'.  And that I've been in a bit of a limbo, applying for perhaps the wrong shows because I wanted to be accepted into art jewelry.

See for the general public, and the average consumer they don't put jewelry into categories but in our field there are many.   While I was in school I was taught by 'art jewelers' (I put these in quotes because I do feel that it is an internal definition) and I learned all sorts of methods of jewelry making; enameling, casting, fabricating, stone setting etc.  In the academic environment there is a high placement on quality and creativity, I think I excelled somewhat at these but looking back I could've worked harder at being more creative. 

My personality and characteristic is that I love immediacy and am a bit impatient, I think that is why I work better doing small collections twice a year.  Thus, in conclusion of this post and from being rejected from certain shows that perhaps I don't fit into that niche of art jewelry but more of fashion jewelry.  Really I do hate these categories and part of me wants to just throw them out the window and focus on making jewelry that I love aesthetically and that pleases my eye. 

I'm learning more and more about my style and where it fits, sometimes it's so hard to gauge the right audience but I think I'll get there.  Thank you for reading!

Deer antler brooch, 2010.  Cast from a starfish, tube set cz's, sterling silver. 

Ring, 2010.  Cuttlefish cast shank, tagua nut and black coral from Panama.

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