Ellyse Bendillo

Ellyse translates illustrations into fine jewelry using traditional enameling techniques, especially focusing on champleve and plique a jour. After graduating from Tyler School of Art with a BFA in Metals/Jewelry/CAD she found work on Philadelphia’s historical Jeweler’s Row repairing gold jewelry with a focus in antique enamel restoration. Working on antique pieces exposed her to the vast possibilities of the medium, combining the playfulness of colorful drawing with the craft discipline she has learned from working within the fine jewelry industry.

Often inspired by her walks both in nature and in the city as well, Ellyse uses enamel’s graphic qualities as an illustrative tool to emphasize shape and pattern in her production work. The more complex applications of champleve and plique a jour allow her to explore personal narratives in her one-of-a-kind pieces. Plique a jour, a kind of miniaturized “stained glass” effect in fine jewelry, is evocative of church windows as these pieces glow as they catch the light. Stained glass is most commonly  associated with biblically religious fervor, but in Ellyse’s work it is an applied worship of more mundane facets of life from a window of asparagus made one summer when the artist developed a near ritualistic obsession with the vegetable, the gentle comfort of a child’s rainbow drawing as seen through home windows during “pandemic walks”, to a patch of clovers that represent a quiet space on a hill stolen away from an otherwise bustling day.