Tree of Life tattoo design and other unique tattoo designs, and copyright laws

Tree of Life tattoo design and other unique tattoo designs, and copyright laws

I have been doing a lot of tattoo designs over the last two years, as outlined in a previous post. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I have opened up an Etsy store selling my own original tattoo designs.

red owl tattoo design with flowers

Red owl tattoo design

It is a work in progress, so I am hoping to create an add more this year. It takes a lot of time to create a tattoo design, and often people don’t understand the level of work involved in drawing up a unique image, whether it is for a custom tattoo, or an original drawing, painting, logo design, all artists invest a huge amount of time, energy and skill into creating original artwork.


fairy gothic tattoo design on mushroom

Fairy tattoo design

My original Tree of Life drawing has been used numerous times as a tattoo design. This is a great honour for me when someone loves my art so much as to place it permanently onto their bodies. However, it is very disheartening when my image has been taken off the internet without my permission, and has been used as a tattoo or any other reproduction. All artist’s original work is protected by copyright laws, and to use an artist’s original image in any way without their permission is illegal.


tree of life tattoo drawing liza paizis

Tree of Life tattoo design

The Tree of Life drawing is a very unique image I created; Trees are for me one of the most beautiful of Nature’s creations to draw – you can see a woman in this tree, and the sun and moon on either side of her with little creatures in the branches. She is this tree’s soul…….This image is available as a print here,  or you can buy it as a tattoo design here.

Often artists who have their work on the internet protect it by using low resolutions and/or copyright text over their images. Again, purchasing artwork from an artist does not mean the buyer has the copyrights to use that image except what the artists has expressly allowed them.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to add any comments you may have !


Owl jewelry design : wax carving for lost wax metal casting in silver and pewter

As mentioned in my previous post  I love creating unique pewter jewellery items by casting them from my original wax carvings, using the lost wax process. Here, I’m going to outline the basic process I use for carving a wax piece, in this case, an owl. I have already made an owl for my jewellery range, but that was an experiment in using precious metal silver clay for the first time, and the result was not exactly what I was looking for, though a sweet design, I wanted something more precise which is what jeweller’s carving wax is perfect for.

wax carving 1

The wax I use is the green modeler’s’s wax which can be bought online through any metal casting & jewelry supply store. It is extremely hard, and gives very fine detail; it can be sanded, melted, scraped and even machine worked with a hand tool / Drummel. First, I draw the design – I trace over the lines with a ball point pen in order to transfer the impressions of these lines onto the wax underneath.

wax carving 2

 Then, I cut this out and glue it over a piece of the green wax with normal school type stick glue. I then cut around the wax to get the basic shape of the design – initially I use a little hand saw, then linocut or woodcarving tools to do this. Now it is basically a process of copying my drawn design on the wax using sculpture techniques – more relief than actual 3-D sculpture.

wax carving 3

It’s important to work in layers, and not to make the wax too thin or else when it comes to casting the metal it may not work well. The techniques I use depend on what I am creating. I love to just use a basic craft or surgical knife to slowly scrape and sculpt the form as well as different grades of sandpaper to smooth and sculpt the model further.

wax carving 4

I have not melted any wax for this design, as I did for my Tree of Life design, where for the fruit I melted blobs of the green wax, which is fun to do – best to do with with a very hot flame as you would get from a little hand-held butane torch.

wax carving 5

Wax carving is a technique which is best learned with at least one session taught by a professional, as one needs to understand how to fuse wax together if something breaks, how to avoid air bubbles so that the metal casting does not get ruined, and other techniques that are quirks of the trade. I am by no means a skilled wax carver, but I was lucky enough to spend a few hours learning from one so that I do understand the basics and I kind of just follow my creative intuition and feel for the lovely wax medium.

wax carving 6

It is also important that the wax model has been smoothly sanded and cleaned before it is sent to be cast. I sand the model as I work in conjunction with the sculpting knife. Sometimes it can be hard to imagine what the finished piece will look like cast in shiny metal, with a lovely dark patina applied to pick out the details….

wax carving 7

I am actually going to try to cast this at home, not with the lost wax method, but I am going to make a silicone mold from the wax carving, and then gravity cast with pewter just to see how it turns out. Eventually, I will send this wax carving to a professional investment casting company that specialises in lost wax casting in silver. After I have the silver master copy,I can further touch it up until I’m completely happy with the design, then get it cast in lead-free pewter in multiple molds using spin / centrifugal casting, again with a professional who specialises in this method of casting.

owl wax carvingThanks for visiting, I hope you enjoyed reading about this wonderful process – please feel free to post any comments or questions you may have !

Cat Dreaming : Stunning cat beaded necklace, with birds and fish

Today is National Cat Day !!

This is my “Cat Dreaming” necklace I made inspired by my love of Cats.

I have used a selection of gorgeous Czech glass beads, as well as Turquoise gemstones, to compliment the little silver tones bird and fish charms. I wonder what this cat is dreaming about….!?

I have also created some adorable little bird earrings to match with turquoise beads. I have been making a lot of very unique jewellery pieces lately for the local galleries here in Iowa and Wisconsin, along the beautiful Mississippi Valley where I live. These items feature my unique pewter original castings, from my hand carved designs. I carve the designs from a hard jeweller’s wax – you can read more about the process on my website here.

blue bird earrings

Both are available in my Etsy shop here.

I have been carving wax designs and casting these in lead-free pewter for about 10 years now. I am largely self taught, having gone to a 4 hour workshop at a music festival in Australia to learn the basics, I really took to it with a passion and developed my style from there – and I am still learning! It is a process I love and my original pieces of jewellery are becoming increasingly popular, as they are exclusive, hand made and entirely original. They include cats, a dragonfly, moth, lizard, butterfly, tree of life, pixie, owl and mermaid jewellery designs in lead-free semi precious pewter.

I get a master caster to create and cast the molds in South Africa, where pewter casting and design is very popular, from items such a cutlery, to jewellery and giftware…Below are some more creations I have been working on which feature my exclusive pewter designs and carvings, all of which you can find in my shop:

Back Tattoo Challenge

As mentioned in a previous post here, I have been having fun designing tattoos on a regular basis for the last year.

One of the most enjoyable and challenging tattoo designs I have done so far was this one. My client had existing tattoos on his back and ribcage that were very meaningful to him, and he wanted them all to be connected in a way that was flowing and symbolic. Each of his tattoos has it’s own unique characteristics and special significance, and I needed to create a design that allowed each of the existing tattoos to stand out while also being in accordance with the rest. He is of Irish and Russian descent, and that was also an important factor in forming the design. Here is a shot of his tattoos:

tattoo back

I decided to incorporate Celtic knot work as the main theme, but also a slight Art Nouveau twist to give the design flow, to be able to link up the separate tattoos in a coherent way. The two paw prints were of particular importance, so the design needed to almost highlight them. Here is the design I created, on its own:

Celtic back tattoo

I drew from traditional Russian folk art, as well as the stunning Celtic design that can be found in the Book of Kells and, of course, my imagination ! Here is the completed tattoo:

Celtic full back tattoo

The very talented tattooist who actually did the tattoo is Kevin Riley at Studio One Tattoos. Kevin had also done the previous tattoos, and it was a bit of a challenge for him to actually transfer my design – which I had created only from looking at photos of the existing tattoos – around the tattoos. He did a truly amazing job, and perfectly realised my design in all its shading and twists and turns…

Celtic tattoo extension

~ If you are interested in getting a custom tattoo design or an extension or cover up for a tattoo, please feel free to contact me on my Contact Page. I would love to work with you to create a unique design !

Having fun with Tattoo Design

The reason I have not posted for ages is because I have found a new creative passion : Tattoo Designing!

I have been designing tattoos for people on and off for over a decade now, but since moving to America,  I have found that this versatile and very personal art from suits my artistic style perfectly. In the past, tattoos have often been associated sub-cultures, but these days many people get tattoos to commemorate the loss of loved ones, or to mark an important event in life, or as a personal statement.



I have been learning a lot about different styles, and have tried my hand at a Japanese style Koi design for a half sleeve.

koi tattoo sleeve

I love doing any design work, and welcome any commissions for tattoo designs – I am always very honoured to custom create a permanent piece of art for someone’s body.






Moon Owl original Folk art drawing

This is my completed owl artwork, as begun in the previous post.

Owls are such enigmatic creatures, and I have done many paintings, drawings and also an etching of these fascinating animals which you can purchase here. I enjoyed using plenty of gold pigment ink and pigment based coloured pencils on Stonehenge paper, thus creating a very decorative folk art style reminiscent of the naive artist Henri Rousseau and also traditional icon art.

You can purchase a beautiful giclee print here, and the original is for sale here.

Cat and Moth new Choker style necklaces from my original designs

These necklaces have just been cast in beautiful shiny lead-free pewter right here in South Africa, from designs and wax carvings that I had made a few years ago. I loved the idea of turning my little cat into an unusual necklace, and the moth, or butterfly, was inspired  by the bold designs of the Art Deco era.

The whole process of carving an original design from jeweller’s wax, then casting it with the lost wax process and centrifugal casting is an amazing process and one which I have learned over the last 5 years. I hope to be able to make many more unique and soulful design in the near future…!

The choker style necklaces are really stunning, and are adjustable in length. You can see more of my own jewellery designs: Necklaces, Brooches and even Keyrings here on my online shop.            Or view my exclusive range on the menu bar to the left!