Thoughts of Design Inspiration

torch enameling evadesigns maine


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Three Stages of Copper

torch enameling evadesigns maine

Heating the copper with a torch using a trivet.

When I make enameled copper jewelry for some reason I always count three stages. (Well, there are really many more to the whole process.) You have a copper sheet that you cut your shapes from – file, shape, hammer, drill, sand, polish. I say you are now at stage one. Then you get all your enamels ready, your frit (I call frit any type of pieces of glass you  may add to your enamel pieces), you set up your torch and workspace (sifters to sift various amounts of enamel onto your pieces, holding agent, trivets, surfaces, tools.)

copper shapes ready for enameling to make jewelry evadesigns

Copper shapes formed and hammered.

Then if you are making large pieces (like my shells) you will be using the trivet method, not the “dangle it in the fire and dip” method. The first thing  is to counter enamel, after that’s done I think I’m at stage two.  (Counter enamel just means it’s the back side of the piece.)You get tons of firescale on the other side of the piece after counter enameling, you need to sand it off and clean the copper again. Often you actually get such wonderful looking colors that you don’t want to enamel the front side… There is such a thing as making art, even “paintings” with firing large pieces of copper. There are artists that make patterns and scenes with the fire alone.

copper jewelry evadesigns torch firing

Firescale cleaned off – aren’t the colors exciting!

So, anyway, to stage three. My stage three is the actual final enameling of the piece. It will be just the front if you are using the trivet method. Multiple layers, possibly using different colors. If you are doing your dipping method you are working on both sides together.  I do prefer the dipping, I use it whenever I can because by pointing the fire in different ways you get more variations of color just by heating the object more or less. Enamel colors have variations depending how much heat you apply to them. I find that the most interesting effects often happen with the dangly method and really playing with fire. Yes, it truly is playing with fire!

finished torch enameled copper pieces for jewelry evadesigns

Finished torch enameled pieces.

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Early Times Antiques store - Evadesigns Maine inspirations


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The Yellow Buoy

Yellow Maine buoy Evadesigns inspirations Rockport Maine

“My” buoy

Recently, I was at a local antique store here in Maine and got totally drawn into exploring the store. They had a few rooms full of all kinds of interesting items, you browse for a while and then you see something that makes you stop. It was a “treasure basket” in my eyes since it was a basket full of old buoys (hey, who doesn’t need one!) I saw the yellow one right away, it was calling me.   It was an old one, with that rustic homey look and lots of character. You could just imagine the years of ocean waves pounding on it, and it still keeping still in the water. It’s like when you meet a really interesting person that you can’t stop talking to, because they are THAT interesting. (Hey, it doesn’t happen that often, at least not to me.) This buoy had a personality! Anyway, I look for things that inspire me to create something of my own and this was a perfect item. Now, I did not buy it, so I have to go back…I seriously can’t stop thinking about this buoy!

Sandtimers - Evadesigns Maine inspiration at antique store in Rockport

The early timekeepers, sand away!

There were some other things that interested me, like the collection of old sand timers (or hourglasses). It’s funny when you go on these explorations for inspiration you usually end up learning  something new. You see an item and want to know more about it, look it up and now your inspiration seeking also taught you something. This time, it was the sand timer (or the hourglass). I now know that  it is thought that the origin of the hourglass may have been introduced to Europe by an 8th-century monk named Luitprand, who served at the cathedral Chartres, France. Although, the Romans and Greeks had the necessary technical knowledge and skill in glass making, but there is no positive evidence of the existence of sand-glasses in those early days. Who knows about those Romans! (See, now I can answer that trivia question…)

Anyway, always explore, you never know what you might find. My best work often happens after I see something that truly hits the origins of creativity. It may not happen right away, you might see the results in a couple of months or even a year from the actual visual event. The brain works in mysterious ways!
Early Times Antiques Rockport Maine - Evadesigns Blog

He has that stare… but I like the bright colors and upbeat attitude.

Early Times Antique Store Rockport Maine Owner

The Happy Store Owner – she was fun, bright and energetic.

Early Times Antiques  dishes Rockport Maine - Evadesigns Blog

Dishes – you can find anything here.