Thoughts of Design Inspiration


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3 Big Jewelry Trends You Must Know for 2017

2017 jewelry trends - big necklaces

Statement Necklaces

There is a lot of big and bold going on in the jewelry arena! The first big one is Statement necklaces. Forget the small and simple pendants because it is time for those statement ones. Statement pendants are undoubtedly catchier than the tiny ones. You can try wearing those statement pendants and necklaces if you find that the small ones are boring and do not provide you with the catchy look you need. There are many impressive designs that can increase your beauty and make you catchier on different occasions especially the formal ones.  Instyle magazine forecasts that the big and bold long necklaces are going to replace the choker that  has been popular for a while.
InStyle Fashion Forecast Long Necklaces 2017

Brass Moon Necklace

Brass Moon Necklace – Handmade in the USA

Copper Bar Necklace with Sterling Silver

Copper and Sterling Silver Bar Necklace

big bracelets jewelry trend

Bracelets and Arm Cuffs

Second big one is Bracelets and arm cuffs. In 2017, modern solid cuffs take center stage. Solid cuffs add a modern artistic flair to any outfit. Many cuffs can be stacked for a more unique look.

Silver and Copper Torch Fired Cuff Bracelet

Sterling Silver and Copper Art Cuff

Art Earrings

Third must know – Art earrings with innovative materials, graphic shapes and arty inspiration. Single oversized earrings, earcuffs and single large earrings. Want to look different and attract more attention? Do you love earrings but do not like the idea of wearing them? You can try wearing single earrings to decorate just one ear. It is not the first time for this catchy jewelry trend to appear as it was seen before during the past years and continues to be a big jewelry trend in the next year. art earrings jewelry trend 2017art earrings and single earrings jewelry trend 2017
Enamel Art Mixed Color EarringsPainterly enamel earrings with bead dangleBlue Enameled Copper Ocean Wave Lines Earrings

blue poppy flower earrings artisan enamel

And if you are not so much for the big huge necklaces try Multilayered necklaces. If you still love those small pendants and do not like the idea of wearing statement necklaces and pendants because they do not suit your personality, then there is no problem. You can wear those necklaces with small pendants but in large number and multiple layers. This means that wearing only one necklace with small pendant is not trendy and multilayered necklaces are the jewelry trend you can opt for to enjoy your small pendants.

Multi layered Necklaces Trend 2017

Jewelry Looks New York Fashion Week 2017

Jewelry Trends from Bridal Week 2017

Hundreds of gorgeous dresses paraded down the runway at Bridal Fashion Week 2017. And the trends are more unique than ever this year. From rising necklines, 3D details, and steamer sleeves, the trends from this year were loud and unapologetic.

Statement earrings and drop earrings, as well as chokers were popular. Drop earrings come in may different options. You could go with a large dramatic pair or something more small and subtle that just adds a little pop.

Bridal Jewelry Trends 2017Bridal Week 2017 Trends


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Coin Impressed Creations – Coin Hammered Jewelry

Belgian Coin Copper Earring

This one is the Belgian Franc, Belgique!

I have been hammering lots and lots of coins recently! I was lucky to have someone in Europe mail me a ton of coins, in addition to the ones I had from Finland, Ireland and Estonia. Now I have a whole collection from Switzerland to Greece and UK. The creation of these poppies is a time consuming process and results are not guaranteed…but, I just like to play with this idea. Have been using both copper and brass as the base metal, using my disc cutter has been a bit of a challenge since it’s not the best kind (things get stuck a lot), but you learn patience 🙂

Copper and Brass Hammered Discs Impressed with European Coins

Coin action!

German Penny - Pfennig Impressed onto Brass earring

German Penny – Pfennig

Ammonia copper patina experiment


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Patina Play

ammonia salt patina on copper evadesigns maine handmade jewelryIt seems that the natural patina process is a very sought after topic right now – I get questions all the time. It’s really a lot of experimenting, and essentially you need to have fun with it. It won’t always work, you might try really hard to fume something for days and your patina all washes off! That is really part of the whole idea. It is easy to paint on some fake patina and call it “patina jewelry”, “patina art” or “patina decoration”. Why not challenge yourself and create something natural that the powers of the atmosphere and some real ingredients made happen?

 

I will list the steps of my latest ammonia patina experiment. This is a lot of fun, but remember to wear a mask or at least do not breath in the fumes.

ammonia fuming method for copper

The blue abyss for your copper!

 

Solution – ammonia with a little salt
(There are many actual recipes, I just eyeball this.)

  1. Cut, shape, sand, clean your copper really well.
  2. Prepare a container (plastic, glass) where you can hang something to suspend your items and that has a way to seal it (lid, plastic, etc.). Put some of your solution on the bottom of your container.
  3. Spray your copper pieces with the solution and some salt (occasionally I also add baking soda).
  4. Suspend your pieces on top of the solution and close the lid.
  5. Let fume for a few hours to a day, then check. You may want to sprinkle them again or spray with your solution. Let fume as long as you think they look the way you want. There will be a crumbly or fuzzy coating of blue on top of your copper.
  6. Rinse well carefully, let dry for a day.
  7. Coat with your preferred method (clear coat, wax, etc.)
  8. Make into jewelry, wear and enjoy or give to a friend!
ammonia patina on copper

Ammonia patina crumble (or fuzz) after it has been removed from fuming container.

Blue copper patina clear coated

The same two after rinsing, drying and clear coating.

 

ammonia copper patina drying

Ammonia patina after rinsing, drying in the open air

enameled copper jewelry


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Enamel surfaces – what fun things can you melt with a torch

torch fired enamel jewelry with melted wire

Melting stuff is always fun – right? Not to talk about playing with fire. I’ve been experimenting with various substances you can melt on your enamel surface. So far I’ve tried wire, mashed up glass, enamel sticks, other bead chips. Not sure where the limits might go, but it sure creates some interesting effects!

torch fired enamel jewelry with melted wire

Wire sprinkles on this enameled piece with transparent green enamel

Of course it can be a bit tricky to get these things stick while you have a torch going and one hand is busy holding your steel rod (where your copper piece is dangling). The power from the torch is like a wind that makes your piece move constantly so getting something on top of it can be challenging. The mashed up glass you can sprinkle on, with copper tube you can roll the hot tube in it, which is great. I think the hardest to get the way you want them is shapes of wire, they go and blow away real easy in the “wind” of the torch. Also, your piece you are trying to adhere it to is often curved and the wire will just slide of. So, yes, it’s a balancing act, luckily no acrobatics involved!

enamelsurfaces4

Melted thin enamel stick

enamelsurfaces5

Smashed up glass beads, use that hammer!

enamelsurfaces2

Smashed up glass in very small bits with transparent enamel on top.

torch fired enamel jewelry

Sometimes you may get an eye…

 

I find that my favorites are the wire coils and smashed up glass (they call it frit if you go buy it in the enameling universe).  I imagine you can buy some really nice even shaped frit, but I find that I like my own smashed up stuff better. It gets more interesting and doesn’t always work (which is part of the fun). Some glass bead chips don’t melt, or you might have smashed something that is not exactly glass. Also, using transparent enamel can make it even more interesting because of the see through effect, and you can keep layering it on. The copper wire I use gives out a nice smoke when it gets torched and you can end up creating some nice flame patina on it, too. It is the hardest to make stick, your copper piece has to be hot enough and your arm very steady. Plus you want just enough enamel to adhere it properly but still keep the surface texture.

I will keep experimenting, no two pieces are never alike. That’s the best fun of using the torch!
You can find more items on my website: www.evadesigns.us

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tumbling media and copper


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Tumbling Madness

rock tumblerA tumbler is a great tool to do a few things – tumble, polish, harden, smooth and so on. I did my first experiment with copper (and a few pieces of stainless steel, even though they do say it’s good to keep the metal one kind).

The tumbler I have is a 3 lb model with a rubber barrel. The only thing you had to do before use according to the manual was to oil the bearings. (I used shredder oil.) The shot I use is stainless steel, sort of all purpose with varied sizes of pieces especially made for jewelry tumbling. I put in 2 pounds because I read that you should have the barrel half to 3/4 full of material. Not sure yet if this actually only applies to rock tumbling since I have been reading contradicting info elsewhere. Some jewelry tumbling instructions say to just use a little shot media and there are videos showing the tumbler only 1/4 full.

tumbling media - mixed stainless steel shot

Tumbling shot – mixed stainless steel for jewelry

tumbling copper jewelry

Tumbler filled and ready to go.

copper jewelry and junk pieces to be tumbled

Copper pieces ready for the tumbler.

So how did it all go down:

  • I filled my tumbler with 2 pounds of stainless steel shot and the metal pieces in the picture (with some junk copper end pieces in there to fill it up more)
  • Added water to just cover the contents and one drop of dish soap

 

Notes: My tumbler had a little trouble getting rotating at first. I washed the outside to make sure there was no oil that might cause it to slip, cleaned the nylon shaft covers to make sure they were clean. My husband’s opinion was that because I had all the 2 lb of shot in there the barrel was too heavy. It did start turning though and kept going eventually, and then later on when I stopped it you could see some of the rubber started wearing off on the nylon shaft covers and the grip got better.

copper coated with rubber after tumbling

I let the tumbler run for about 7 hours.  (It is surprisingly quiet!) Excited, I open it…everything looks fine, except my metal is totally coated with black rubber! Bummer. What is this?! I went online searching and found some similar results by other people. There were possible explanations: the barrel needs a break in time where the loose rubber will come of,  there wasn’t enough soap, there was too much tumbling media. I have no idea, but I will try again with less media and more soap… It took me a good amount of time to scrub the metal clean. Otherwise, the pieces did get smoother edges and earwires were harder. I would say for perfect results, you would need to tumble a bit longer. I still had to hand sand some pieces a bit and hammer my wires a bit more.

Overall a good first attempt. Hopefully next time no more rubber!

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torch fired enameled copper by evadesigns - evädesigns


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Torch Fired Enamel Fun

torch fired enamel copper by evadesignsThe darn winter here in Maine took me out of commission for a bit from enameling, hammering and all the fun! Yes, too much shoveling wears out your arm. Anyway, I finally got it back enough to be able to do some copper work. I can’t wait!

I was super happy of my results. I think I have discovered a bit more technique, and acquired a bit more courage to try my own things. I am really into this melting copper wire on the enamel right now, you can get some really interesting results (or, a total failure is possible, too…) I’ve tried different swirls and even  what I call “metal rain” – just cut a lot of little pieces and sprinkle!
torch enameled copper by evadesigns - jewelry, enameled earrings

And yes, then there are the poppies, I have become a poppy maniac. I quite weirdly got the inspiration on this color scheme of blue and turquoise by looking at a bunch of laundry…crazy, right? The laundry was sitting on the floor and it was a shirt and a fleece coat and the color combination was just marvelous. “That would look great in enamel” and there I go.  You can get inspiration everywhere – even in your laundry! This poppy color is quite awesome, I am so excited about it. I really hope I can make somebody else as excited about it as well! It certainly catches the eye. I will be making many and many of these.
I have tried to master this “two prong” technique, since I’m drilling two holes in my poppies. So far, better that I expected. I haven’t dropped or anything. It does take some more torch firing enamel on copper by evadesigns torch firing copper poppy by evadesignsconcentration and a bit of planning, and your enamel needs to be deep enough so you can dip the two prong into it. This reminds me that I do need to get some more metal containers for my enamels that are deep and rather narrow. It just works better.

Hope you can experiment, too. There is an endless learning curve with this stuff and that does keep it interesting, I’m hoping forever!pper by evadesigns - jewelry, enameled pendant poppy

 

 

 

 

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blue poppy enameled copper jewelry by evadesigns


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Copper Component Inspirations

Blue enameled copper poppy

Blue enameled copper poppy

I promised to share what I’ve made so far inspired by my last visit to the Bryn Athyn Cathedral. I went nuts about the golden poppies in the stained glass window – so mesmerizing! So, I handcrafted some poppy shapes out of copper and enameled them with a torch. I’m finishing one of them into a necklace right now. I also made components out of copper – links and such, sort of rustic and very handmade.

The blue poppy is my favorite – yes, my shape is rustic, not your most finessed poppy, but I think that’s part of the charm! The other one is wild orangish even more rustic version with bright yellow melted enamel whiskers thrown on top. Still looking for ideas of how to incorporate it into a piece of jewelry. It is going to be something sort of earthy looking!

Enameled copper rustic orange poppy

Enameled copper rustic orange poppy

My copper components were so much fun to hammer – I got really into heating copper and hammering like a mad person. I recommend that to everybody… great stress reliever. I just made these swirly links today, and showed them to my husband. He instantly said ” I see these were inspired by the railings in the cathedral”. I didn’t even realize that. Well, it’s great if you can keep the inspirations producing without even knowing!

I’m incorporating all these new rustic findings into pieces of jewelry. I have actually come up with some totally new designs that are different than what I usually make. I’m very happy with how these inspired items are coming along. So, go get inspired!

copper poppy blue enameled flower poppy by evadesigns

Blue enameled copper poppy necklace

handmade copper links

Hammered and torched copper links

Hammered handmade copper links by evadesigns

Rustic copper links

Handcrafted copper links torched to patina by evadesignsMaine

Hammered and torched copper components

 

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