Thoughts of Design Inspiration

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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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.

Color for winter blues

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When Dark Outside Inspire with Color

Purple lavender and yellow, some colors for 2014How can you get inspired when it’s dull, dark and cold outside and you see no color anywhere? We’ve gone from terribly cold snowstorm to pouring rain in two days! This is always my problem in the winter since I am totally a summer person and love color and nature when its the most active. What to do?  Luckily I got a bit “prepared” during the summer and took a lot of pictures of plants, flowers and other colorful lively things. You got to think of the season ahead when designing jewelry anyway, what are the colors for spring, what new combinations could I try?

The Pantone color for year 2014 is radiant orchid – a type of purple. We also have bright shades or blue, green, pink, all are colors I like. I have been making scarfs recently and attached is a sample of one I made – bright blue and green – those colors together are so fabulous! (see pic) I watch men’s tie fashions – for some reason I feel it’s a good indication on trends.  Even the football announcers have sported some great colors and patterns. There have been some good ones – minty checkerboards, blue green stripes, bright pink squares.  Inspiring!

blue ties, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger for 2014 color trends

Going with Blue!

The combination of the bright light purple on the wall with the yellow lilies is striking and you can’t help it – it brings you to a cheery mood.  I am currently working on a green and white minty scarf, the combination is like a breath of fresh air. Color affects our moods and sometimes make us act a certain way (the best known is probably true red that can make people hostile and aggressive! But the darker red makes you eat and drink more, that’s why you see it often in restaurants.)

And yes, the blues “cool” you down, they provide restful sleep. Blue is known to be the most universally accepted color. No wonder the standard for so many things is blue.

Evadesigns Blue and Green Novelty Yarn Scarf

Evadesigns Blue and Green Scarf
See this on Etsy –

I’m going to go back to my color experiments with scarfs. It’s  perfect activity for a dark winter day (and can also keep you warmer!) Hope these colors inspire you as well.

colorful neckties

Samples of colorful neckties – candy like checkerboard and powerful combination of orange and blue stripes

purple and lavender trends for 2014

Various shades of purple and lavender are included in 2014 color trends. (And also in creative containers!)


Enameled Copper Pendants Inspired By Blue Hazy Sky

Enameled copper blue sky pendantI experimented enameling the pendant shapes inspired by the blue hazy beach sky (see previous post). These shapes are larger than I usually work with, but I wanted to create some new free form shapes and try something a little different.

There are limitations when you are working with a torch to enamel pieces this size, you really need a tripod. Well, I don’t have a tripod (after this experiment I am definitely getting one!), so I was holding the pieces with pliers. (Dangling them in the flame with a rod won’t work either, these shapes were too large for that.) So, the problem ended up being getting the counter side enameled properly and that’s where the tripod will come in handy. I am very happy though with my results on the front side.

Enameled copper pendant , 3 1/2 by 1 1/2 inch

Enameled 3 1/2 by 1 1/2 inch piece


Enameled 2 3/4 inch piece

So how did it all go down? I first designed a couple of shapes on paper that I wanted to try to enamel. I cut them from 24g copper sheet and sanded and drilled the holes. I then hammered them with my texture hammer trying to make puffy round shapes in clusters. It’s pretty close to the bubbly fuzzies in the sky, but I’m sure there is some home made tool that might make shapes that are more like the real thing. I enameled them with my torch by holding the copper pieces with pliers.  The problem ended up being getting the back side properly done. I don’t have big enough containers for my enamels to dip the whole shape in so I ended up shifting the rest of the enamel on top. I used some cat whiskers on the narrow piece (you can see them in the middle on the right side) and I kind of like the effect it created.

I want to keep experimenting with these larger shapes, get a tripod and some more colors!


Blue Hazy Beach Sky


Early morning hazy blue sky on Maine Coast

Sometimes when you are at the beach early in the morning and you look up you see these marvelous shapes lining the sky above you. It looks like a painting with soft puffs of shapely clouds. The sun just came up and is still looking hazy, the cloud cover blocking off some of the rays. It is texture and color with a great lighting effect that will certainly get your creative thinking to soar!

Other times you may catch a real pastel painting on the sky. Pink, purple, blue, even that lime shade of green in between. The green is usually the hardest to see, but you have to keep looking in order to get a glimpse of it. I have seen some really good paintings of these colors by a local artist. It’s mesmerizing.  Those colors are more reserved for the sunset though, the morning starts out with extremely powerful orange. But that’s for another post.

The blue hazy and puffy cloud sky instantly got me thinking of the blue enamel colors that I have used in a couple of pieces recently. I want to get the puffy texture of the clouds to show up, possibly hammering the copper piece first so you get enough texture on it after it has been enameled. Wish me luck – I’m still learning the powers of enamel! (In other words, it rarely turns out the way you intended, you get creations that were inspired by a certain thing but end up looking like something completely different!) Well, I believe that’s part of the fun of the whole concept of torch enameling. If you did it in a kiln you have much more control, but the making of it might not be as much fun.  I was reading an explanation about the difference of torch enameling compared to the kiln process that was very well put: ” It requires working from instinct with a sensitive observation of cause and effect. The torch oxidizes and blends the pigments, creates patterns and causes chemical reactions that do not occur with kiln firing. Firing times are intuitive and the temperature is controlled by the length of the flame.”  So, there is lots of potential for both success and failure!


Color adjustments applied in Photoshop – you could really produce this beautiful texture in any color.

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Spring Color Schemes

Apple tree blooms in Southern Maine

Apple blooms in Southern Maine

It was a beautiful spring day in Maine today – dry, sunny with nice cool breeze and striking blue sky. I just had to go on a bike ride and enjoy it.  The air was so nice and the colors absolutely gorgeous. There is something about the spring on a clear day, there is such clarity of colors everywhere. The blooms are out and the leaves in the trees are just opening and they are so bright with this vivid striking intense green, resembling a lime green color.

That type of green only happens in the spring and then it’s quickly gone, lost in the winds. I was so taken by all the bright colors of newly born plants.  Colorful phlox everywhere in various shades of pink and purple is stunning. The daffodils that are still in bloom, early apple tree blooms and bright pink early lilac blooms not yet quite open.

Spring green tree leaves

Spring green tree leaves

Bright pink phlox

Bright pink phlox

Purple and pink phlox on the side of a country road

Purple and pink phlox on the side of a country road

Lilac blooms opening

Lilac blooms opening

Color is my ultimate source of inspiration. There is nothing so satisfying and eternally interesting than all the colors and their millions of shades. The light effects color in a profound way, and so do the seasons. Seasonal color is intriguing, a color in the fall is different from the same color in the spring! I get inspired by many things, but color is the ultimate one. There is nothing like it, all the limitless shades of colors.  In color analysis the undertone of color is taken into consideration and people are divided into cool and warm categories. You can clearly see this in the nature, how the undertone changes throughout the year. Just go outside and observe!

The green that I saw today really inspired me, it is the kind of green I do like, unlike the late fall dark muted green that is not my favorite.  The bright yellow of daffodils and forsythias, the pinks of lilacs, azaleas and magnolia blooms are all wonderful colors to work with. I took out some of my green and pink beads, this will be my palette.  I started some ideas wire wrapping beads into necklaces, it is relaxing for a change since you only need a couple of tools, wire and lots of beads!

Beads for spring color palette with some beginnings of wire wrappings

Beads for spring color palette with some beginnings of wire wrappings

Daffodils in Southern Maine enjoying the spring sun

Daffodils in Southern Maine enjoying the spring sun

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Blue Designs

Recently while browsing at a crafts bazaar my attention was caught by a beautiful blue stained glass piece hanging on a display. It had this wonderful clean flow and coloring and the shape instantly suggested to me “seaweed”. Now, the artist told me she thinks of her design as jelly fish or octopus, but that it’s really up to the viewer to decide. It reminded me of seaweed shapes I’ve admired on the beach and some of my own recent attempts trying to replicate those shapes.

Art glass by Dasken Designs

Art glass by Dasken Designs

This glass piece gave me instant inspiration, and I could’t get it off my mind. I ended up going back the next day and purchasing it. I began thinking of jewelry inspired by the design and interior design that it could live in. I ended up finding this website ( where you can make ideabooks of home designs- furnished room designs, accessories, products and so on. I made an ideabook featuring blue rooms and products inspired by the blue in the glass decoration.

blue ideabook

Blue aqua ideabook that I created – see it at

For me the best environment I would see this art glass octopus in would be something shore or cottage style with cool clean tones and airy feel, with ocean nearby.  The person living in this space would have an outfit that fits the theme. The blue rustic bead necklaces I’ve been working on recently would work well and I found pieces for an outfit that would also go with the necklace.

Blue outfit example with Eileen Fisher top, Tommy Hilfiger shoes, skirt by unknown designer and Evädesigns rustic shore wood necklace.

Blue outfit example with my rustic shore wood necklace.

Blue table - selection from Platt's Beach House Furnishings

Blue table – selection from Platt’s Beach House Furnishings

While looking at the photos for the ideabook I found this really awesome blue glass chandelier. It is definitely seaweed! The full picture is included in the ideabook.

Chandelier by Dale Chihuly

Chandelier by Dale Chihuly

I had to include some Finnish design in my picture, a painting for the wall by Simo Mantere (juuret – roots) and the forever timeless Kartio glasses on the table!

It is great how other forms of design can inspire you to create in our own medium.  It gives you a more complete view and understanding that can open up your mind for further exploring with your own work. It’s good to open up the curtains every once in a while and look outside!

Kartio glass by Kaj Franck

Kartio glass by Kaj Franck

"Juuret" by Simo Mantere

“Juuret” by Simo Mantere