Thoughts of Design Inspiration

torch fired enameled copper by evadesigns - evädesigns


Leave a comment

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

 

 

 

 

sign up on email list

torch enameling evadesigns maine


2 Comments

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.

Hemp jewelry by evadesigns


Leave a comment

Hemp Jewelry Experiments – Bright and Fun

green hemp and seed bead necklace evadesignsmaineI did experiment with hemp before, but just this week I got new inspiration. First I wanted to incorporate some of my enameled copper pieces into a necklace somehow other than them being the sole item. Second since this it the “year of color” I happened to have hemp yarn in bright  green and light blue – how perfect since green is one of the big colors right now? I wanted to make it statement green (and blue), nothing lame. So I decided to incorporate bright green and blue seed beads into my hemp yarn and voila, with lots of crochet loops later it’s a necklace!

My other idea was to use some knotting and make a pendant. I used one of my round enameled copper pieces and one enameled iron bead in dark purple and blue tones. The hemp yarn is a light pink/salmon color, I went through my stashes of beads to find some individual beads that would fit the color scheme. My selection is a bit limited when it comes to the need for large hole in the bead, but I think it’s beginning to work pretty well. (still work on progress). So, now the hemp bug has really gotten a hold of me – I want to find more hemp colors, hoping to find some really bright ones for the next colorful creation!hemp and enameled copper pendant necklace evadesigns

Wooden pendant


2 Comments

Revisited Inspirations

I wanted to look  back at my earlier posts and review some of the creative attempts I have done based on inspirations in my posts. Many of them I’m still working on, refining my methods and improving my skills.

drrill

Home made sanding station and wooden dowel I make beads from.

During the process I have taken over several of my husband’s power tools – sawsall, drill, dremel…It’s a satisfying feeling when you figure out you can actually use some “man tools” with no problem. The opportunities are endless and you can repurpose many tools to do things you don’t first think they were meant to do.

With “Wood Coins and Drill Holes” –  I am now making my wooden beads out of dowels, craft boards and other larger pieces of wood. I have made a sanding station using the drill which works really good (just don’t sand away your fingertips) You can quickly reshape pieces, big difference from the beginning when I was completely sanding by hand!

beads

Finished beads imitating weathered wood look – cut from dowel, sanded and rag painted.

I think I’m doing much better with getting the surface even and have discovered which paints make the type of finish I’m looking for. I want to imitate a weathered wood type of surface, a rustic feel that makes you think of the shore, beach, sand and how the wind and water shapes the wood.

Digitata seaweed Maine

Digitata seaweed in Maine (Ogunquit Beach)

seaweedscarf

Seaweed scarf model with tentacles.

coppershapes

Copper shapes still in rough form. I patinated the left one, but I don’t really like the dark color.

I created several copper shapes based on my exploration with the “Seaweed Inspirations”.  I also started scarfs that imitate shapes of seaweed. I really like the idea of the freely hanging legs or tentacles like in the seaweed (that I think is called) Laminaria digitata (see picture).

I think the scarf body is too lightweight due to the yarn, but I want to  keep the idea of tentacles. The yarn I found has variations and nubbies that I work well to keep the shape interesting. I found some commonly made patterns of seaweed scarfs online, but I didn’t think they were really seaweed enough!

The yellow and green in “Unexpected Beach Art” gave me an idea to create these wild yellow earrings, round lemon yellow beads handing from purple chain with Swarovski crystals. I wanted some real lemon punch with the clusters, they sort of look like berries or candy grapes to eat!

Lemon yellow cluster earrings

Lemon yellow cluster earrings

This was a quick review on what I’ve made based on my earlier posts. I hope you like some of them, any comments are welcome!