Style Snapshot: The Octopus Jewelry Trend
What has 8 legs, lives in the sea and is turning out to be a popular motif in jewelry? It's the octopus. This aquatic cephalopod even made a splash on the 2016 Oscars red carpet when Whoopi Goldberg wore a fascinating, diamond-encrusted octopus cufflet with a gigantic pearl adornment by famed Turkish jeweler Sevan Bicakci. Wrap your head around octopus jewelry; or rather let it wrap its tentacles around you with its surprisingly versatile design capabilities.
Why is Octopus Jewelry so Versatile?
First of all, there are around 300 octopus species (that we know of).
Second, octopuses come in such a wide assortment of colors, sizes, skin textures and shapes you truly can't go wrong whether you want to draw inspiration from a specific species or create your own variety.
Third, since they have 8 legs that can twirl, grip and wrap, octopuses make for perfect links or natural connection points in jewelry. Easily have your tentacled cephalopod gripping chain, cord, pearls, gemstones or any other design element. Or, such as with Whoopi Goldberg's octopus cufflet, allow the tentacles to wrap around wrists and fingers or even ears as is the case with ear crawlers to keep the piece in place.
Popular Octopus Designs
Steampunk may have lost a little steam in the jewelry world, but the whimsical take on technology is on its way back. Octopuses may sound like you wouldn't automatically associate them with gears and exhaust pipes, but regardless; the creature has been known to show up in steampunk designs. Give each appendage a gear to move, add a Victorian era-inspired top hat and monocle for a little anthropomorphic fun, give him reticulating legs, etc.
Can't find an octopus component you like? Making your own octopus is a cinch with polymer or metal clays, especially since their legs aren't too difficult of a shape to roll out with snakes of clay. Designers seem to love making tentacles with clay since the medium gives free reign of size, shape and color. Give your sea-going cephalopod distinctive beachy effects by adding patina, Gilders Paste® or Swellegant!™ color coatings. It's especially popular to give your octopus some treasure to hold on to, especially large pearls or faceted gems.
The ever-growing trend of pavé-set crystals and rhinestones lends itself well to octopus designs. Whether you want to give the octopus some extra-sparkly eyes, suction cups or add extra depth and texture across the whole body (ombré designs look amazing, by the way), your octopus can be the blingiest in the sea.
A few other styles we've seen using octopus inspiration include fork jewelry, or dinglehopper if you're of the mermaid persuasion. Lampworked glass creations give the octopus a shiny surface with intriguing patterns and long oblong heads. Sea life jewelry is always a recurring theme for warm seasons and octopuses find themselves amongst shells, starfish, seahorses and more.
You don't even have to use an entire octopus. The twirling flexible tentacles of the octopus provide plenty of inspiration for soutache, Viking knit and other media as well. We've had an entire chainmaille octopus, as well as a tentacled wedding parure, entered into our jewelry-making contests before. Get inspired by these incredibly interesting aquatic creatures to capture the imagination and attention of customers.
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