Color is Relative

Leaves and Berries Collar

I am up to chapter seven in Polymer Clay Color Inspirations, “Playing Games with Color.” Maybe this chapter is really about the games color plays with us.  There is a quote in the book, “all color is relative,”   meaning that color’s appearance changes depending on what other colors surround it.  Remember the Color Me Beautiful craze?  Same reasoning.

The first exercise was to choose three colors from my palette, roll them into thin and think sheets and stack them.   When you slice and arrange them, you see how the colors affect one another.  Reducing the squares gives another perspective (pun?) on the games colors play.  The more contrast, the more you can reduce your canes successfully.

For the next exercise you make squares like the ones above from five colors in your palette.  I chose pink,  cherry, turquoise, orange and a minty green.  Then you recombine the squares to make leaf canes, and  make coordinating bullseye canes for spacer beads.

The necklace you see  in the pictures here is the one I made with the five colors of clay and the bullseye canes.  (The leaf canes are wrapped with neutral colors  as per the instructions.)  The stems in the necklaces are an addition I decided to make after seeing a  picture of a Pier Voulkos necklace included the chapter.

To be honest, I liked my squares better than my necklace.  But then I decided to use the  squares left over from the first (three color) exercise,  to be more judicious when I picked the color to wrap the leaf canes, and to make solid color round spacer beads in the same colors in the canes.  The picture of this necklace is at the top of this post.

I learned something about my color sensibilities:  I like my work better when I use less colors.  I think a  few main colors and some well chosen accents work better for me for now.

Want to read more about color?  Go to the  Color Collective Blog.