Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Color and Design

Color that works together is a hard thing for any new designer to grasp. That one of the reason's I find this year's Art Bead Scene contest so inspiring. By taking color hints from master painters, you have your colors chosen for you.

But choosing colors doesn't have to be difficult. There are a number of websites that let you play with color choices and combos. And Fire Mountain Gems has teamed up with Pantone to forecast jewelry colors for upcoming seasons. They do this months in advance for upcoming seasons.

The swatch above represents the "it" colors for Spring and Summer. The swatch below are the color predictions for fall.

As a beadmaker, I'm always thinking about color and new combinations. I often print up the swatches and keep them by my torch for inspiration.

What's YOUR favorite way of picking color?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Birthing Venus

Last month's Art Bead Scene contest was inspired by Botticelli's Birth of Venus. I struggled a bit the the design and ended up with something much more commercial looking than my usual fair.

I felt a real responsibility to the painting as it is one of my closest friend's favorites. She has seen it in person. I ended up making all sorts of beads I never even used in the finished piece. In the end, the little pink flowers floating in the sky / water of the background proved my greatest inspiration. And that seashell, of course.

Here is my entry. This piece will be on Holly's Folly in a few days.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Finding My Voice Workshops 5 & 6

Really behind posting here... I have a lot to say lately...just no time to say it.

Beads from my most recent FYV workshop:

This bead was to be inspired by a song. My thought precess went something like this:

In the jungle, the quiet jungle, the lion sleeps tonight...

Lions, Lions...Hmmm...

Lions and tigers and bears OH MY!

Hmmm, I've always wanted a tiger bead set.

But I don't really wear earth tones that often. It would need to be purple...


May I present to you...the Purple Tiger.

I ended up making another in a darker purple. Both will be on the Holly's Folly site later, under focals.

My most recent assignment was to seek inspiration in a child's book. I first thought of Alison's Zinna or the Good Dog Carl books. I'm a big Carl fan and have met "Carl" and his human mistress, writer Alexandra Day...but the animals seems way over my head and I surly wasn't going to tackle doing baby Madeline! As for Alison's Zinna... Anita Lobel, the author, is a former boss' mother-in-law. I've seen the orignal painting from one of the pages of the book...it was stunning. But alas, I couldn't find a copy of the book in time to do my homework.

I did find a copy of The Little Prince. I loved this book as a child. I used to doodle the drawings in my notebook as we studied the book in school. It was the first time I ever pondered my own drawing skills. I always loved the part about the rose.

As my luck goes, I had a rough week on the torch. I had an idea for a magazine contest (don't even ask...this particular magazine has the strictest pre and post publication rules I've ever read! I don't want to be disqualified... and I can tell you, my entry made it to the top 10!) . Anyway, this idea was larger and somewhat structural and every day, my bead broke! I've never had such heat control issues. Every day my confidence shrank. But I finally got that bead made...but I was feeling to confident when it came time to do my homework.

I figured this would shatter...but it didn't! It was exhilarating to work this way - rod in one hand, mandrel in another and a tool in the other ;-)

I was pleasantly surprised by this bead...

The Little Prince's Rose:

This will also be on the Holly's Folly site in a day or two.