Friday, 19 June 2009

Crystal Worlds

Today I visited Swarovski's Crystal Worlds in Wattens, Austria.
One of the "rooms" featured a piece by Brian Eno called "55 million crystals" where a screen plays a constantly changing picture.
It was mesmerising to look at and I took lots of photos of it (and one of them using the negative setting on my camer) so here's a random selection for you to see- I have to make something inspired by this!

Addictive Colour Fun Website

This website search 10 million photos on Flickr to find those with the colours you choose- so even if you choose multiple colours it will find them in photos- a great way to waste hours!

Friday, 12 June 2009

More Fake Yellow

Today I visited Arundel castle and whilst in the grounds came across lots of yellow plants, flowers and foliage- except once again I didn't- it was that fake yellow phenomenon again.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Yellow Beading Experiments

Today I had planned to spend the day beading with my friend, Liz Thornton, and experimenting with yellow.
After a delayed start, due to work, I finally got to Liz's and in the afternoon we got cracking.

I recently went through my whole Delica bead collection (which is fairly large) searching for yellow beads and then went along to the London Bead Co (which has a large collection too!) and filled in any gaps and I had and the grand total of my yellow Delica bead stash now numbers ....

7 different tubes

Seriously- when I removed any golds, yellowy-oranges, yellowy-greens etc and just went for yellow I could only find 7. There may be more out there but I couldn't find them.

For reference the numbers of yellow I decided on are:
710- 751- 721- 854- 160- 232- 145

There were some other possibilities than you might think of as yellow, until you look at it again - and some of them were even labelled yellow:
233- labelled "lined crystal yellow" but to my eyes a definite orange rather than a yellow
1592- an orangy yellow
53- too orangy and creamy

and then there's one that I can't decide for sure:
424- metallic and quite golden at first sight- but I think this is a yellow- but is a metallic yellow automatically a gold?

Can you find any other yellow Delica beads? Contact me if you can- I'd love to know!

I found it really interesting to go through my stash and pick out eveything I thought was yellow and then examine all the colours again and pare them down to what is actually yellow.
I have found this a lot with yellow- Liz had taken some photos of yellow plants at the Chelsea Flower Show to show me but when we looked at them they weren't really yellow- lots of greens but no real yellow. We also noticed this whilst beading and looking out of the window- lots of the foliage etc that you woul have said was yellow was actually green at second glance - is yellow unique in this "fakery" I wonder?

As I looked at my small yellow stash it soon became obvious that two of them (145 and 232) stood out as different from the rest.
232- this was very creamy and white
145- looks yellow but look again it it seems to be very green- and also the finish means that it is very reflective and appears to have black stripes along its length.

So I was down to 5.

I wanted to bead small sections using the yellows by themselves and with other colours to see how they changed- or if they changed.

I began by peyote stitching 8 rows each in the yellows I had left.

But it soon became apparent that one of the colours- 710- stood out from the rest. This is a transparent bead and so was really being affected by the thread I was using, the other beads near it and whatever background I put it in.
In this photo all 3 strips are the same bead- just laid down on different backgrounds- a wooden table, a ligth coloured bead mat and a very light lilac gift-bag. None of the other colours were transparent and changed this much on different surfaces.

Although I wanted to see if the beads changed, it was more to see if our perception of them changed rather than them actually changing due to an outside effect. So for my next swatch I took this bead out- leaving me with only 4.

I next beaded a swatch using the same yellows but this time surrounded by 799- a dark violet colour. I was really surprised that there seemed to be no change- the yellows looked the same.

Unfortunately I then ran out of time so only got a chance to begin a new swatch using a pumpkin orange- but as soon as I get a chance I'll be back to update this post!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Yellow Lover Beads

After realising one of my favourite outfits was yellow based I knew I had to create something directly inspired by it.

So, out came the polymer clay:

I rolled snakes, chopped then up and combined them into a larger snake:

Into my extrduer they went and voila- long, dull grey tubes:

but ye of little faith- look at the ends of them- how fab are they?!?!?

A bit of playing around and I make some flat and pillow beads to add to my ever growing colelction of beads waiting to be strung.

You can learn how to make these beads in Donna Kato's canes book.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Donna Kato bracelet

So when I last wrote about my bracelet it was waiting to be lined and decorated.
Today I got to complete it- it now just needs sanding etc to get it nice and shiny.

I began by lining it using the same violet I had mixed for the zipper cane. Next I mixed what was left of the violet with yellow, of course:

This I used to make some skinner blend bullseye canes:

I surrounded the canes with what was left of my zipper cane:

A few baking later and my bracelet is done all bar the sanding:

Khaki green

If someone asked you how to make khaki green what would be your guess?

Mine would never have been to mix violet and yellow- but that seems to work- well if my polymer clay experiments are anything to go by!

As I've been mixing clays to finish my bracelet and using the complemtary colours of yellow and violet it becomes apaprent that when mixed they make a khaki green (to my eyes- you may call it something different)

This may explain why the colour scheme I chose for my latest geometric piece works so well combining yellow and violet with khaki to tone it all down.

To work with this discovery I decided to play some more with mixing yellow and violet and make some simple, flat, clay beads.

I began by mixing piece of yellow, violet and black (which also makes green when a little is mixed in with yellow) and forming into a sausage to put in my clay extruder:

All extruded- and you can see the khaki already:

Joined into a rough shape and surrounded by more black:

Neatening up the block (I learnt a lot about making square canes by doing this!):

I decided to cut my beads at an angle for a different look:

The finished beads- to add to my pile of things waiting to be strung!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Secret yellow lover

After all my saying how much I don't like yellow, especially with black, I realised yesterday that one of my favourite outfits (this yellow t-shirt, black cardigan and multi-coloured scarf) is based around yellow and black!

It actually makes a nice palette- and seeing as today I got my new polymer clay extruder today I may make something inspired by it!

Color by COLOURlovers

New colour links

Evolution of a colour scheme
Polymer clay colour mixing and matching
Kris' colour stripes
Cool ready made polymer clay samples- I want these!
Colour Basics- dos and don'ts
Maggie Maggio's colourful polymer clay work
Maggie Maggio's colour tutorials
Maggio Maggio's colour blog
Louise Fischer Cozzi's polymer clay work
Why pencils are yellow
Colour mixing with Sculpey

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Hue 100 test

Want to test your colour perception? Try the Hue 100 test- I scored 34- can you get a lower (and therefore better) score than me?
Beware- may send you cross-eyed!


Red makes us more attentive vs blue which makes us more creative here and here


Red makes us more attentive vs blue which makes us more creative here and here

Monday, 1 June 2009

Playing with polymer clay - day 3- part 2

The last afternoon here at PolyClay days and the class I have been waiting for- Donna Kato and her fabulous bracelets- so exciting.
I'll start by posting some of Donna's own bracelets so you can see what we're aiming for. Her use of colour is wonderful.

We begin by making the bases of our bracelets- in black- and then a zipper cane. We were given black and white clays but I already had an idea of the colour scheme for my finished bracelet- yellow and violet- so mixed up a clay using violet, white and grey to get a nice, subtle colour which I'll use again as the bracelet lining and for decorative canes.

After our bases were formed and baked we added our canes and cooked again- this is how mine is at the end of the day- hopefully I'll get some time soon to work on it a bit more.

Playing with polymer clay - day 3- part 1

The 3rd day of polymer clay and still 2 more classes to go.

This morning's class was with Daniel Torres Mancera and was all about ways to use your scrap clay.

I had great fun and although what I made wasn't anything of great beauty I learnt a lot and wil definitely use the techniques again.

We began the day by gathering our scrap- fortunately I had loads from the previous 2 days.

I decided to use the scrap left over from my flower sheet as figured the colour had gone well together then.
I scrunched it into a sausage.

Then some more messing around with it then using slices of it to decorate a scrap base.

This is how it looked before it was baked.

Next up we learnt how to make a Natasha Bead- I decided to play around with mine.
The end result of the class was that I made 3 crazy beads from scrap.

They're not things of beauty as I said but I did learn a lot.
I think the techniques we learnt will be great tools for playing around with colour so I'm very happy.