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!


  1. Very interesting. I sure wish I'd found you before I placed that big Delica order!