Thursday, December 18, 2008

There is no secret ingredient....

So I have been asking around the lampwork community what kind of tutorials people might be looking for from me for my Coloraddiction site. Over on Lampwork, Etc. a bunch of people have been suggesting that I do a tutorial on how I come up with color combinations.

Well....that's a tough one. You see - I have no actual method I use when picking out colors to go together.

Color to me is all about how I feel. When I see a particular color combination, it evokes a feeling. When that feeling is joyful, I usually keep those colors in mind for making beads.

I am always on the lookout for beautiful and striking color combinations. It seems that no matter where I go or what I am doing, I am constantly aware of color. It fills my whole life. So maybe that's why putting together combinations seems so easy for me.

I see color *everywhere*. I'll even be driving down the road, looking at a green car and thinking - hey, I have that color of glass! It's Effetre Dark Sage Green!!

But there are a few places I will look when I am specifically in need of inspiration.

I think one of my favorite places to look for color is in the yarn section of a fabric store. Have you ever walked into one of those places and just frozen in blissful admiration? It's almost overwhelming. I will often take a pad of paper in with me to write down the combinations that move me. Of course, that's often dangerous because I rarely leave without buying some yarn. :)

I also love to walk into clothing stores around the end of summer when they are beginning to show their new fall clothing lines - many stores have their displays color-coordinated, and I get a lot of inspiration from that.

An easy place to look for color inspiration of course is right online. I am easily inspired by combinations used in web graphics or desktop themes. Have you seen the amazing artwork by digital and fractal artists? Oh, my goodness - the combinations there are ubelievable.

It's also fun to just go into your favorite graphic program and just mess with colors until it looks good. ColourLovers, a website I have blogged about before, is really fun to play around with for inspiration. Lately, though, it's been crashing my Internet Explorer, so I am not on there very often anymore.

Of course, you can pick out all the lovely combinations in the world, but the hard part is translating that into a bead set. Making beads is not like painting - you have to take into consideration that glass colors have a chemical make-up. Sometimes you can mix them and layer them to get the color you're looking for, but sometimes you can't.

It does take some experimentation sometimes to find out whether the glass colors you *think* will look together actually will. However, often the glass colors you put together will react and make a whole new combination you never even thought of.

So the most common way for me to create a combination is to just pull glass rods from my stash and see what happens. There's no secret ingredient there - no real method to the madness. Just the thrill of looking at color - that's what really drives my muse. :)


  1. Interesting post and a GORGEOUS piece of jewelry in detail AND color!

  2. thanks so much for the kind words! :)