Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Color Explosion...

I don't work with neon colors much.  While I do love color, I generally gravitate towards more subdue hues and less saturated tones.  If I do use a bright color, I tend to use it in moderation and as an accent.  I have noticed a trend towards fluorescent colors in the fashion world and have even heard people refer to it as an 80's revival.  I picked up some of the new neon Swarovski crystal pearls and some rubber components from My Elements by Yvonne for the store.  I also have some vintage plastic and glass beads that are dazzlingly bright and compliment the new additions.

With these products on-hand at the shop, I wanted to create a display of examples of how these technicolor components could be used.  Since this color palette is SO far removed from my natural comfort zone, I created a new color wheel.  When I was helping students with their portfolios, I always encouraged them to create a new and personalized color wheel every time they started a new body of work.  The thing about color (and using it in a personal way) is that our color sensibilities change.  We are a product of our environment (both external and internal) and depending on factors like the quality of light at that time of year, current mood, and even the color of the rooms we spend the most time in can make an impact on how we see, feel, and work with color.

Since I had to work on a display, I thought that I'd hit two birds with one stone and create a large-scale color wheel.  Don't let the little picture fool you, this collage is 72" X 30"!  While I was selecting images to work with, all I could think about was the phrase, "color explosion".  As a result, the collage took on a very explosive energy.
I also found fashion images from magazines and collaged them together as well.  (It's much smaller at 14.5" X 20".)  The overall look, reminds me a little of being in high school, but creating a design board is an effective tool to get a general sense of color combinations and textures that are currently trending.

And here are the results...
Here are the necklaces that I created. They're mostly pretty simple and rely a lot on repetition of pattern.  The nice thing about this is that they can be layered together or wrapped around the wrist as a bracelet.  The multi-strand turquoise and orange necklace is actually a vintage Japanese glass necklace that I restrung with the addition of the new Swarovski pearls.  The piece to the right is more eclectic with a mix of beads and features a Pam Wynn polymer clay bead, vintage lucite, a ceramic bead from Nan Emmett, and a nice chunk of gaspeite.
These are the bracelets that I made.  Again, for the most part, they're pretty simple.  With this batch, I went wild with the Memory Wire.  I like how there's a sense of almost instant gratification.  The ones on the bottom right are made from Memory Wire that has been passed through colored rubber tubing.  The ends have little wire-wrapped dangles.  They look particularly nice when a bunch of them are worn together.  To the left of the Memory Wire "stackables" is a bracelet of turquoise, orange and white.  While there are certainly neon components, I think that what gives this piece a real "POP" (besides all the movement of this piece) is that I've used complimentary colors.  The contrast makes the bracelet zing!
And here are the earrings that I made with this color palette.  I think one of the fun elements of three out of four of the pairs is the use of anodized niobium earwires from Marti Brown of the Odyssey and Bead Expressions.  The earwires add a nice, unique touch of color.

I'm smitten with the earrings on the bottom right.  I love how the wire can still be manipulated into shapes after being passed through the rubber tubing.  They were pounded on an anvil with a nylon hammer to work-harden them and prevent the shapes from becoming distorted.  A nice perk was that the rose pink of the balled copper headpin matches the pink of the rubber tubing!

While this was certainly challenging, it was a lot of fun.  It was nice to play around and use daring, bold, bright colors.  The colors have a lot of life and energy.  Working with the neons, fluorescents and complimentary colors has certainly inspired me to incorporate more of these explosive color choices in future work.

6 comments:

Courtney said...

I love your pieces! All so bright and springy, perfect for the winter months. Like you, these colors are a huge stretch for me. Love them.

Amber Dawn Inventive Soul said...

Wonderful, bright and cheerful colors!
:) Very true about color tastes being affected by time and place of one's "location " in life, inside and out. I look forward to seeing more of your colorful explorations outside of your comfort zone.

TesoriTrovati said...

Great idea to make a color board and a collage! These are totally 80s. I left the 80s behind not liking them then and not really digging them now. But I can see where a more subtle pop of color in my otherwise drab palette might add some spunk. Thanks for the inspiration! Enjoy the day. Erin

Sara Oehler said...

Pretty, Andrew! Hope you are well, friend!

Cyndi L said...

You know, sometimes instant gratification is the way to go...especially with fun colors like these!

tysh said...

i love them! they remind me of tropical drinks, summer and being a kid in the 80's.