My green pearl nightmare! I spent the weekend experimenting with color. For my first experiment, I used Jamie Hogsett's Champagne Necklace (from the new book, Create Jewelry: Pearls) as my inspiration. I used a narrower ribbon and thinner wire (26-gauge) than Jamie did, just because that's what I had on hand. For the pearls, I picked out a strand of multicolored Swarovski crystal pearls that had been languishing in my stash for months. I had purchased them thinking it was a smart budgetary move—rather than buying individual strands of all the colors I liked, this one multicolored strand would give me a little bit of everything. But the way the pearls arrived, strung temporarily together with pink next to green, lavender next to peach, just made them all look completely unappealing. (Imagine opening your closet to find it full of unflattering pastel bridesmaid dresses. That's what it felt like every time I saw those pearls!) I tried sorting them, but in a way, that was even worse. There was no way I would ever use all those green pearls!
Color experiment #1
To my surprise, those pearls actually looked good spread out on the ribbon, instead of jammed up against one another. They just needed a little breathing room.
My second experiment was prompted by something I just read in Mastering Beadwork by Carol Huber Cypher: "If your work is monochromatic (one color), then what you see is what you get. Otherwise, each bead's color can be affected by the neighboring beads. This is one of the most exciting and compelling features of composing work from hundreds of such tiny units."
Using ladder stitch, I stitched together two rows of uninspiring olive/brown seed beads with some of my favorite blues and a little burgundy thrown in.
I especially liked the olive and burgundy together, which is not a combination that I would have ever considered. If you want try this second experiment yourself, here's what you do:
- Buy some seed beads in a color you don't particularly like.
- Stitch these beads together with some beads you do like.
- Prepare to be amazed!
Color experiment #2
I'd love to hear from some of you about your experiences with color, whether with beads or in another medium you enjoy. Any happy surprises? Tips? Horror stories?