Color Theory for Beadwork

By Mirrix President Claudia A. Chase

What is your favorite color? I don’t have one. When I was a child the answer would have been a combination of pink and red. I was told early on though that pink and red do NOT go together. Since pink is born of red, I always found that notion rather silly. I still do. What I should have been told was: fire engine red does not go well with pale pink but there are other reds that do! So I painted my room green and blue. Green trim, blue walls. The green was soft like leaves before they fall in autumn. The blue was like a deep sky just after a rain. I could live with it.

I live with favorite color combinations which have a tendency to grow and mutate over time. But the themes do not change. They are my personal themes. I believe everyone who works in color has within them certain color themes. It takes a lot of looking back into our heads to find out just what they are. I do have favorite bead colors (which is a combination of finishes and colors, since beads do not any longer exist in the realm of just opaque color) that I rely on as the base of most of my work. You can tell which bead colors I love the most by the fact that they live in 100 gram packs. The accent beads live in bead tubes. By buying large quantities of the beads I love most I allow myself to freely use them. Since I have a tendency to not want to use up what I love most, this trick is imperative for me to freely create.

The worse decision to make when trying to pick what color bead to use in a piece is the one based on: gee I’ve got a lot of these beads I really should use. I don’t think I’ve ever successfully produced a piece on that decision and I can tell you about a whole lot of pieces I’ve cut up and returned to the bead box after having done so.

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Color Theory for Beadwork

What is your favorite color?I don't have one. When I was a child the answer would have been a combination ofpink and red. I was told early on though that pink and red do NOT go together. Since pink is born of red, I always found that notion rather silly. I still do. What I should have been told was: fire engine red does not go well with pale pink but there are other reds that do! So I painted my room green and blue. Green trim, blue walls. The green was soft like leaves before they fall to autumn. The blue was like a deep sky just after a rain. I could live with it.

I live with favorite color combinations which have a tendency to grow and mutate over time. But the themes do not change. They are my personal themes. I believe everyone who works in color has within them certain color themes. It takes a lot of looking back into our heads to find out just what they are. I do have favorite bead colors (which is a combination of finishes and colors, since beads do not any longer exist in the realm of just opaque color) that I rely on as the base of most of my work. You can tell which bead colors I love the most by the fact that they live in 100 gram packs. The accent beads live in bead tubes. By buying large quantities of the beads I love most I allow myself to freely use them. Since I have a tendency to not want to use up what I love most, this trick is imperative for me to freely create.

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Color Impressions

Color Impressions (originally published in Spin-Off Magazine)

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