Monday, January 11, 2010

A Color Challenge...

And, no, I don't mean trying to fit into my blues on a Monday! haaaaaaaa (For those who might wonder what I'm talking about, I'm in the Air Force and we wear our blue service uniform on Mondays. It tends to be a little less forgiving in the fit department than the camouflage of the other days of the week.)

The challenge I'm talking about this time I found on the Beads of Clay blog. It's going to require a little bit of practice thinking about the color wheel in different ways with new combinations of colors every couple of weeks. I own at least six books on color (buried in my crafty-book bookcase) but find myself drawn to the same color palettes most of the time. My brother, an artist, once told me that color is all about "trippin' out the rods and cones." That always cracks me up, in an eyeball-anatomy-nerd sort of way. :)

The other cool thing about these challenge projects is that they're focused on clay beads--that's earthen clay like porcelain, stoneware, earthenware, terra cotta, or raku--rather than polymer clay, which is what I've worked with before. There are tons of great clay artists out there so not only do I get to think outside my normal boxy workspace, I get to shop for some great new beads! haaaaaaaaa
For the first challenge, the focus is "Monochromatic." This scheme can be considered one color--just tones and shades of that one color. Well, I happened to have this fantastic clay & recycled glass pendant by Kristie at Artisan Clay which is where I first saw the challenge post! It's in a vibrant violet that actually looks to me more like a red-violet than a blue-violet. Either way...I was able to feature the pendant prominently amidst a mix of big funky cut stones. Then, the back is finished off more daintily with amethyst and pearls. I'd highly recommend Kristie's shop at Artisan Clay Jewelry Etsy Shop.

Since I was in the monochromatic groove, I decided to do another piece--this one turned into a set of earrings. The denim blue porcelain charms that are central to the design came from Marsha Neal. I strung a variety of blues on beading wire and used a Beadalong crimp end, that has a little ring on it, to finish it off. This creates a perfect link to an earring wire.

If you're up for some color challenge or just want to see some pretty work, check out the Beads of Clay blog. :)


  1. Welcome to the challenge! I'm so happy you are playing along with us. Your pieces are spectacular. I must say you've hit it spot on with me on colours, purples and blues! Beautiful pieces.

    Oh and I hear all about those uniform issues. My son's army and most comfortable in his BDU's. Putting on the green is not his favourite thing.

  2. They are so beautiful Jen!
    I just shared your work on the Beads-of-clay blog--Check it out

  3. Gorgeous pieces. So glad you are joining in on the ceramic clay adventure that Kristie has come up with.

  4. Lovely pieces, great use of a monochromatic palette :)

  5. Way tool cool (pun intended) color challenge! If I have some spare moments I will check it out. I love that pendant in the first one. Looks a lot like drusy. Very lovely designs! Enjoy the day! Erin

  6. Such an incredible masterpiece, Jen. Well done!! I love Kristie's work... this pendant is incredible! Thanks for pointing us to her blog & Etsy shop! I met her & her husband @ Bead Fest Philadelphia this past fall... we ended up doing a little trade, a few of her fabulous pieces for one of my copper electroformed glass acorns!


Thanks for coming by...I would love to hear what you think!


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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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