Saturday, November 8, 2008

Season Glory Color Theory

Giveaways, Winners and Experimental Results

The wreath is on the front door, and the mornings are lighter but the evening falls so early now. After the hour change every autumn season, it seems that the change in the time is a gateway to go through to the end of the year, the beginning of the holiday season. The trees in color, the retirement of the outdoor furniture. Preparing for colder weather, for snow.

The visual cue of the passing of time, the shorter days and longer nights, growing longer every day.

It's the third quarter of the year, the winding down to the shortest day of the year on December 21, when the days begin slowly to lengthen again in anticipation of spring.

It apparently affects the colors I choose, and the creative process seems to move much more slowly. Sometimes the long summer days seem endless, the light lingering so long and the days inviting many activities as though the time is a long road ahead with no turnings, straight and direct to the horizon. Now the days seem like a winding path, a little twisty and in the shade with the view obscured by trees.

The trees and house in back have a postcard look. I can see them as a graphic design, with the reds, blues, yellows and lingering greens as splashes of color in a black and white image.

The chairs are overturned in case of wet weather and leaves and later, because of the possibility of snow. Funny to think about snow when it's still 43 degrees F today outdoors.

Soon it will be time to have fires in the fireplace, light candles in the evening, to make hot cocoa and wear sweaters. To pull the coats out of storage and wear boots instead of sandals.

When I moved from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest, many told me with a celebration in their voice - 'This area has all four seasons' - and it's very, very true.

I have a personal theory about the effect of the seasons on creativity and the choice of colors. Have you ever compared the art or jewelry of those in, say, Florida to that made by folks living in, oh, Minnesota? It's not true across the board, of course, color use is a personal choice as much as anything. But I have noticed that some artists working in Florida use bright, sparkling colors, lots of lime green and yellow.

Have you ever thought about this? I'm sure there are lots of exceptions and it's not something I'm trying to prove as a 'RULE' or anything. Just contemplating the effect of environment on visual people.

An example is the artwork of french post-impressionist painter Paul Gauguin when he went to Tahiti in 1891. I noticed that his artwork changed to include lots of bright saturated colors, reds and yellows. Another is the painter Vincent Van Gogh, who started painting in the Netherlands using lots of browns and dark colors, and changed after moving to Arles in the south of France to using yellows, reds and startling color combinations. Just something to think about on occasion. Any ideas?

This has been a week of catching up. I have some things to share and some things I missed doing earlier, and I'm about a week behind. Remember when I promised a giveaway of a charm, picked from a post about my blog-iversary? And I said I'd announce the winner on Saturday?

Well, it would be fudging just a teensy bit to say 'but I didn't say WHICH Saturday' so I won't, I'll just admit I got busy and didn't do it. But today is Saturday again, so I will complete that thought now!

I put the 11 names from the replies on the blog-iversary post on scraps of paper in a bowl, reached in and out came - BETH HEMMILA of HINT - so Beth please click on the photo of the Ringleader of LLYYNN on the sidebar to email me and send me your address. I'll send the little charm out to you in the post.

Here are photos of the little charm I'm sending. It has the word 'ONE' snipped from an old shabby book, for remembrance of one year. Or it could be the one lady on the back. Or the beginning of counting ... or whatever the word brings to mind. It's ready for a chain or a wrapped bead at the top, and there are at least three little loops on the bottom that could be used to add a dangle - or just leave simple as it is now. I could make up a story about sisters, or jealous rivals in a love triangle. Or maybe an orphanage and the friends who met there. But Beth can make up her story for this little charm. Maybe she'll share what it will be with me!

Speaking of giveaways, when it's my turn to do the Studio Saturday post at the Art Bead Scene blog, one of the benefits is that someone will win one of my beads or charms.

Last week I posted about my adventures in resin, and the giveaway was to be one of my resin charms. I didn't post a photo of the charm, so before I send it out to the winner I took a couple so you could see it. If you visit the Art Bead Scene on Saturdays and post a reply to the question that goes along with the Studio Saturday posts, you might win something! Pop over there today and check it out, join in the fun.

I've been using the etched copper to make little box bezels, filling them with images, snippets of words, objects and topping it off with resin.

This is a slim little charm, with holes at top and bottom to add a wrapped link or beading wire. Or add a clip hook at the top and a dangle on the bottom and use as a purse charm or even a cellphone dangle. It has the word 'BOLD' inside, with a little boy in a straw hat inside.

Another thing I need to catch up on is my mention earlier that I'd show some of the things that came out of the 'play-day' spent with some creative folks. Many experiments were made, some more successful than others.

I've mentioned on this blog before in the past that I have this torch terror that I combat, and although I just love melted glass and lampwork beads, I'm too much of a scaredy cat to learn to use the big torch. I managed to get used to the butane torch to do the fine silver fusing, but the idea of the big torch just gives me shivers. I melt glass in the kiln by fusing, so I get to work with glass that way. But I kept thinking about how to make round beads with glass.

I saw an article in one of my jewelry magazines from 2003, the January issue of Lapidary Journal, showing how to use copper tubing and encase it in melted glass enamels. It seemed like a low-temperature low-tech way to make beads with glass. So I took the copper tubing to the 'play-day' last week for experimental purposes. To try it out, make some attempts and give it a shot. The idea was to wrap the copper tubing with clear frit to let the oxidized ruddy color of the copper show through. And then in playing with the tubes, some opaque color was wrapped on them, and frit was used to color them.

First, let me clearly say that I did not wrap the glass or frit on the tubing myself, I did not use the torch. It was not me that did it. I was not brave enough.

Second, I should say that these beads were experimental and not actual 'finished' glass beads. They are rough and not something a good glass beadmaker would consider useful beads, just an experiment and not a total success, just the results of the first experiment.

However, because I am not a glass beadmaker I plan to use them somehow anyway with great delight and pleasure.

I love them. I know they're not perfect but I still like them anyway. I may even like them better because they are somewhat flawed. I think they look very ancient and tribal. I'm considering putting one of them into etching solution to make it matte instead of glossy.

They have very large interior holes because of the copper tubing inside, which I really like. And I want to experiment with etching some copper bead caps, to wrap around the ends of some of them.

I want to try this myself. If I can work up the nerve. It will involve getting a plumber's torch that uses propane, and some more colors of frit and enamels. Maybe I'll just make it a goal for something to work on after the holidays.

What do you think? Don't they look sort of like african trade beads or tibetan tribal beads? If you squint your eyes and suspend your logic ...

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