Wednesday, 31 August 2016

A Tale of Two Colours - part two

Blue Green

Like I said, I like all colours equally but a quick look in my bead drawers will reveal the truth...more than any other colour, I am drawn to blue-green. My largest collection of seed beads is in the shades of turquoise, teal, aqua and seafoam. Amazonite, turquoise and chrysocolla are the gemstones I seem to collect compulsively. There's something about that combination of calming and tranquil light blue, the balance and sense of growth you get from green with a touch of the uplifting energy of yellow that I find irresistible.

A lot of my work is quite monochrome and I've found that incorporating a metallic colour adds visual interest and imbues the work with a sense of luxury. I can't remember the last time I made anything that didn't incorporate at least one metallic! The fact that bluish greens are a mix of warm (yellow) and cool (blue) means that they pair well with any kind of metallic. Here's a collage of some of the ways I've used them in combination with gold, bronze, silver and even hematite.

Atlantis Series

Some of my most recent blue-green pieces form a mini collection using turquoise gemstones and copper seed beads. They were inspired by a series of findings I discovered on Etsy called 'Mykonos beads' - ceramic beads in all shapes and sizes coated in a metallic paint that's been treated with an ageing finish. They have the most wonderful patina of weathered copper and instantly made me think of sunken treasure brought up from the deep and the name ATLANTIS. The bluish bloom over metallic copper was the bridge that made me think of combining turquoise with copper (something I'd never considered before) and thinking about sunken treasure lead me to consider the way rope is patinated with weed and algae when it is submerged underwater and the way everything submerged becomes encrusted with barnacles.

The contents of my purchase consisted of two filigreed round drops, four wavy spikes, five small hexagonal drops and a small handful of irregular shaped spacer beads which I used down to the very last spacer to create a pendant suspended from a spiral rope to represent the covering of weeds that collect on a ships rope, a convertible pendant/brooch with a fringe of spiral rope glistening with tiny 2mm Swarovski Crystal AB droplets like a dock rope pulled wet from the sea, a cuff redolent with the encrustations of something long submerged and a collar using turquoise cabochons for the blue of the Mediterranean Sea and turritella cabochons and faceted Czech firepolish representative of the barnacles encrusting my sunken treasure.

I'm especially pleased with the way the collar turned out...the combination of copper and bronze seed beads, the small pops of bright turquoise jumping out from the shadows of the dark turritella cabochons reminds me of deep shadows created by bright sunlight like you would find in a Mediterranean summer port and the way I've used sections of bead weaving to create a visually lighter piece. All these things came to me because I had the name Atlantis ringing in my head and that informed all my decisions after I had the initial layout. I always find it interesting how a project develops and what is dropped and added...can you see the changes?

Creating a mini collection was a good way of scratching my blue-green itch and after it was finished I was very happy to move on to other least for a while as I haven't totally depleted my stock of turquoise cabochons. Oh that's right! one must stopping buying more of something before it can be depleted!

Is it only me or do you too have a colour bias that makes you helpless in resisting a purchase of seed beads or stones in that particular colour?


  1. Those wavy spikes are KILLER good! And I share your love of cool greens. I watched a TED talk about beauty, and people are drawn to water. Blue, especially aqua (agua!) is consistently considered throughout the world to be beautiful. As a race, we need water within view just to survive. So your fixation on blue green (and mine!) makes good sense. It is essential to life. Your brand of beauty always pleases my eye!

    1. I hadn't considered it but of course TED is absolutely right, humans are programmed for survival so it makes sense, what is it...something like 60% of the human body is water? Turns out I am just a slave to my instinct...hmm...and here I thought I was a little more evolved! Lol. At least now I have a good excuse for my gemstone purchasing compulsion.

  2. Oh so much gorgeous!! I loooooooove your interpretations of the sea, the barnacle laden beauty of each... and the wavy spikes. I love metallics with sea colors, and I am drawn always to things that remind me of lush growth. I also love your descriptions in the post, and how you've really brought things to life with your words. I am hopelessly addicted to both labradorite and amethyst... they will always be in my collections, and I adore using them with sterling or copper or bronze. :)

    1. Thanks Nancy, there's a stunning freeform-ish piece of yours that I recall combining amethyst with bronze, you do it so well so go right ahead collecting and creating :)

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