It’s reveal day for the Challenge of Color blog hop!
If you missed the announcement, the Challenge of Color is the brain child of Miss Erin of Treasures Found. She does several themed blog hops throughout the year, and for this Challenge of Color hop, Erin invited me to co-host with her. Like I told her in that initial email, she had me at “color.”
This time around, Erin chose fabulous satellite photos from the United States Geological Service as the inspiration for the blog hop. I pulled 40 favorites and made color palettes from them, and Erin then matched two palettes to every participant based off their color choice. The challenge here was to use one (or both) of the palettes as a jumping off point for a jewelry piece.
I could have just made the palettes, but I wanted to play along. It’s been so long since I made any jewelry, and I couldn’t resist this color challenge, so I asked Erin if I could participate, too. Here are the two palettes I was working with:
In my head, I saw this as a good creative challenge for myself, and it was. But I feel an extra sense of accomplishment here because it felt like any challenge I could have had, I did.
For example, none of my original ideas panned out. Not a single one. This was probably due to me deciding to work with materials I never worked with before – polymer clay, a resin-like material, and fiber. Giving myself only a few weeks to master all of these was probably not a smart move on my part. I chose those because I wanted a particular texture, and while I tried not to underestimate the timing and work small with pendants, late Wednesday night I had to concede defeat and move on to Plan G, just so I could have something to share today!
Even though I was struggling a bit, I was still learning a lot. For example, this was the first pendant I attempted, and I knew pretty much right away it was going to turn into a hot mess (trust me when I say that it looks better here than in person).
My idea for this pendant was to do a little mosaic, with a kind of ombre effect going at a diagonal. So, I very carefully arranged all of the beads into the frame, affixing it with my resin-like material as I went. I think it would have been okay, except I decided I wanted a kind of dome effect for this pendant, with the stones captured inside… and then things went awry. It’s too bad, too, since those blue iolites and yellow honey jade were a perfect match to my palette.
Instead, I switched gears and created a pretty pair of earrings. What I love best about these is that it still captures the colors of my first palette well – that’s what first caught my eye. And I still ended up challenging myself by working with some little felt beads and embroidery floss, two things I’d never tried in jewelry before, so I feel a sense of relief that it came together. I paired the cream felt beads and golden yellow embroidery floss with little bead caps I domed, then added in sparkly blue goldstone (they look darker here for some reason), creamy pearls, and oxidized silver to finish it.
For my second palette, I originally wanted to capture a piece of it in my pendant. I wanted to use some polymer clay and carve out a little mini relief of it inside the frame, then paint it to match. I did manage to work with the clay well enough to get it carved, but after layers and layers of painting, I had to concede it was not anywhere near to what I was hoping. And no, there aren’t any photos of that particular oops.
But taking what I learned from both pendant attempts, I was bound and determined to get this one done. I moved much more carefully this time, and carried over the stripe-y effect I wanted from my first attempt. I’m relatively pleased with the look and the texture, though I wish I had had time to find more colors that closer matched the original palette. I used labradorite for the gray, garnets for the brown (since it looked a touch red to me, and in person, they aren’t quite so red), amethyst for the purple, and tiny peridots for the green.
Overall, I’m fairly happy with how these pieces turned out! There are places to improve, but it was exciting to try something different. And I have to say to all of the artists out there who make working with polymer clay and resin look easy, you have my undying respect. There is some serious skill involved in these two mediums, and though I struggled with them, I had a lot of fun experimenting, too.
And thank you for stopping by! From start to finish, I really enjoyed co-hosting this blog hop with the lovely Miss Erin! I hoped you enjoyed your stop here, and to celebrate, I’m giving away a set of December’s Palette Club prints OR a digital copy of my 2013 Color Wheel Calendar to one lucky person! Winner’s choice on their prize.
Entering is as simple as leaving a comment. Make sure you fill out your email address so I have a way to contact you directly. If you share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, be sure to leave another comment with a link. Giveaway is open until 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, December 2nd, 2012. And international, non-US folks are welcome to enter!
Full Participant List
And don’t forget, there are a bunch of other jewelry designers sharing their work today, too. Here’s the full list:
Lori Bowring Michaud
Brandi Hussey <— You are here!
Mary K McGraw
Shelley Graham Turner
Have a wonderful day!
P.S. I’m slowly working my way through all of the blog participants. If I haven’t stopped by, don’t worry, I will!