Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lazy Days of Summer

For folks in parts of the country where the weather is not characterized as “ten months of winter and two months of bad sledding” as it is in the fair state of Vermont, summer can possibly be described as “lazy”.

But warmer temps here mean a frenzy of activity, not only for farmers, housepainters and construction crews, but for the plants of the northeastern habitat. A riot of green-- both of forest and fields-- brought on by spring rains and relative warmth means that every little fern, weed, tree and wildflower is doing its best to fertilize, seed, blossom and fruit in the short, sunny days of July and August.

So as much as my summer designing palette would like to draw from the soft, ocean hues of aquamarine, and the beachy whites and sandy colors of the seashore, this year I'm drawn to hot, fecund colors that shout life and hectic activity!

Papeete necklace - available in my Etsy shop

So after trekking to my nearest Borders store last week to purchase Ronna Sarvas Weltman's new book “Ancient Modern” I sat down with my coffee looking for a few good ideas, my criteria for feeling justified in spending money on a new craft book. My dollars were amply justified-- it's got ideas and techniques to spare! There are many I could wax rhapsodic about but one of the very simplest got my attention this week-- marbeling with hot colors.

I love intense colors but don't normally use “hot” colors-- fuchsia, orange, yellow, red-- without blending to tone them down. Also, I find it difficult to work in neutrals or strict black and white themes, finding the extreme contrasts too modern for my style to stand alone. But as guests to the party of color, I love nice, contrasty graphic elements. I was so inspired by Ms. Weltman's color aesthetic that I decided to throw caution to the winds! Looking more closely at the method, the marbeling tempers the intensity of the colors by laying them closely together and partially blends them, so you still have the intensity but also new combinations. Also, the added white clay makes the colors appear brighter. Here's what I did with her palette. She points out that using a hot color next to more subdued ones can make an entire compostion sing.

Sands of Mars necklace

Stay tuned for more Ancient Modern influences in future posts. Thank you, Ronna, for a great book!


  1. Singing is exactly right! The harmonious blend of these electric colors is so hot and so now! Very summer the bright colors of the pansies and the peonies and the hydrangeas and the petunias that are prolific in the summer! That Sands of Mars piece is really so organic and cool but hot at the same time. Total sizzle! Thanks for sharing your eye candy today Christine! *wink*
    Enjoy the day! Erin

  2. This is soooooo amazing Christine, the best yet, I absolutely love it!! Stunning!! Gorgeous!! OMG!

  3. I saw this book yesterday at Border's and it made me want to work in polymer clay! Great interpretation, Christine!

  4. Sands of Mars! wow, that is so COOL! Love it!! Really original. I haven't seen this book yet but will keep an eye out. And I just got back from Barnes & Noble, too....
    Fantastic necklace!!

  5. Try as I might, I cannot get my balls to be round! I have been working with polymer for 7+years and just can't do it!! I take my hat off to you Christine for their perfection!!!!
    xoxo Carol