Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Meadow Sweet - or how I'm making friends with Rose Quartz and Serenity

Rose Quartz and Serenity - who? What? Or alternatively, will you please stop blethering on about them Rebecca?! 

I will, honestly. Pinkie promise. But just let me chat about them a little bit more, 'kay? 

For those of you who am wondering what I'm talking about, rose quartz and serenity are Pantone's Colours of the Year (you can read about my first impressions here). Yes, that doesn't necessarily mean anything, and yes, they're not necessarily my cup of tea by themselves - and yes, who do Pantone think they are, telling us just what colours we have to focus on for a whole year? All true, I agree. 

But, and this is the thing for me, selecting colour(s) of the year (this is the first time that Pantone have selected more than one shade as their stand out colour of the year) present me and other designers with a challenge. As I said in my previous RQ/S post, my jewellery isn't fashion-led. I prefer quirky, earthy, bohemian stylings that will last a lifetime - after all, if you're investing in a piece of narrative art jewellery, then you don't want to feel you can't wear it a couple of months after purchase, do you? And so instead, I see Pantone's selection as a challenge - they're throwing down the colour gauntlet and it's my decision whether to take it up or not, within my jewellery! And in this new necklace, Meadow Sweet, I have taken up that gauntlet and wrestled it into Songbead shape. 

Meadow Sweet

Since my last RQ/S blog post, I've added to and expanded my Pinterest RQ/S board - check it out here. I found that I was continually drawn to images that didn't really focus on these two sweet shades by themselves, but instead fully incorporated them into fuller palettes - palettes that contained mint julep green, lemon yellow, coral peach, soft beige and often (and perhaps surprisingly), black. (Top colour tip - black is an excellent foil to pastels, and really takes the sometimes saccharine edge off them). In Meadow Sweet, I've taken RQ and S, added some deep lilac, pale aqua and delicate turquoise, along with a heavy helping of soft beige. I've added in a touch of a deeper rose-pink, with my own handwoven {song}bead round, up there on the right-hand side. The heart focal I snaffled from Soul Silver is a prime example of why I like adding to the basic colours of the year palette - the bright, verdant green really takes the edge off the overly-sweet (to me) combination of simply pink and blue. It's colourful, fun and the palette seems to have more to say than RQ/S alone.

I am also, of course, noticing these two colours together everywhere at the moment. I'm sure it's simply because they're in my consciousness, but I think they may be a tad in others' consciousnesses too. Perhaps not the exact shades of Rose Quartz and Serenity, but lots of pastel pinks and blues in combination - and of course, the mid-lilac shade they create when layered together, as seen in the lampwork tab of Meadow Sweet:

For me though, the colours definitely need a splash of something cooler - mint, turquoise, aqua. Something that brings something a little different to the colour table. Here's an example of one of my pinned images that really inspired me in creating Meadow Sweet:

Sure, the palette at the bottom makes Serenity blue a little scarce, but look at the top two left-hand images - it's there alright. This is more like it for me! 

And for me, that's what responding to Pantone is all about - taking something; a colour palette, an idea, a work of art, an artisan bead - and making it my own. Transforming it into a story that feels like it comes from me, rather than simply lifted from elsewhere. Hopefully with Meadow Sweet, that's something I've achieved. 

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