Thursday, March 5, 2015

Copy Rights vs Ethics vs Originality

It's an ongoing discussion in the groups I belong to on FB that revolve around the ethics of using the same techniques. One discussion that stands out in my mind was very civil, everyone held strong opinions but remained calm and rational, it was REALLY a nice discussion, rare for this topic. A recent discussion reminded me of it and I thought I might take a moment to talk about it here.

At the heart of the discussion was a question about building a sellable product line. In noticing the products of other artisans in this persons home town she began to wonder if she was missing the boat in her own product line and posed the question should she add this technique to her line, and if she did, was it in fact ethical to do so.

The general consensus as always was: don’t copy the other artists work but develop your line within your style and if this technique works use it.  Some people though, felt very strongly that even using the technique was an ethical violation. To use the technique was the equivalent of copying.

That stance really got the gears grinding and it made me wonder just where do we draw the line as to mine mine mine. 



I’ve been copied, it hurts, I would never recommend you copy another artists work solely to build your sales.

Technique however, is not copy rightable. How you use that technique, as it relates to design, is. If I use my own handwriting in a design, the hand written aspect is technique, but the font, the way it is used, is design. Does that mean if I use handwriting in one of my designs, you shouldn’t? No I don’t think the idea of a written design is novel, but my personal hand writing is. It is so novel the courts preside over forgery cases. Je t’aime written across a pendant, not original enough to claim copy right. Je t’aime with a rose and a crystal and hand written in my personal font is. 

If you want to make a pendant that says Ti amo in your handwriting using a daisy and a pearl, go for it. While I may know exactly where you got the idea, you took it in your own direction. Italian vs French, different flower, different stone, different writing. I have absolutely no right to get mad because you used hand writing…….. the rest is still considered derivative. You changed enough to be legal but not enough that the influence isn’t recognizable. See what I mean?  I can gripe about the design if I want to but have no leg to stand on if the only thing I’m mad about is the handwriting.

However, if you hand engrave Ti amo in your handwriting across a bracelet bar,  that’s all yours. I have no rights to be angry, and you have a new product in your line.

The stance that two jewelers can’t use the same techniques without violating ethics is terribly flawed. 
First:
ethical |ˈeTHikəl| adjective
of or relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these
• morally good or correct
• avoiding activities or organizations that do harm to people or the environment

I live in a small town. SMALL less than 1000 people small town. I know of three other people that make jewelry. If I string am I being unethical? No

If they wire wrap are they being unethical? No

If they see that I use leather and hand made chain for my pendants, and they decide to use leather and hand made chain are they being unethical? No

If they see my dragon and make an exact replica? Yes highly unethical and is also copy right infringement.


Secondly:
If it is unethical to use a technique that another jeweler is already using, we are ALL in a world of trouble. Not one of us uses a technique that no one else has ever used or isn’t using as I type this. I’m pretty sure most of us are using these techniques without any thoughts of malice.

Third: 
As I wrote above I explained exactly how two artists can use the same technique without undermining each other.

Fourth:
Peoples tastes are vastly varied making room for many artists using different, similar and even the same techniques…… bezel set stones anyone?

Life’s too short not to learn new and fun things, it’s too short to spend it angry or worried that someone else might want to make beautiful things. Can there really ever be too many beautiful things in the world?

Go forth, make beautiful things!
I’ll be here, making some of my own.
Thanks for stoppin by!
We’ll see ya next time!
Dana


PS This was a blog topic I had tucked away for later use. The bones of it were written months ago and I freshened the writing a little.  I currently do not have any jewelry like this in my product line, it is just an example pulled from thin air. Although I do know people who have similar pieces in their lines now, this was written before I had knowledge of it and in no way means I think they copied anyone - just great minds and all that good stuff.

Friday, February 20, 2015

B'Sue's Build a Line Hop 2 of 3



Gung hay fat choi! How auspicious our hop lands during Chinese New Year! This is the year of the Wood Sheep or Goat. The Sheep is kind, tender and sympathetic.  Sheeps are creative and elegant. Because of their softer side, they are symbolic of peace and harmony and beauty. We have been considering our lines, creating them and soon we will be revealing them. Sure then, to be beautiful every one of them.

I have loved making my original works, generally making the entire piece with very little purchased components at all. I have quite prided my self on that, the ability to take just wire, metal and fire to create some wearable piece of art. Wearable art, a small piece of beauty but only a single piece, and most often priced out of impulse range. Wearable art for many of us has to be budgeted. If you love my work I want you to be able to own my work. See it, Love it, Buy it!  This at times necessitates a lower price line.

I have tried to create lower price points for my shop, but the harder I tried to create that price point the less my shop looked like my shop. While it did bring sales, It lacked the cohesion I had hoped it would bring. Focusing on photos and trying to create a unified photography style helped, but my shop still lacked that little something that just pulled the whole thing together.

The prideful part of me stands here tall and proud and thinks but being a hand crafted artisan is what we were striving to be. OOAK works, pride said, would make us stand out. That pride has gotten in the way of creating cohesion in my shop along many price points. At times, pride told me it seems too easy, it feels as if I am cheating, playing with these beautiful pre-made components of B’Sues and not making them myself.

The artist in me slaps pride and leans close to my muse whispering there is artistry in all of what we make and isn’t it going to be so nice that any one who would like to own a piece of my art, my heart, may be able to do so?

wind dancer studios, sneak peek, new line, new collection
Necklace from Muchas Champagne collection paired with stacking rings
and stacked copper bracelets already available in my shop.
It is important to me my new line creates cohesion with existing pieces.


Sharing that little piece of myself has always been the point. The way these designs complement my existing works, creating a full range of price points is a thing of beauty in itself, and instills such a sense of accomplishment. I think the artist and I will be hanging out more often, she makes sense :)

wind dancer studios, sneak peek, new line, new collection
Sneak peek: Red Heart filigree ring with pieces from Mucha's Nature and Music Collections
It was just as important to me that the collections be able to mix & match with each other as well.
Heart ring is another existing piece in my shop.


It is that desire to share my art that makes it so exciting to see the pieces in my shop fall into place as I create this line and these collections. It is incredibly freeing to think I can finally get back to the art of creating beauty in as complex or simple as I like. To be entirely hand made by me or artfully crafted by my hands. I look forward to completing this line and taking my work to the next level. This is where I’ve been headed all along, what I have been striving for and I can finally see it coming together. I love that! All I really needed it seems was that little nudge Brenda and her Build a Line challenge/Master Class has given me.

wind dancer studios, sneak peek, new line, new collection


Oh I’ll still visit with Pride every so often. I mean who doesn’t like making little pieces of art? But now we’ll have a design path to where we’d like to take this art. How incredibly freeing this new found path has been!

Til Next time!
Dana

Please join me in hopping with the rest of our designers on this our second hop...
I hear there are lots more sneak peeks to be had!

Our Hostess
Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques
Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino
Aurora Designs

Jann Tague
Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King
Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford
Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott
Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson
Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten
Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit
Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck
VRBrose

Michaele Collie
The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig
Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman
Strega Jewelry

Erin Whitacre
Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady
MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West
Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson
Howling Dog Jewelry   

Leila Belcher
Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen
Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger
Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams
Paisley Lizard

Lynda O'Mara
LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth
MadScientistsDesigns

~*~*~*~*YOU ARE HERE!!~*~*~*~*
Dana Hickey  waves HI!!
Wind Dancer Studios

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Janet Calardo
Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark
Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman
B. Accessorized

Jennifer Kroeger
Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen
Hoarder's Corner

Robin Reed
Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson
Lilis Gems

Louise O'Shields
Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam
Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis
The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico
Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman
Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le
Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters
Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider
Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett
Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson
From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton
Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman
The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter
TreeZ's Treasurs

Melissa Latimer
Smithed Up

Renee Hong
Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris
Moondance Jewelry

Lori Meyer
Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams
Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier
Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen
Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams
Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens
1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller
Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard
Mama San's Mojo

Coral Law
ab:coraldesign

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

We Pause for a Moment to Bring You.....

silence.

wind dancer studios, hand woven wire ribbon heart
Year of Jewelry Week 7
For My Love


Seriously, I've been in a work frenzy. Making left and right, working on Year of Jewelry and the Build a Line simultaneously I was going at a pretty good clip. But the mess it was creating on my desk crossed over the line from inspiring to debilitating and it all came to a screeching halt! um I don't like it when that happens, at all.

I cleaned some, and then made some, and then silence.

I have plenty of in progress pieces that don't need much to finish so it shouldn't take long to get the mojo moving again, that's why I work on several at once. It's easy to always have some unfinished to get things moving along again but I sure don't like the silence while waiting.

Speaking of waiting! Blog Hop Two of Three is this weekend! BSue's Build a Line Challenge... we'll be talking about lessons learned along the way, maybe a sneak peek or two of what we've been building ...... I'm looking forward to it! Needless to say next weeks post will be a little early :)

We'll See you this weekend!

Dana

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Difficulties of Pricing your Work or Time is Money

amethyst rain drop earrings, wind dancer studios
Amethyst Rain Drops
Year of Jewelry Week 6 Amethyst
$48.oo



I've been self employed pretty much my entire adult life.

Pricing work in some areas is easier than others.

Take for instance our construction business. You factor in all costs for the year, payments, insurance, fuel costs, utilities, rent/mortage, repairs etc etc. Then you estimate the number of working days in a year. Weather factors in here, below freezing temps, melt your brain temps, freezing rain etc etc you just can't work in some of that, some for only a short time. Then you figure the hours in an average work day and divide your expenses by your workable hours and factor in a percentage for profit (kids might need braces, you might want to go out to eat on occasion, you definitely need clothing and food) and tada! there's your price. Piece of cake.

Jewelry isn't so easy. It should be but it isn't. A lot of artists just don't seem to see the business side of it, it's all emotion there. The formulas for pricing are abundant and there seems to be one for every personality out there. Most aren't bad at all and will give you approximately the same price within a couple dollars, just different ways of going about it.

The one piece of advice I see floating around that REALLY bothers me is don't factor in your time. My major in college was business management, people time IS a factor in cost, see above. Your time HAS VALUE. Even if you work in gold and diamonds the worth of your jewelry isn't just the sum of its parts, the worth comes of you. It comes of your time and knowledge in putting those parts together in a way that someone else thinks is beautiful. Someone who loves it and wants it as their own. Should you ever become busy enough to need help I can guarantee they aren't going to work for free.

Even the popular materials only pricing takes into consideration the cost of time when explained fully.
Materials x 5
once for the cost of materials
once for replacement of materials
once for your time
once for overhead
once for profit

That formula doesn't work so well when you're recycling or reusing but it works fine for silver or gold etc as it does take into consideration the full spectrum of your costs. When applied to several of my own pieces it came close enough to my prices I felt comfortable discussing it here.

One more thing, you know I owned a B&M once upon a time and half a country away, when I bought wholesale pieces for retail I didn't ask what the hourly wage was so I wouldn't multiply that number. I just doubled or tripled MY cost and that includes your hourly wage. Think about that.

Then there comes the issue of comparisons. Don't base your prices on others. I agree to a point.  You don't know if they're purchasing their materials at retail or at wholesale, you don't know what hourly wage they're charging or IF they're charging at all.

However, I absolutely believe in market comparisons. The power of the Perception of Value is potent. Jewelry is a luxury item, it is a fashion accessory. You want to be seen as elegant, or trendy, maybe even cutting edge, but you DO NOT want to be seen as bargain basement leftovers, wear today, throw away tomorrow. I suppose there are always exceptions but I am NOT one of them!

I don't willy nilly compare prices. I look for shops that are selling well and are selling items that are of a similar quality and style to mine. I look at the average pricing for simple, for elaborate, glass, gemstone and if I'm in the ballpark with my pricing I leave it as is. If I'm very high, I look closer at the materials gold filled and gold plate are not the same thing. Imitation gemstones don't price the same as the real deal. If I'm very low, I do the same. If it appears all else is equal I may adjust my price upwards or downwards as warranted. If I am secure in my price, knowing all is as it should be I leave it be.

Here's the kicker, I have very RARELY if ever lowered a price after this type of market comparison. I have however raised my prices on numerous occasions. Have my sales suffered? No they've increased. Is it because I raised my prices? I don't think it hurt, but to be fair it's probably just as equally important that I'm becoming recognized as an established fixture and not a flash in the pan here today and gone tomorrow. Online sales require more faith from your buyer than in person sales do. They want to know you're a real person and if they have a problem you'll be there to help. If they have family or friends that just have to have one too that their recommendation of you won't haunt them. Perception of Value increases with longevity as well.

 Whatever formula you decide to use, make sure you are fair to yourself. EVEN if you're just a hobbyist looking to make what you love self supporting, or just having fun at it. If you happen to become the new IT, you'll thank me for making sure you have a working/living wage.

I worked the price backwards from one of Etsy's IT designers once, she had burned out and was considering closing up shop. She had made a lot of money but still had only paid herself 50 cents an hour per piece. Granted she had a very streamlined production process and could make quite a few in an hour her total wages for the amount of work was only $9 an hour. Less than minimum wage in her home state.

Don't confuse volume of work with volume by sales. She could make much more than she sold in volume, however you can only earn by what you sell. Those are the numbers I worked from, what she had sold.

She ended up selling her shop and the new owner raised the prices by $1 effectively doubling her wages and she hired a helper. That shop is still humming along in the top sellers list. Proving a living wage will not cripple your prices or your sales.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope I've given you some helpful insight into pricing.
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Little Bit of This A Little Bit of That

I've had the flu so it wasn't until just now that I realized I had no blog post! Yikes! Time to stock up on some posts again, I like having backups for just this kind of occasion.

award winning hand thrown pottery rtistic impressions on Etsy
She WON and Sold it!


News On the Home Front:

This weekend the kiddo was in her first Art Show outside of the University. She almost didn't enter as several of her friends whom she thinks are incredibly talented had entered and she thought she didn't have a chance. Good Mom that I am told her to knock it off, she is talented and she will never know until she tries just how talented she is. Well, kiddo took third! Yup she WON.  Insert Puffed Chest here, I am one Proud Mama! and may I say, the kiddo suddenly feels a little more talented, a lot more like a REAL artist (her words) and quite validated. Oh, the vase she entered also sold! Yup! Her goals for this semester are to make enough money to buy her own kiln, I'd say she's off to a great start!

Oh and on a completely sweet note.... kiddos BFF is getting ready to bring her little man into the world and welcome him into her arms. We're wishing her all the love in the world.

On the Desk:

I've been working away on the Year of Jewelry meeting my weekly deadlines. Some pieces I'm thrilled with, others are a learning experience. so all in all a good thing so far. This last week I doubled up, YoJ theme was squares and my first finished piece for B'Sue's Build a Line just happened to fit the bill. I like this piece a lot. I think it fits well with my existing stock and adds to my line beautifully.

Double Duty Squares and B'Sue Build a Line


speaking of  B'Sues Build a Line:

As you just read I've been working away. Lots of new goodies finding their way into the light of day. I'm excited about this new line. I love the style, I love the lines, I love how well it meshes with my shop and I'm excited for the cohesion and polish I believe it will bring with it. Two months is a long time to wait for unveiling but it gives ME lots of time to fine tune and write wonderful copy to go with.

In the Works:

I think it's time to have some professionally printed cards made up. I've been printing at home as needed and that has worked well but the computers update wasn't compatible with the software and the timing is serendipitous. I'm pretty sure I mentioned I've joined the Artisan Group. I'd like to have memorable cards to go along with that nice cohesive shop. New cards are officially on the To Do list.

Til Next time!
Thanks for stoppin by!


Friday, January 23, 2015

B’Sues Build A Line Hop 1 of 3


Miss Brenda would like us all to introduce ourselves, the lines we have chosen to build and let you our readers get to know us, take a peek into our studios and our processes. The idea of allowing you to peek into my studio…... caused a huge clean up effort on my part!

Wind Dancer's Studio
An Itty Bitty Peek at my Studio

Messy normally means I work well with beads scattered around me, the ideas flow really well when I’m surrounded by them. However, as you may have read I just got my shelves off the cinder blocks and on to the walls and got the first of two cabinets brought in. And well, it’s in a temporary location, with a temporary plywood countertop. If you think a few things have been displaced and are without a proper home, you would be right! Right now messy means I have a few boxes and a couple stacks of stuff needing a proper home. Show the world my mess? Yikes! But if you want to see the new/old cabinet and shelves I might could swing that….grins

brass stamping, build a line,
What's on the Counter Top


If you read my profile you know I’ve been making my whole life. What you may not know is I have always been drawn to the Victorian and Art Nouveau eras of design. While I can be easily inspired by just about anything they remain my biggest influence. I even scoured eBay looking for 1895 Corbin Roanoke back plates for my glass doorknobs when building my house. You've even seen them in my product shots over the years :) Since I absolutely love the flourishes and scroll work of the Art Nouveau era, my thoughts of course,  immediately turned to an Art Nouveau line.

I have several “favorite” artists but for my line I’m drawing inspiration from Alphonse Mucha. His designs are easily seen in many of the brass stampings in use today. In fact several of B'Sues available pieces are of Mucha’s prints or statuary, I absolutely love that and will be using them as I work. These brass pieces are from Mucha's series The Arts, There are four in the series, these two represent Poetry and Music. I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to showcase them or if they’ll be the focus of my Blog Hop line but at some point they will be incorporated.

Mucha Stampings and other stuffs
Mucha The Arts: Poetry
Mucha The Arts: Music




Other Mucha pieces that I am focusing on at the moment include the bust of Nature: I already have the start of a parure designed around her. I have to double check some copy right issues first, I may end up with a demi but I’m ok with that.



I so love these ads for Moet & Chandon and Theophile Roederer Champagnes. Aren’t the colors wonderful!? I think the pinks would be absolutely beautiful with this years Marsala, as would the earthy tones.



and this calendar page, an ad for Mexican Chocolate. Is he not beautiful? Look at his jewelry, so in style right now, stacks of bracelets, coiled arm band and gorgeous necklace.



Honestly I could build lines from here to eternity based on Mucha’s works. There is so much inspiration to draw from, from the floral motifs to the colors, even the overall themes of his series. What’s even better is how well it fits with my current OOAK work. Perfect production pieces to add an overall cohesiveness to my shop. Exactly what I needed.

The biggest challenge I face is keeping the lines simple and easily reproducible. I see the components and want so much to layer and embellish and just play. I’ve always said it’s an art to keep designs clean, and I’m sure as I go along I’ll be practicing the fine art of taking away quite often.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your stay with me during our hop and I really look forward to seeing you again as I bring my Mucha Lines from concept into reality.

I'd like to invite you now to join me in hopping around to the other designers in our Build a Line Blog Hop to see what they've been up to.

The Rest of the Hop

Our Hostess
Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques
Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino
Aurora Designs

Jann Tague
Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King
Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford
Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott
Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson
Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten
Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit
Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck
VRBrose

Michaele Collie
The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig
Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman
Strega Jewelry

Erin Whitacre
Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady
MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West
Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson
Howling Dog Jewelry    < old bloghttps://howlingdogjewelry.wordpress.com/ 

Leila Belcher
Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen
Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger
Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams
Paisley Lizard

Lynda O'Mara
LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth
MadScientistsDesigns

~*~*~*~*YOU ARE HERE!!~*~*~*~*
Dana Hickey
Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo
Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark
Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman
B. Accessorized

Jennifer Kroeger
Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen
Hoarder's Corner

Robin Reed
Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson
Lilis Gems

Louise O'Shields
Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam
Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis
The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico
Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman
Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le
Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters
Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider
Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett
Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson
From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton
Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman
The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter
TreeZ's Treasurs

Melissa Latimer
Smithed Up

Renee Hong
Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris
Moondance Jewelry

Lori Meyer
Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams
Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier
Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen
Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams
Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens
1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller
Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard
Mama San's Mojo

Coral Law
ab:coraldesign

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pantone and it's Ever Changing Color of the Year

http://www.pantone.com/pages/index.aspx?pg=21163&
Pantone's Marsala


Personally I think quite a few jewelry designers think too literally when it comes to Pantone. 

You hear it every year, who are they to tell me what color to use!?

 It's a report, Pantone is telling you what is headed to the stores......
 the clothing stores, the furniture stores, the Bed and Bath stores, the Bead stores, everything we buy that is designed is taken into consideration. 

These are the prominent colors being used by designers all over the world. 

The colors always overlap with previous seasons and future colors being used. 

Whether or not you pay close attention should be based on who your target market is. If she is a fiercely independent woman with her own ideas, do whatever you want. 

If she's fashionista, you'd better pay attention. She's looking for pieces that will look good with her new outfit AND last seasons favorites as well as being able to blend with next season. 

Does that mean you HAVE to use Marsala? 

No

It means you should use colors that look good with it. You should ALWAYS use colors that LOOK GOOD with other colors, ALWAYS!

Here's a little article I wrote for Jewelry Lessons way back in 2008 it's still VERY relevent.

http://realcolorwheel.com/colorwheel.htm
My Favorite Color Wheel from Real Color Wheel



How many times have you heard “I never would have thought to combine THOSE colors!”? Or “I can’t believe how good that looks with copper!”? Or my favorite :You can’t use those colors together, they’ll clash.


The truth is you can combine colors in any way you choose - making them a pleasure to behold is a little trickier and where this article is headed.


There are books you can buy but to fill up the pages they’ll talk about reflectivity, prisms, and bending light - we’re going to stick to the basics and how they apply to us.


All colors are made up of three primary colors red, yellow and blue. We all learned this at a young age, remember finger painting?


Mixing those primary colors creates secondary colors.
Red + blue = purple(violet)
blue + yellow = green
yellow + red = orange


When mixing the primary colors to get secondary colors you probably noticed that if you add more of one color than the other you’ll get Tertiary colors- those shades in between each primary color and it’s corresponding secondary color Ie yellow, yellow-green, green, blue -green, blue, blue-violet , purple (violet), red-violet, red, red-orange, orange, yellow orange and back to yellow again.


Notice brown is not on our wheel of color- that’s because it is a neutral and made of ALL three primary colors. You’ll also notice white and black are not on the wheel. White is considered an absence of color, adding it to any shade makes it paler. Black as we all know does the opposite, making the color deeper and darker until it too shows no color.


OK so now we’ve all relived our Kindergarten finger painting days and should have smiles on our faces, but what does this have to do with choosing colors? Well, keep reading, we’re getting there!


Complementary colors, are those colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel. They complement each other. Blue and orange, red and green, yellow and violet (purple) It doesn’t matter how you spin the wheel if the color is directly opposite it will complement the other.


Family groupings. Any color within a family grouping can be used with another color of the same grouping.


Cool family of color groupings are those colors associated with water and ice or a stormy wintry day, mainly blues and greens, blue gray, gray, blue green and blue violet.


Warm family of color groupings are those colors associated with fire, reds, yellows and oranges.


Neighbor groupings - Any color that is next to another color on the wheel can be used in combination with that color. Red always goes well with blue and any shade of purple between the two. Red is also perfectly happy with yellow and any shade of orange. See where I’m going here. Blue also works just fine with yellow and any shade of green.


Monochromatic families- a single color but includes any shade of that color from the palest pastel to the deepest jewel tone.


Pastel family groupings are the basic color wheel lightened to a soft hue.


Jewel tone family groupings are again the color wheel deepened in intensity.


Now remember I said any color could be used with another. Here’s the trick to doing so - it just has to be of the same family grouping, or tonal value.
Meaning the intensity of the color has to be the same. Whether it’s a jewel tone or a pastel or any value of dark or light in between, if their intensity is the same they’ll work well together as they belong to the same family grouping!


I mentioned copper at the beginning and well it’s simple really, copper has a red base color and it tarnishes down to brown. Brown being neutral goes with any color! And of course red likes blue or yellow and any color in between and it’s complementary color is green! So really, why wouldn’t that color look great with copper?


And yes it works for the more upscale metals too. Yellow Gold obviously has a yellow base, goes well with red or blue and and all those in between and it’s complementary color is purple. Silver has a blue base, yup you’ve got it! Goes well with red or yellow and all the colors in between and it complementary color is orange! So even our metals have the primary colors covered :o)

For a fun interactive color  site where you can play with complementary color combinations, monochromatic colors or any number of combinations go here:


http://www.colorschemedesigner.com/


Click on any color and whether you want monochromatic or multiple colors.


If you’re still unsure or a little afraid here’s another tip. Go down to your local home improvement store or the paint store and buy their full spectrum color swatch. You’ve seen the home decorating shows where the designers use them when showing what colors they chose to go with what fabric.- they go from lightest to darkest of every color. It’s your very own tonal value chart and they even come out with a mini version for the fashion trend colors every year!

Marsala is RED, see above copper reference.   Now that you've read a little on color theory look at Pantone's Marsala photo up top again. See the neighbors and the complements? 

Don't be afraid of color, explore it, revel in it!

Til next time!

OH! BTW next weeks post will be early!! It's Part ONE of the Build a Line Hop!!
See ya then!