We’re All Ears: Pantone 2016

Winter tree silhouette by sunset

A midwinter sunset in Pantone’s “rose quartz” and “serenity.” I took this picture on my way home from work a few days before the reveal date for this challenge.

The inspiration for this month’s We’re All Ears earring design challenge was the Pantone 2016 color forecast. This year Pantone announced a pair of “colors of the year” rather than a single color.  That pair is a pastel pink called “Rose Quartz” and a pastel blue called “Serenity.”  Our hostess challenged us to design earrings inspired by these colors or the rest of the spring palette.

The rest of Pantone’s 2016 color palette is a bit of a mixed bag, with a few more pastels and a handful of brights. I’m not sure what I think of the collection overall. However, when I look at the images on their website of the pink and blue interacting, it reminds me of early sunset.  The light is just beginning to fade, the blues are becoming less saturated, and there’s a wash of pale pinks beginning to blend with the blues, creating hints of purple.

For my earrings I decided to see if I could make “baby pink and light blue sophisticated and fresh and fit for more than a baby shower …” as our hostess put it.

My first thought was to use polymer clay.  Because polymer clay pigments combine in much the same way as artists’ pigments, it is possible to use the Pantone color standards as a sort of recipe for blending custom colors of clay. That takes a bit of trial and error, and a little knowledge of color theory. And a bit more patience than I typically possess when creating.

Then I remembered I recently bought the newest tutorial from The Blue Bottle Tree and haven’t had a chance to play with it.  It’s called Opulent Tapestry and uses silk screens and alcohol inks to create decorated sheets.  And I happen to have light pink and light blue alcohol inks.

Silk screened sheet of polymer clay

This is the sheet of silk screened polymer clay I made for my earrings. The pink and blue alcohol inks weren’t an exact match to the Pantone colors. But I can honestly say this was inspired by them.

As it turned out, the inks I have are not a great match for Pantone’s shades of pink and blue. My blue has a bit more green in it, and my pink is a bit more on the peach side. However, these shades will coordinate nicely with Rose Quartz and Serenity. So I proceeded to cut out shapes, cure the clay, and create some earrings.

Large silkscreen discs earrings

I paired my round and domed silk screen focals with Czech glass flower dangles in coordinating shades of pink and blue. They hang on sterling silver wires. The “bumps” you can see on the discs are from where I touched the tip of the alcohol ink bottle to the clay. That’s what happens when you don’t wear your reading glasses in the studio.

Feeling less than impressed with my first attempt at silk screening (I will play more and get better), I hatched a plan B. Since one of the colors is called Rose Quartz, and there is a gemstone of the same name, I naturally had to use said gemstone in a pair of earrings. There is also a light blue gemstone that is a very close match to Serenity, called blue lace agate.

Pink Blue gemstone dangle earrings

These asymmetric earrings have rose quartz diamond-shaped beads and blue lace agate nuggets. I warmed them up with brass beads and wires.

Often when making earring dangles I try various combinations and orders of beads on a head pin or bit of scrap wire. I couldn’t decide which configuration I liked best for these so I made them asymmetric.  I could have put them on sterling silver wires, like the first pair. Instead, I decided to try to warm up these pastel hues with some antiqued brass beads, bead caps and wires.

I don’t know if I managed “sophisticated and fresh” with these earring designs. But I certainly did have fun with the inspiration.  Many thanks to our hostess, Erin Prais-Hintz. Be sure to hop over to the Earrings Everyday blog to see how Erin interpreted this challenge, and to visit the links from other participating designers.

14 thoughts on “We’re All Ears: Pantone 2016

  1. Kathy Lindemer

    Your dome earrings are beautiful. Congrats on trying a new technique. Thanks for posting info about The Blue Bottle Tree. I didn’t know about it and it will be of help to me.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Kathy. I think you’ll love The Blue Bottle Tree: lots of great information about polymer clay.

  2. Debbie Flaherty

    I love the silk screen pair 🙂 Thanks for all the info about the Pantone 2016 colors and I’ll look forward to seeing some of your new creations using these two colors. Happy Valentine’s Day a little early 🙂

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks, Debbie. Even though I don’t follow fashion in depth, I always like to know what the Pantone Color of the Year is. Because then I know how easy, or difficult, it will be to find clothes I like in the stores. 😉

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Alice. It’s always fun to try new techniques, even when the results don’t turn out as planned.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Terri. One reason I love semi-precious gemstones so much is all the color variety they offer.

  3. Marybeth

    I am very impressed with your first attempt at silk screening. Thank you for sharing that with us! I love how you went asymmetrical with the second pair, it tends to allow the two colors to blend too. Your photograph is beautiful!

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks, Marybeth. My first time silk screening went as well as it did thanks to the great info in the tutorial I used. It really doesn’t leave out anything you need or might want to know.

  4. Erin Prais-Hintz

    I really love that first pair. I will have to try my silk screens with alcohol inks. That never occurred to me. I do love the tutorials from Blue Bottle Tree. Always so well thought out and innovative! I am still struggling with this spring color palette. None of my colors were truly the rose quartz or serenity, but the spirit was there! Thanks for playing along with me in the We’re All Ears challenge on Earrings Everyday. Check back on Feb 5th for our next inspiration! Enjoy the day! Erin

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks, Erin. And yes, Ginger’s tutorials are always awesome. I would sign up to buy the next one even without knowing the topic. Looking forward to the February theme.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Sarajo. Even though the colors weren’t what I planned, I do like the end result.

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