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.
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.
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.
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.