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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Polymer Clay, Color and Maggie Maggio

Where's the Yellow?
I am a member of the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild (PAPCG). In August the Guild held a class with Maggie Maggio, co-author of the book Polymer Clay Color Inspirations. Maggie studies color and believes polymer clay is the best medium for exploring color.
    For the class we were asked to bring color clippings we cut from magazines.  First Maggie had us sort through our clippings, pull the colors we liked and put aside the rest. Then we created a collage of our liked colors based on value. Maggie showed us it is possible to make any color from three primary colors plus black and white. Using Premo the primaries we used were cobalt blue, zinc yellow and magenta.  We chose 4 or 5 colors from our collages and mixed clay to match.  From our mixes we made a skinner blend which we stretch to almost transparency. My skinner blend was made of the rainbow colors of yellow, orange, red, purple and dark purple.  Maggie had each of us lay our blends on top of black and white striped canes. Then we stretched it all again. Making long snakes with our striped blends we formed them into split rings to create split ring bracelets.  Although my skinner blend had shades of yellow and orange when you look at my bracelet you will see greens. What I discovered thanks to Maggie is that in the polymer clay world, when you add yellow to black you get green. Surprise! Black is really a blue. Who wudda thunk? I didn’t know.
    Although I left the class with a really cool bracelet, my real take away was in my head not on my wrist. I learned that before I start a new project I need to take the time to consider the colors I think I want use, mix and experiment with them first to determine how they work together and move forward from there. Maggie encouraged us to play with color. So the next time I’m just in the mood to smash around with clay with no real objective in mind it’s OK. I know now to make note of the new colors I’ve created in the process and not only have I relieved some stress, I’ve done color studies. Thanks Maggie!

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