Posted by: cassymuronaka | June 1, 2011

Working with one of Van Gogh’s palettes

So I made good on my decision to try and work with one particular color palette of Vincent Van Gogh, that of a sunflower painting to which I was attracted. I spent several days making polymer clay canes, on and off, pretty much sticking to the colors in the painting.

I’m a bit rusty at making my hand-pieced Synchronized Patterns jewelry, which is what I decided to create for this experiment.  You can veer into overdone items with no-contrast very easily when piecing the various canes together for this kind of stuff.  And the more colors that are pulled into the project, the more difficult it becomes to execute.

I’ve done all of that and more, during various attempts at combining hue, shade and contrast in an even balance.

I wear more earrings than any other kind of jewelry, so I tried to focus primarily on making myself some new ear embellishments.  Earrings are tough, though.  They need to match and they can’t get too big.

Pendants are so much easier to make because you can just keep layering and layering until you are happy with the end result.  I suppose you can make these too big as well, but I’ve rarely wandered into breastplate territory.

I wasn’t too crazy about the first pendant I pieced together.  Maybe I was on overload from cane-making.  I couldn’t seem to make myself stop rolling out new ones, and I didn’t like a lot of what I made.  I probably got overwhelmed by my choices and my lack of recent practice.

Eventually I got more into more of a rhythm and things looked a little more balanced.  But, by that time, my tiny little attention span was wandering and I was finally tired of the colors and the focus needed to work with tiny pieces of soft clay.

So I began doodling with the canes and playing around reducing and recombining them until some of them simply went straight to hell and had to be wadded up and confined to the scrap pile.  But others were more successful and I made a couple of new things that weren’t fussy little jewelry items.  I produced one carved “peanut” bead that has some possibilities.

About the time all the colors in the palette started running together for me — late last night — my son wandered in my studio and asked me if I could design some “zombie cake toppers” and a zombie cake for a friend of his who has a June birthday. This gave me a good excuse to wrap up all the “Van Gogh” canes in some plastic wrap and turn my attention towards an equally intriguing project.

I’ll return to the canes when they firm up and I feel like taking a crack at piecing them together again like tiny jigsaw puzzles.



  1. Glad you are posting again

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