Color theory is an essential part of everyday life and art forms. It is the visible spectrum and is a useful tool for the artist. Color can sway thinking, evoke actions, and cause reactions. It is an integral part of communication.
Factoid 1. Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Colors
Colors are divided into primary, secondary, and tertiary. All of these colors are present in nature. However, the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) combine to make all the other colors. They are the roots of all the colors. Secondary colors are orange, purple, and green. Directly combining primary colors form the secondary colors. Then, the tertiary colors are a combination of primary with secondary colors, like red-orange or blue-green.
Factoid 2. The Color Wheel
Very often, artists use a color wheel to help with their selection. The color wheel displays the relationships between colors.
The way that colors contrast with each other is called analogous and complementary. Colors proximal to each other on the wheel are called analogous colors and are similar in tone. Those colors which are opposite each other are called complementary. When complementary colors are next to each other, they create dissonance or flicker. The noise occurs because our brains cannot discern which color is coming towards us and which color is moving away.
The color wheel also helps us understand the concept of color temperature. Half of the wheel represents warm colors (red, orange, yellow), and half is cool tones (blue, green, purples).
Factoid 3. Color Theory
Color theory is the science and art of using color. The two approaches (Pigment vs. Light) depend on whether the colors absorb or reflect light. The effects of mixing colors are different in light versus pigments. Pigment color theory is based on a subtractive method, so that white represents the absence of color. The light theory is an additive process where white represents the presence of all colors.
In glass, color is created by adding metal oxides, just like the formation of gemstones and petrified wood in nature. Color is applied to the clear molten glass when making a piece of blown glass. Color can be applied using frit (glass shards) that come in a variety of sizes. It also is implemented as an overlay using a piece of color bar. There are various other color application options, including the use of cane and murrini that you make in the studio.
If you put two transparent colors on top of one another in glass, you may not get what you expect. This is similar to the combination of paint pigments. The mixture may form a muddy color. To keep this from happening in glass, you can separate the colors with a coat of clear. This does not occur with the layering of opaque colors because of the lack of light penetration.
Another attribute is that some colors change color while you work with them. They may strike with heat or reduce under a flame, forming exciting combinations. The last aspect specific to glass is the ability for a color to change due to a reaction with another color. Sulfur-based colors react with copper-based colors forming a third color, which you may or may not like. So this is important to consider when you are selecting the color scheme for your piece.
In the Studio
In our studio, we predominantly use Kugler Color from Germany. We have over 100 available colors. We have blown color samples into globes to show customers what the color looks like blown out.
What does this mean to you?
Glassblowing Experiences and Workshops
If you are creating glass in our studio, you will pick your form and then select two colors to add to the piece. Some of our colored globes are mixes, which means they already have several colors included. When you choose one of these, it just counts as one color.
For custom pieces, we can make your desired form in the color application that you select. You might make this selection based on the decor of your room or an accent color that you want to bring in for a focal point. We have a design process that we use to ensure that our customers get just what they want!
Circle of Life Glass
We can memorialize Births or Birthday Celebrations with a Birthday ornament custom made in one of our three specialty shapes. The ornament is made using the birthstone color for the recipient’s birth month with the form selected.
For wedding celebrations where you want to make a Unity piece, you might use your wedding colors or perhaps choose the bride and groom’s favorites. These color crystals will pore together in the ceremony, and then if desired, we can make a piece for you to commemorate this moment of your life!
Want to have a piece of Remembrance Glass? We can swirl the cremains of your loved one or pet in a beautifully made glass orb for you. Pick the colors, and we will add the cremains with some dichroic glass to give a lovely ethereal effect.
Whatever you do, do it in Color!
Stay safe and have fun!
Enriching lives through artistic self-expression.