International Colour Day Crystallography

International Colour Day 21st March - ANSTO-1 To celebrate the fifth International Day of Colour and Light on March 21st, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology (ANSTO) assigned crystal structures to the colors of Newton’s spectrum. The banner graphically represents the structures that were selected to represent each color. Check out the ANSTO site to see why they were chosen. Fascinating choices – especially the GFP’s!

International Colour Day 21st March - ANSTO-2



Red – Oxygen
International Colour Day 21st March - ANSTO-3





Orange – Crocite
International Colour Day 21st March - ANSTO-4





Yellow- Sulfur
International Colour Day 21st March - ANSTO-9






Green- Green Fluorescent Proteins

International Colour Day 21st March - ANSTO-6





Blue- Azurite

International Colour Day 21st March - ANSTO-7





Indigo- Maya Blue
(Palagorskite and Anil)


International Colour Day 21st March - ANSTO-8



Violet –  Tyrian Purple


Link: ANSTO Crystal Stuctures for International Colour  Day

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Integrated Color Study: RGB + CMY

rgb color maps - Google Search-3

Microsoft Word Custom Color Picker

There are a gazillion color picker sites out there that allow you to manipulate the amounts of RGB (Red, Green and Blue) light to find the color you want.

You can even play with color in Word.  Just make a text box and fill it with a custom color. Be sure to print the pages to see how much difference there is between the color of light on your computer screen and the color of the inks from the printer.

The evolution of color picking systems means that there are all kinds of ways to pick the color you want and get the RGB/ hex, HSL/ HSV or CMY/CMYk codes. New apps are showing up all the time. Just do a Google image search to see a slew of pickers!

Google Chrome-1


Picking a color is one thing, knowing how to shift that color is another. Understanding that the two systems work in opposite ways is a useful bit of information. I recently found a fun color mixer site right here in my front yard.

OMSI - Explore Technology-5The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has two interactive pages for playing with color in both RGB and CMY. 

The first screen allows you to play with color mixing in light by sliding the percentage of Red, Green and Blue – the resulting color shows up in center of the overlapping colors and on the light meter.

OMSI - Explore Technology-4 To switch to the CMY system you just click on the paint brush at the bottom of the screen. The sliders on the paint tubes adjust the amount of Cyan, Magenta and Yellow to make the color in the center and at the end of the paint brush.

Hint: In the RGB system the third primary adds light. In the paint system, the third primary subtracts light.

I’ve been working on ways to show how the additive and subtractive systems are interconnected so I opened another browser to be able to line up both mixers next to each other. I mixed an Olive by “squeezing” the paint tubes and then tried to match it in light.  Here’s the result.

OMSI - Explore Technology-3

Its hard to visually isolate the colors so I would love to see the addition of  hex codes for each side. Since that’s not available, I compared the two colors in Photoshop. The RGB for the light meter color was 94, 82, 0. The right side’s paintbrush was loaded with 123, 99, 0. In hex they were #5e5200 on the left and #7b6300 on the right. Pretty close!

The Exploratorium in San Francisco has lots of crazy fun ways to play with color on the computer – but as far as I can tell they don’t have a game similar to the OMSI color mixers.

As I start to teach the two systems side-by-side, I would love to know of other sites that have interactive color mixing for both the additive and subtractive systems.  An extra bonus would include partitive mixing, maybe with spinning disks on the end of a drill!

A big thank you to David Briggs for reminding me about the mixers on his site Dimensions of Color. 

Ideal Subtractive Primaries
Additive Mixtures

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Mark Making Workshop at the IPCA Retreat


The Nature of Mark Making: Instinctive Doodling on Polymer Clay
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
One Day Pre-Retreat Workshop
Dublin, Ohio
Cost: $85 (includes all materials & handouts)

Workshop Description

When I first started playing with the ColorWash technique, I sometimes ended up with large areas of color that felt much too bare. What did I do? I doodled away all the empty spaces. Dots, lines, and patterns filled the voids and transformed a basic bead into a unique and poetic focal bead.

In this fast-paced workshop you will mix customized colors inspired by nature using Maggie’s Mixing Map and then learn the basics of the ColorWash technique as you create a collection of color-washed sheets. The fun comes when you tear and collage the sheets into gorgeous beads.

Everyone has an instinctive doodling style. While your favorite bead is curing you will have time to play with making your personal marks using pen and paper. Then embellish one special bead and learn how to protect your drawing. Demo and instructions on sanding and finishing ColorWashed beads will be provided.

Announcing the 2014 IPCA Retreat - Arches 2014_ Building Clay ConnectionsWorkshop Registration
I’m taking registrations for the pre-retreat workshop through my teaching studio at VIA Artistica in Portland, OR.
Registration by VIA Artistica

IPCA Retreat Information
ARCHES: Building Clay Connections will start on Thursday, August 21st and run through Sunday, August 24th.
Retreat Information.


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The 2014 Flame Challenge: What is Color?

Flame ChallengeHow would you describe color to an 11 year old ?

That is this year’s Flame Challenge from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stoney Brook University on Long Island’s north shore. This is the third year for the contest dedicated to explaining complex science to 5th graders.

Alda challenges scientists to prepare a simple written or visual explanation to answer the question. After checking for scientific accuracy, the answers are sent out to classrooms all over the world for voting.  Each classroom gets five explanations and choses their favorite.  The students then get the chance to vote online for the finalists and participate via videoconference in a Worldwide Assembly to announce the winners.

The first question was “What is a flame?” Last year’s question was “What is time?” You can see the previous winners in both the written and visual categories on the Flame Challenge website.

Would your answer be different if you were addressing an art class instead of a science class? If you are thinking of sending in an answer, the entries are due by March 1st. I might do it just for the chance to meet Alan Alda!

Video of Alan Alda

Flame Challenge Alda

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Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/MCT

The best description I can think of for the team USA outfits? A mashup of a 4th of July picnic and an ugly Christmas sweater party.  But kudos to Ralph Lauren for at least sticking to his Made in USA pledge. The wool came from the Imperial Stock Ranch here in Shaniko, Oregon, was spun in Pennsylvania, dyed in North Carolina, and knitted into those soon to be collectible sweaters in California.

Too bad the news is all about the glitch with the fifth ring. The ceremonies were a feast for the eyes. The architect in me gives the gold medal to the floating onion domes. The techie in me gives another gold medal to the fabulous floor.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the Opening Ceremony.
Let the games begin.

Richard Lauten | Toronto Star

Richard Lauten | Toronto Star

Alberto Pizzoli | AFP

Alberto Pizzoli | AFP

 Jim Young|Reuters

Jim Young|Reuters

Petr David Josek | Germany

Petr David Josek | Germany

Lionel Bonaventure | Getty Images

Lionel Bonaventure | Getty Images

winter-olympics-opening-ceremony-photos.jpg.jpg (950×534)-2

Matt Slocum | AP

Matt Slocum | AP

Marko Djurica | Rueters

Marko Djurica | Rueters


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