Smashing Color

with Maggie Maggio

Launch 1 December 2006

Wendy's LandscapeFor the last twelve years I have been teaching color workshops. I started out teaching traditional color theory to polymer artists. I did what most color books do – I just rehashed the standard stuff. Students struggled and I went back to my studio thinking something is wrong. So I experimented and taught some more. Came home, experimented, and taught some more. I slowly changed what I taught and started calling my workshops “Smashing Color Theory” because so much of traditional theory is incomplete, misleading or just plain wrong. Now I teach what I currently believe really works. And even that keeps changing.

Every time I teach someone asks “When will your book on Smashing Color come out?” I always respond the same way, “I don’t know – I learn something new every time I teach.”

So before writing that book, this blog will be my way of sharing what I learn. I will post a “Color Tutorial” every Monday and tidbits on color once or twice a week. . . information and inspiration.

I plan to have all my exercises, handouts, charts and instructions available for free once they are published on the blog. The catch is . . . they will probably change every time I teach. And I want feedback. What works for you and what doesn’t.

This summer a student accused me of color heresy. I agreed. Some of what I post will be traditional, some of it will be smashing and some of it will be heresy. I hope you have fun with all of it!


  1. A wonderful and creative blog! I have always wanted to attend one of your classes Maggie, and now I can. I have been an admirer of your work for quite awhile. Thank you for your energy to think and study about color theory and to share what you know in a great format!

  2. Hey Maggie, Thank you for this effort. Since the nature of your beast is change I look forward to coming along for the ride! I enjoyed our one-day seminar with you so much that it’s wonderful to know I can continue my education right here and in such an organized, visual way.
    Peg Harper, Mile High PC Guild,

  3. Patti Underwood

    December 9, 2006 at 4:40 am

    I am glad you are doing this! I took your class in Philly this year and there was so much to learn! I need to get back to the hand outs and I will print them out to share with our
    S. Jersey Polyaddicts. This will let me go back over the whole thing and take my time, The watercolor thing you taught us was wonderful, the tearing of the strips that had the black and white on them. I’ll get crayons tommorrow! The smell of them is so great, I always got a new box for Christmas, Thanks again.

        Hi Patti – Just so you are forewarned. . . I change my handouts all the time as I learn something new or decide to try something new. That’s the fun of doing this as a blog. I can keep updating! 


  4. This is great!!

    I was hooked on Diana Crick’s Color school when it came out back in the day. ( It’s still up for people who want to see it.

    Based on my experiences in a wonderful class with you a few years ago, I am really looking forward to seeing where you will go with this.

    Thanks for inviting us to come along.

         Hi Martha – Say hello to the Philly Guild for me. Diana and Diane’s site is a good start for learning traditional theory and very beautifully organized. We will be doing lots of the same exercises but with a twist and no where near so neat and clean. I’m still getting used to blogging so it will be lots of my scribbles scanned and posted.

  5. I’m so happy to see this resource you have begun to set up! Color is something I find very interesting, and I do someday hope to take one of your classes. Until then, I’ll be adding this blog to my rss feeds!

    Much success to you!

  6. Yay Maggie! Perhaps the one thing I regretted after Ravensdale was not taking the color class with you and Lindly Haunani. You two are masters and it is exciting to have the opportunity to learn from you right in my own studio via the WWW!

  7. i’m so glad to see you here! i have been making several color charts on and off for a couple of months. i’m so interested in seeing what you do and how it relates to what i have been doing.

  8. I feel so blessed by your generosity. I have never been able to take any formal classes. I have read nothing but positive things about your teachings on color and also your beautiful work. I look forward to following your blog as you lead us down each avenue of color theory you share with us. Thank you so very much.

  9. hi maggie
    I have been admiring your work for quite a while and savour anything that comes up about you on the www. I am so pleased you have a web site now and will read with interest. I wish you would come to Australia to teach.
    regards, Pam
    Western Australia

  10. Wonderful!!! I live in Austria/Europe and there I can`t learn anything about Polymer Clay except by searching in the internet and by books. I think this will be the perfekt way to learn about colors in combination with PC, colours are sometimes a litlle problem for me. I´m looking forward for every tutorial – and perhaps your book.

  11. Talk about timing! 2 days ago I set up a small space in my bedroom (away from my other polymer room) to work with the color chart I got from you at Sandy Camp. I put holders on the wall for the chart. Yesterday I copied the chart so I could hang it in front of me on the wall and have a separate copy on the table I’ll work on. Today is “find the box of crayons” day. I’m so excited to be able to do this. Exploring color is what drew me to the clay and then I got waylaid (for 7 years) with technique. I’m looking forward to your offerings. Thanks so much.

  12. Maggie, Maggie, What a delightful surprise that your website is up. And, that we can learn more from your blog. I have been waiting for you. What I learned in a couple of classes at R’s 03, I still use today. To be able to continue my experience in color with you is great. It could be called distance learning.;-)


  13. Jennifer Sklener

    December 1, 2006 at 5:46 pm

    Congratulations. This is an area that I’ve been struggling with. I keep borrowing my mom’s color book (Color Play) which I love, but it doesn’t address clay. I’m looking forward to learning from your blog and your book once it is written.


  14. thank you for sharing this to the web. For some of us, we live in places you never teach so this is a nice way to learn some things

  15. Yay, Maggie! I want you to know that after I smooshed up all of my examples that I didn’t like from your workshop this summer I have acquired three more blocks of Premo! (not my preferred clay) and armed with your wonderful workbook will attempt to do this thing again.
    Thanks to Cynthia for giving me another reason not to push myself away from the computer and GET TO WORK!

  16. Well…. I’m standing in line here, right outside your door, adding your blog to my RSS Feeds.
    Color is the best thing in the world and I would love to learn from your experience. Thank you so much for your generosity!

  17. Looking GOOD, Ms. Maggie! Congratulations on your new site, and may you have much joy and discovery here on line. I’ll be looking forward to seeing that book–books?–when you get there.

  18. Judy, Seattle, WA

    November 1, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    I’m soooo excited to see Maggie’s new blog!!

    I took Maggie’s very FIRST color class something like 10 years ago and have been learning from her ever since. Her work on color is brilliant, revolutionary and downright fun. Learning and working with Maggie has had an enormous influence on my work in polymer, for which I am eternally grateful.

    I, for one, will be reading every single word Maggie writes.

    Buckets of thanks for all Maggie has so generously contributed to the polymer world, weavers, artists in general and especially me personally.

    I’m looking forward to an exciting new chapter in color exploration.

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