Smashing Color

with Maggie Maggio



White is light. All color comes from light.

The Flickr collection of white photos has many, many beautiful images showing all the variations of shadow and light that give depth to white. Many of the photos are by photographer Mr. Luke Harby.cormier_white-necklacethumbnail.jpg

White Polymer: Dan Cormier’s necklace is a gorgeous example of working in all white. When I first saw this piece on Susan Lumato’s site I thought, “What a great way to explore texture!”

sherry-bailey.jpgSherry Bailey’s white on white necklace won second place in Polymer Clay Central’s textured bead challenge last year.

White Associations: White symbolizes different things in different cultures but overall its association is with purity, innocence and peace. It usually has positive meanings but, like all colors, it also has its negative side.

Good white:

  • White as the driven snow – pure, clean, innocent
  • White knight – someone who comes to another person’s rescue, someone perceived as being good, noble
  • White list – list of good or acceptable items
  • White elephant – rare, valuable but perhaps unwanted
  • White horse – the noble hero’s horse
  • White hat – worn by the good guys
  • White dove – symbol of peace

Bad white:

  • Whitewash – cover up, conceal
  • Whiteout – zero visibility
  • White flag – surrender
  • White lightning – moonshine, illegal whiskey
  • White elephant – rare, valuable but perhaps unwanted
  • White knuckle – something that is fast, exciting, or frightening

white-polymer-unifoirm-studio.jpgWhile searching for more all white pieces in polymer clay I came across these explorations by Minnesota architect/designer Martha McQuade of Uniform Studio playing with all white polymer clay to make simple, elegant jewelry.When you limit yourself to just one color, you focus on form.

These pieces whiteduckworth.jpgremind me of the modernist sculptures by the famous ceramicist Ruth Duckworth whose body of work over the past 60 years included many all white pieces.

New Year’s Eve in Brazil. Two million people gather along the beach in Rio every year on New Years’ Eve and everyone wears white. According to the national tradition, white symbolizes peace in the coming year. If you want to be prosperous, you can add a touch of gold or yellow. If you want passion, you add some red. Green symbolizes hope.I can just imagine how beautiful it must be to see that sea of white set against the dark water. And how amazing it must feel to turn to the ocean just before midnight and chant along with millions of people “10 . . .9 . . . 8 . . .7 . . .6 . . . 5 . . . 4 . . .3. . . 2 . . .1 . . . Happy New Year!”brazilnewyear.jpg

1 Comment

  1. Patti Underwood

    January 7, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Hi Maggie,
    My name is Patti Underwood, I took your class in Philly, last year or so, it was so much to take in at once. I heard you are going to write a book with Lindley H. I hope you do, it will make you rich, you know so much and sharing it in a book will let artists digest it as they can. I want to know it so much and I wish I could find the stuff from the class I did print out some things from the blog …. Do the book !!!!
    Patti Underwood

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