Behind The Scenes - The Mystery of Color Matching

New year brings a new blog post series to Buckaroo Bling: Behind The Scenes.

I have often been asked this question by my customers and followers, "How do you do that?" So, I have decided to let you peek behind the scenes in my studio and discover how some of the magic of jewelry making happens. Every month, I will be giving you a quick glimpse into an aspect of jewelry design as it unfolds in my studio.

Today, we'll be looking at color matching. Many of you are curious to know how I choose colors for my designs. The process has several steps to it.

First, when I am initially designing a collection, I sometimes look at color trend forecasts for the coming year. I don't do it too often, as western designs usually include a rather limited number of colors that don't bend much to the fashion trends the rest of the world follows. Still, if for example, green is going to be a popular color for the season, I would choose green turquoise instead of blue in my designs.

Next, I choose colors that correspond to my inspiration. For example, my Dream Catchers collection was inspired by Native American art of the SouthWest, so I chose colors for my designs that corresponded to colors found in Native American art. Also, hues of gemstones I use in my jewelry and colors of the two metals - sterling silver and copper - determine what will be used in my collections. Some colors just naturally look better together, and the years of working with color, first as a textile colorist and then as a jewelry designer, have taught me how to make those tough choices seem easy.


Let's take these Dream Catcher Earrings as an example. One of the things I look at is color temperature. Cool color of sterling silver combines best with other cool colors, while the warm color of copper goes best with other warm colors. Then, I add an accent of the opposing temperature. In our example above, notice how the coolness of sterling silver seamlessly combines with the coolness of turquoise colored fringe and the cool blue of the turquoise stack in the center. What stands out in this design are the pops of warmth achieved with the use of deep red carnelian. On the other hand, the warmth of copper blends with the warm red of the leather fringe and carnelian in the second pair of earrings, and what stands out most is the stack of blue turquoise in the center. Isn't it fun how color temperature can accentuate different things in the same design?

So, there you have it! Color matching can be as easy or as complex as you want to make it. Some people have a naturally better eye for color than others, but that should not prevent you from experimenting with color in your life: in your wardrobe, in your home, or in your accessories. Try following this one rule of thumb: combine cool colors with other cool colors + a warm accent, and combine warm colors with other warm colors + a cool accent. Try to consciously follow this whenever you can, and watch people start complimenting on how "put together" and stylish you look.

Are you color savvy or clueless? Share in the comments below.

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