Turquoise is the official color of the year. Pantone, the company that gets to decide such things, has declared it to be true. (And unlike last year’s official color, “mimosa”, turquoise is actually a color that people like to wear.) “Turquoise is universally appealing,” says Jane Schoenborn, the design director of Lily Pulitzer. “It puts everyone in the same state of mind — on vacation.”
All spring, watery colors have been flying out of our stores. Blues, teals and turquoises of every imaginable shade and material have been selling like mad: handmade lampwork glass, gemsontes, seed beads… you name it! And the biggest winner of them all has been actual, honest-to-goodness turquoise! (photo above left from http://www.marieclaire.com/ credit: Fabio Chizzola)
Here in Arizona, turquoise sometimes gets a bad rap. It’s everywhere here, and we tend to take it for granted. It’s a bit too cliche, a bit overdone. We forget, though, that turquoise can be downright gorgeous. Ranging in color from pale baby blue through rich blue-green and all the way to a bright green, there is a flattering turquoise for every skin tone. Textures can vary from smooth to rugged, leaving the design possibilities wide open. Turquoise jewelry is being shown by every major designer this season — Stephen Dweck, Isaac Manevitz for Ben-Amun, even good ol’ Tiffany & Co. has gotten in on the act. Some designers have put out traditional southwestern looks, but more are showing modern, clean lined turquoise options. (The gold filled and turquoise pendant shown above right is a great example of a contemporary turquoise option.)
The next time you are poking around your favorite bead store, pick up a strand or two of turquoise and carry it around with you. Look at it with all the interesteing metals and finishes, like Vintaj brass, red bronze or Thai silver. (The piece at left uses turquoise with red bronze.) Pair it with unexpected gemstones or crystals. I love a really blue turquoise with serpentine or peridot; the combination looks so fresh. Be experimental, and try using turquoise in ways that are surprising. You may just find your new favorite piece! Happy creating!
Shannon Bass (long-time friend of yours truly and fan of Bead World) sent us this picture of her own recent turquoise creation, featuring black Swarovski crystal accents and sterling silver spacer beads! Beautiful work, Shan! Thanks for sharing!