Monday, September 20, 2010

Color My World

This past August, I lead a Color Theory and Color Combinations workshop in Ain Leuh. This village, just a quick drive out from Azrou, tugs at your heart strings. It's small enough where everyone knows everyone but big enough to access almost all important amenities. Stairs wind up and down the hillside. Sheep graze in the outer fields. And come August, black berries grow abundantly alongside the village's streams and rivers.

**View of Ain Leuh from Randy's house.

Ain Leuh's weaving cooperative was founded in the 1970s. Their style is a hallmark of traditional, Berber weaving. I would argue that they have highest quality carpets in Morocco. Their designs are impeccably intricate and tight. At Marache Maroc R
abat, they pulled in almost 10 percent of the total sales. Tbark allah 3lihom. And I cannot say enough about the enthusiasm and hearts of these coop ladies! These past two years, they've learned a lot from PCV Randy, whose done fantastic work to transform their showroom and workspace. Things are certainly lookin' good in Ain Leuh!

**I found my magic carpet! Thank you Naima.

Randy and the women had asked for a color workshop several months prior. Things fell through but worked out perfectly to coincide with "Adult Camp." While their craftsmanship is unparalleled, they could use some work in their color choices. I took t
he color workshop Lindsey Dunnagan, an RPCV and exceptionally talented artist, developed and added other ways to think of color. I ended the workshop with a discussion on color schemes and a group critic of their products. I hope this blog post helps other PCVs and their work on color!

Materials You Need:

- Red, blue and yellow food coloring
- 6 clear tea glasses
- 1 large blank color wheel
- blank color wheels, one for each participant (I found it helpful to have stars denoting where the primary colo
rs will go)
- Red, blue and yellow food coloring
- Brushes
- Pallets to mix colors on
- Water cups

Fill three tea glasses with water. Add a drop of food coloring in each
tea glass. Explain th at red, blue and yellow are the primary colors, from which all colors come. Ask for volunteers to mix the primary colors and create secondary colors (purple, orange and green). It's always a good idea to check with the participants and make sure they understand what happened. Quiz them orally before moving onto the next step!

Make a color wheel from these six tea glasses. Remove the secondary colors from view. Have the participants place the secondary colors in between the correct two primary colors.

**Me explaining secondary colors.

Next pass out the blank color wheels, paints, brushes and water. Have the participants make their own colors wheels using only red, blue and yellow paints.

**Women making their own color wheels.

Then explain the following color pamphlet. Review basic relationships between colors. Also stress feelings associated with certain colors.

I wanted to show how all this information related to them and their work. The other PCVs helped me pick out different pieces from their showroom. We talked through the color choices and made suggestions for improvements. Khadija was particularly quic
k in catching on.

I showed them photos of the ocean, summer flowers, Moroc
can desert, etc. I used an online color palette generator to pull out key colors in each photo. From these print outs, the women could clearly see common color schemes. Again, allow time for discussion and feedback. Quiz the participants and let them show you they're understanding these concepts.

Afterwards, have the women make their own color scheme. I asked one weaver to share her yarn and thread. Whenever doing a product development workshop, connect as many dots as possible. The women giggled and laughed. PCVs and I walked around the circle, helping the women with their choices.

**Digging into Khadija's string to make their own color schemes.

In the end, there are no hard and fast rules to color fun. Stress creative imagination and experimentation along with taking inventory. What are the customers saying about certain color schemes? Look at what they're buying and what they're not buying! Take inventory. Khadija and Khadija seemed to truly internalize everything I said. And I'm happy they seemed to take something away from the workshop.

When you try this, remember to think of your audience and how they can best apply these concepts. Good luck!

More Photos from Adult Camp:

**Ready to take on those blackberry bushes!

**The best part of blackberry picking.
This comes second to waking up each morning to french toast with blackberry jam.

**Pedicures followed by Project Runway!
Anyone whose seen my feet knows how greatly appreciated they were after this scrub.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am thinking about color a lot while quilting and painting. I might take a lesson from you.