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Monday, October 22, 2007

A Hundred Colors of Green

Biz News - New Goblins are up! The site remains quiet otherwise, as I'm working on reducing my pile of special orders and requests to a somewhat more manageable level.

When I chose to make all the Goblins green, it spurred a great flurry of stain experimentation, because, let's face it, green isn't exactly a common pipe color and previously I could get by with just a couple of green shades and be happy. But, "needs must", as the saying goes, and so I've started creating multiple color swatches of stain combinations in the hopes of producing some really striking variations of green.

The color above is an early attempt at what I've begun to think of as "Froud Green", after noted fantasy artist Brian Froud, and his marvelous earth-toned fantasy artwork.

The trick, or rather the risk, is that a lot of the colors I'm working on are NOT what one thinks of as popular, 'commercially viable' colors for pipes, like the reds and oranges and browns that are so universally popular. Time will tell if the pipes will sell, and if the colors will be liked, though so far the reception seems to be quite positive. I'm certainly going against the current a bit, though, in searching out ways to create unusual colors and low-gloss finishes. While I'm pleased with the results so far, there still remains a lot of experimentation to do. One of my favorite "Froud Greens" (I can only hope that I or someone else will think up a proper name for the finish!) is this one:



(And yes, I realize that most people will think this photo looks the same as the first, but in fact they're quite different, and it's a trick of the lighting) This new combination of colors offers a marvelously rich, yet subtle, mixture of earth tones all blended into one overall appearance. Hints of earth brown and autumnal gold run throughout, and it looks quite nice on pipes even though it is a finish that is best appreciated through close examination and relaxed contemplation... It isn't at all the sort of eye-catching coloring that will grab people's attention on show tables, for instance. But that's OK, that isn't the goal. Amusingly, the base coloring in this version of "Froud Green" is a very deep purple!

And then, of course, we have the greens that are eye-grabbing - Here's a test of a green contrast stain designed to produce a green version of the popular Danish red and orange contrast stains. In this case I still want to get the blacks blacker, and in this case remove the browns for a consistent overall green shade, but it's coming along quite nicely, I think!