12 Season Swatch Plumes at Indigo Tones
March 17, 2012 by Christine Scaman
I have got the best thing to show you.
Globe-traveling Sci\ART colour analyst Nikki Bogardus told me how ingenious these swatch books, called plumes, are. Exact quote “You have got to see these. They’re really quite beautiful.” Although Nikki has been using (and will continue using) the colour palettes from True Colour Australia, she has recommended these to her clients who would like additional fans. I wholeheartedly agree.
Intriguing, to say the least. Kerry Stich of Indigo Tones, New York based and certified in the Sci\ART system, sent me the collection for the 12 Seasons. Meet Kerry.
Whatever I expected was surpassed that the instant I opened them. First thought was “How completely clever is this?”
The closest description would be that they resemble high quality, tightly woven badges that are stitched into the canvas. The colour square is raised above the backing slightly. The backing is just stiff enough to hold the weight of the entire strip without flopping over.
When Nikki described them as a type of embroidery thread or floss, I didn’t expect there to be 12 x 60 different colours. The colours really are different from one another, amazingly. There are similarities among certain swatches in certain Seasons but not more so (or harder to tell apart) than with the printed Books. The Bright Spring blues are indeed yellower than the Bright Winter and to the correct degree.
Other differences compared to Colour Books where paint is printed on canvas:
- These are bigger by about 25% in every direction. The swatch itself, the strips, and the finished Book. Not of much relevance to use, I don’t think, just a first impression I didn’t expect.
- There are nuances to the colours beyond what paint on canvas might express. For some, nuance may be the last thing you want, but not me. I own Books for my own Season from Sci\ART, Spectrafiles, and now Indigo Tones. Each one represents a different perception of the same thing, taught me something new about my colouring, and allows me to be less rigid about my shopping.
- What do I mean by ‘nuance’? For one thing, the shine took a little getting used to. The swatches have to be moved about under certain lights to fully grasp the colours. As you move them, you see several colours that remain faithful to the Season. This simulates many types of fabric very well, but especially, the shine does give you a better sense of how makeup would look on skin since most of it has shimmer or gloss.
- Not only are the metallics shown for each Season, you get 5 choices! You can see True Winter’s silvers below and some of Dark Winter’s peeking out from the top photo.
- Differences between similar colours seem easier to see – I’ve taken the photos at different lighting times and levels to try to simulate shopping in stores. Here are the Soft Autumn pinks and reds that I often find are hard to tell apart. The last photo shows another view.
- Colours between neighbour Seasons can be distinguished. Below are the True and Dark Winter greens. Are the colours identical to the printed Books? No. Do they have to be? No, not as long as the value, saturation, and heat levels are right.
- For colours that are challenging to grasp, like the neutral greys, beiges, and so on, these are fantastic to expand the perception of what the colour is and isn’t. Even with my own Season, I learned a lot about the mid-level grays. This is even more true about the lighter neutral colours, as the Light Spring photo at the top shows.
- Like with the canvas, the more you work with them, the more interesting they become. I think of upholstery, denim, velvets, sheers, fabrics where colours can have several levels and/or the paint dots can seem uncertain to some people. I wouldn’t say these are better but they sure do flesh out a decision that can feel a little shaky. I used them exclusively to make the Polyvores for the last two articles. It took a little practice, what doesn’t?, but some comparisons are actually easier to know you got right.
- I asked Kerry about fading or snagging, though there’s nothing they’d really snag on and regardless of which Colour Book we have, we know better than to leave it open, especially in sunlight. Her reply,
The books should not fade……….they are colorfast.They occasionally will snag as anything that is embroidered will but we have designed them with a high thread count to reduce that as much as possible.
- If you’re of a Season where the printed books seem, ahem, lacking in radiance, you know who I’m talking to, you might just fall in love with seeing yourself through these eyes.
Original. Unique. Creative. And so pretty!! What a gift for a graduating daughter, your bridesmaids, a Mom you adore, or a young girl to unwrap and fan out. Or for you. Buying yourself presents is one of womens’ most neglected latent skills.
Kerry would be happy to answer any questions in the Comments or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shop for the Personal Color Plume Swatchbooks at www.shop.indigotones.com