Saturday, August 28, 2010

Such potential!

When I first saw these ceramic pigment samples on decorative artist Lynne Rutter's website, I was intrigued. These were samples made in 1773 by Josiah Wedgwood I during his quest to create a new ceramic material that would be compatible with the delicate shades of the interiors of the day. These ceramics later became known as Jasperware.

There is something about the process of creating samples that holds so much potential. It tries your patience when you cannot quite get to where you want to be. The recording of this journey is very important to the process. It is in looking at your work and studying your mistakes that allows you to take the next steps... hopefully to success.

In Josiah Wedgwood's case, it took five years and nearly 3,000 samples to achieve his goal. These colors are just so vivid and rich. If I had permission, I would recreate this sample board below and hang it for inspiration! 

This trial tray was Wedgwood's documentation of his potential cameos and intaglios for the Jasperware.

For the homeowner as well as the artisan, it is necessary for success to record your paint samples.  Choosing the paint color can't be done in the paint store! It is best to display the choices with a large swatch in the room you are choosing for. It does not need to be actually on the wall; painting a standard piece of paper and hanging it in the room is adequate for deciding. You can also move it around the room to look at the various levels of light on each wall.

 The artist often creates a sample board of various colors before beginning a painting or project.

This is a sampling of metallic plasters on canvas that I made when I first received the products to see how they looked when dry.

I used this sample board to eventually get to the finish I wanted on a commercial job. Here is the final finish.

Often, it is the process that is most interesting!


  1. Wow so informative, I had no idea! They are like art in themselves!

  2. Dear Ann,
    What a wonderful most interesting post you did here!!! I enjoyed reading this!! Thank you for this!
    PS And thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving me this warm comment! Hugs!

  3. Ann you are so right! The samples are art in themselves. Thank for sharing.

  4. The sample boards seem like a work of art in themselves! Hang on to never know :) Love to hear about the work that goes into a masterpiece.

  5. of course! it is like seeing artists drawings before the painting. I just want to dive right into those purple/lavenders! I agree, it is much more interesting, the process