Color Play

by Joen Wolfrom
C&T Publishing, 2000
Reviewed by Margaret Briscoe
Originally Published Autumn 2001

This author of quilt-orientated book has again written one for all needleartists. Most of us are acquainted with Joen Wolfrom through her books The Visual Dance and The Magical Effects of Color which many feel are important sources of our color education and understanding. This newest book of hers is a “must-have” addition to your home library.

The first two chapters deal with what you need to know about using color and how to create your own colorful designs using intensity, value and temperature as the means for doing this knowledgeably. These chapters offer a basic color scheme lesson complete with tints, tones and shades. Monochromatic, complementary, analogous, split-complementary and triadic color schemes are clearly explained and illustrated in a concise way. Not overly “wordy” or long but thorough.

The next chapters are divided among the colors themselves with nature photos and fabric illustrations along with the complements of these colors. This is a delightful and unique way to learn more about colors and how to use them pleasingly and well. She demonstrates how variations of pure color, tints, shades and tones, change the mood of a design in clear illustrations.

Chapter nine deals with depth luminosity, luster, shadows: highlights and transparency through the manipulation of fabrics. Much of these same effects can be achieved with the choice of thread type, stitch manipulation and color choices; after all, what is fabric but millions of threads combined for a total effect known as fabric.

This book is a true delight and pleasure and I for one highly recommend it to any who are interested in new approach to color understanding.