Quilt Testers In Action

Quilt Testers In Action


Friday, March 12, 2010

What Color would You Want To See

When I am looking aroung blogland, I love to come across sites where people are showing off fabric that they have dyed themselves. Every individual has their own style, and their own colors, and the results are always very interesting. I have done some dyeing, but not alot, partly because I am always so indecisive about what colors to make. I like them all!

I was recently reading another Karen's blog, A Creative Kick in the Pants, and asked her about how she choses her colors for dyeing. I was wondering if she had a specific palette she worked from, or if she dyed for a specific project, or if she tried to get a full range of colors. In her answer, she echoed my own feelings when she said "I love all colors, especially together." You should go check out her site, her projects are beautifully rich in color. Then, come back.

OK. Now that you are back, and I have pulled the treat-seeking bunny off my pant leg, I will show you why I have been thinking about color.

In the background is work being done on the side border of my string quilt, but what I want to tell you about is the book. Shades of Grey, a new book by Jasper Fforde is a really thought provoking book. It is witty and amusing, while also tragic and dark. The premise is that after the fall of a sophisticated society (maybe our world, maybe not), a culture arises where people can see only one color. Some people, the Greys, see no color at all. This is a very totalitarian society, with rules for things you didn't even think needed rules. 

In this book, at a certain age, everyone is tested to check what color, and how much of that color, they can see. To qoute the book: "Noone could cheat the Colorman and the color test. What you got was what you were, forever. Your life, career and social standing decided right there and then, and all worrisome life uncertainties eradicated forever.You knew who you were, what you would do, where you would go and what was expected of you."  The book follows the protagonist as he awakens to the bad side of his culture, and begins a revolution. Luckily, Jasper Fforde is hilarious, or this might have been depressing reading.

But, as interesting as the commentary on society is, what got me to read the book was the idea of a whole people  with limited color vision. Can you imagine never seeing color? I know some quilters who say "I can't stand ___________".  Fill in the blank, usually with orange, yellow, brown, whatever. Can you really imagine a world without orange sunsets, yellow flowers, or even brown chocolate? (God forbid, we lose the brown chocolate!) There would be so much richness missing from our experiences.

In the book, there are also some rare people who see in the Ultraviolet range, outside of human vision. There are insects who can see in this range. I remember seeing a nature show on TV that gave an idea of what they see looking at flowers that we completely miss. It's a whole other level of reality.

I'm so glad that we see as much color as we do. It adds so much beauty to everday life. But, if you could only see one color, what would you want it to be?  I think I vote for green, in all its nuances from spring green, to the dark greens of late summer, and the dull olive greens of autumn....

It is a very grey day here. The only color I found to show you was the rainbow in Second Daughter's room.

First Daughter, if you are reading this, have fun in England, and stay safe. We love you.

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