As the world clamours and scrabbles to satiate their need for a bargain, we turn to the quiet of our workrooms and contemplate the beauty that is in the colour black. Silks and velvets that titillate and tantalise us into enjoying a colour that is alluring whilst at the same time retaining the ability to quietly disguise what we do not want to be seen with the naked eye. We slowly stroke and tease velvet into the sophisticated drapery that enhance the subtle and calm elegance of femininity. It’s one of those universal colours that can be used for so many things.
To quote Dylan Thomas – ‘To begin at the beginning’…I am reminded of when years ago, my mother and I immersed ourselves in a creative writing course. Two Bridges, in the middle of Dartmoor and we found ourselves impounded by the word black. The quest set by our teacher was to come up with ways to describe black, ways that scuttled past the cliches, searing through the dark of black coffin humour, the coal miner’s legendary black life and the charcoal smudges and dense pigments of artists framing black in all its glory. The aim was to get to the more surprising and inspiring alternatives.
And for another bit of “Under Milkwood” by our renowned Welsh poet DT; the “sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea” of our imaginations turned into a raging torrent of blackety-black-beauty-blackness. And it wouldn’t switch off. We giggled like teenagers through the black of the night as our charred cauldron bubbled with hundreds of words of sooty darkness. Like moles, our minds kept snouting in the ‘velvet dingles’ of our imaginations, sniffing for inspiration. The light of dawn brought peace and the black quieted to shadowy whispers as it snoozed in the inky scribbles of our notebooks. Black had tattooed us with unforgettable memories that haunt us pleasantly to this day.
There is another motive here to talking about Black. We are changing the way that the online shop works. We are enabling a feature that allows you to order pieces in different sizes. We have to start it off simply so have chosen a colour that makes it easy for us to test the system before embarking on adding the complications of all the extra colours that we can do.
Our aims are to be able to focus much more on the amazingly colourful art pieces that are being created right now. That’s not to say that black cannot be a work of art. It is! With the option to embellish and decorate the simplest of tones, there is plenty of room for artistry and clever design.
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Black is in reality one of the most universal colours in the fashion industry. Not just the little black dress but black suits, office uniforms and pieces of clothing that will go with anything. Not everyone can wear black. It is a colour that can drain the life out of some complexions and make them look like they should be lying in state not just attending the funeral. However there are not many people that do not have at least one or two pieces of black clothing in their wardrobe.
I love that on the social media channels around the globe there is a growing movement of #slowfashion. Artists and designers celebrating the art of slow, the uniqueness of individually crafted pieces that not only carry the distinctive emblems of style and design but are imbued with the spirit of the creators. We need more slow in the world. To quote another Welsh poet – W. H. Davies “what is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.”
If you gaze at black it is far from devoid of colour. Often the colour is a dense version of a darker green, blue or brown only seen when you tone the colour down slightly or it catches the light. The subtly reflective qualities of velvets and satins shimmer and spark with light like the ripples of colour seen in black rainbow obsidian. The highlights are made brighter by the depths of the dark. Life is full of contrasts like that.
So as the rest of the world jump the queues to grab their extra special Black Friday deals, turn to a quiet corner and contemplate the elegant and the slow as we carve graceful silhouettes of a classic black outfit beautifully crafted with love and skill.
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
~ W. H. Davies