Anna Hergert, Art & Design

Book Review: Color Works

Color Works – the crafter’s guide to color by Deb Menz

Interweave Press LLC, 2004. ISBN 978-1-931499-47-7

I teach extensively, as most of you already know, and it amazes me how many students continue to confide in me that color is the one concept they have trouble grasping. In a two to five day workshop covering color theory only scratches the surface. I do remind everyone that the more time we spend evaluating color, choosing and combining colors, dyeing fabrics, paint and print on fabric the more comfortable we get with the colors we are exposed to.

I must remind myself however, that not everyone has the luxury to spend long days moving paint around, mixing shades and tints, weaving colored threads to create special effects…

A number of years ago I picked up Deb Menz’s book Color Ways. I admit that it remains the most comprehensive guide to understanding color in my library. It is a wonderful resource for quilters, weavers, embroiderers,  spinners, beaders, knitters and surface designers.

The contents cover the description of color, basic color relationships, understanding value, color contrast and color harmonies. An entire chapter is devoted to the characteristics of media. Whether you are a spinners, knitter, weaver, quilter, beader, collage artist or embroiderer – Deb Menz contrasts and compares how these materials will enhance and support individual designs. This lead into the chapter of how to choose colors and design. The enclosed color tools range from a 24-step color wheel, value scale, hue family colors to color harmony overlays and how to use them. A list of suppliers rounds off this comprehensive resource.

Why did I select this book for my library as a worthwhile reference?  It appealed greatly as it covers most of the disciplines I have studied in depth in the past. I have been a spinner, knitter, weaver and beader. My main focus these days is surface design with dye, paint and stitch,  contemporary embroidery and quilting.  A strong motivation for purchasing the book was the recurring request by students to include more color theory into my workshops.

The Deb Menz book is visually appealing featuring full color pages arranged with detailed photos of sample swatches in the various fiber art disciplines. Would I purchase it again? Definitely! If you own a copy – pull it off your resource library shelf now! If you have borrowed it from the public or guild library request it again, and if you find that you cannot live with out it – order a personal copy!

As the back cover points out: Master the color spectrum with Color Works and leave the guesswork behind!

This entry was published on May 17, 2012 at 5:02 am. It’s filed under Art, Book Review, Design and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Color Works

  1. Janice on said:

    Hello from Medicine Hat! Thanks for the book recommendation – I’ve ordered it through the library. Janice


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