Colour Notebook - Red
What does Kokkino mean?
Whenever I exhibit at a show, I get asked about the name of the company. Often people think it is a Japanese work but in fact, Kokkino is the Greek word for red.
The beautiful island of Corfu was home for a couple of years before I started my business so Kokkino seemed the perfect positive, vibrant name. I love working with colour in my jewellery, whether that is bright and bold, or soft and subtle shades but red has always held an attraction for me, my purse is red, even my hair has been red, but that's another story!
Looking through some old photos this beautiful acer from a trip to Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire shone out. This was taken around November time, which is a great time to go if you're nearby. The vibrant red leaves in the sunlight against the clear blue autumn sky are such a gorgeous contrast and such an inspiration.
In enamelling, red is always a difficult colour to perfect. I follow a precise process when enamelling any colour, but with reds you have to be especially careful as any copper in the surface of the metal can cause the work to look dirty, cloudy and dull. The metal has to be scrupulously prepared and the enamel fired quickly in a very hot kiln at around 1000 degrees celsius. Enamels are formed of a base frit or glass with other elements added to give the colour. To make green copper oxide is added, for blue cobalt oxide and in the case of red, gold is added, making it a precious yet temperamental material to work with. The earliest known pieces of enamel jewellery are from the 13th century BC found in Cyprus, and it continues to inspire today.
Wear red on Sunday...
Of course, many cultures have different meanings surrounding the colour red, did you know that in Thailand each day of the week has a colour considered to be lucky, and also an unlucky one. Sunday has the colour red so it would be a great day to wear these Spectra reversible stud earrings!
This year I have started making these very special bespoke birthstone stacking rings. Each individual ring represents a member of the wearer's family and is set with their birthstone. This one is set with ruby (July), tourmaline (October), alexandrite (June) and topaz (November) in silver. I'd be more than happy to talk with you about your own personal combination.
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