Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pantone Color Forecast: Chocolate Browns

Yum! I think this will be my favorite Pantone color review ever—except for the fact that it has the potential to totally ruin my diet by the time I'm done typing this! LOL I promised a while ago that I would feature more of the Pantone fashion trend colors, and in honor of our recently celebrated Valentine's Day, I thought a "chocolate" color review would be an appropriate theme for this week…

L to R: Adamantium Unique, Medium Brown, Devardi Dark Brown, Vetro Dark Brown, and Choco-lotta

For Fall 2010, Pantone featured a color called "Chocolate Truffle" and boy, did it get me inspired to make some beads that look like real chocolate candies! A rich, deep velvety brown, it looks just like the dark chocolate treats my husbands loves so much. I'm more of a milk chocolate girl myself—and the Spring 2011 forecast of the creamy, lighter brown "Russet" is more my style. But both shades never fail to make me drool!

It is surprisingly hard to find a true chocolately brown color in soft glass. So I pulled every shade of brown I had in my studio, and created a bunch of yummy samples to see which ones came closest to the Pantone colors. The first one I tried was CiM's Adamantium Unique #1, which is the diamond-shaped bead on the far left. Regular Adamantium is more of a dark grayish brown, but this Unique batch has a warmer tone that I thought might work well. It's very close, but is still a little too gray.

CiM: Adamantium Unique #1

The next two colors I tried are from Devardi Glass, which is a U.S. based company that manufacturers their glass supplies in India. They have a lot of affordable, great colors that aren't offered by other manufacturers, but the rods can vary in thickness and shape, and are often shocky because they are all pulled by hand. I find pre-warming them in your kiln or a rod warmer is a good idea before you attempt to melt them into beads. The next two beads from the left were created with Medium Brown, which has a slight reddish tone and gets dark brown streaks when melted. Interesting results, but I think it would work much better when I'm in a "caramel" bead making mood. ;-)

Devardi: Medium Brown Opaque

The other Devardi color I tried is one of my favorites: Opaque Dark Brown. This one is probably the closest match to "Chocolate Truffle" and was very easy to work with. Isn't it lickable looking?! Lauscha Cocoa is a similar color, but it has a grayish undertone and is harder for me to strike to a consistent brown shade. Unfortunately, both the Devardi colors are currently sold out, but I've heard that more will be coming in soon.

Devardi: Dark Brown Opaque

Next, I tested out Vetrofond's Dark Brown Special. It's a nice medium-dark brown, but has a tiny hint of red in it. Effetre offers a Dark Red Brown Special color that is very similar and a few years ago I was able to handpick out rods from a batch that had a nice true brown variation mixed in. I'm still kicking myself that I didn't stock up on more of them when I had the chance.

Vetrofond: Dark Brown Special

And finally, the last bead on the far right in the group photo was created with Effetre "Choco-lotta." This was a limited, one-time run and I was lucky enough to snag some before it completely sold out. This was the first time I had really played with it and was pleasantly surprised at the color variation this glass has. It starts out dark in the rod form, then gets lighter the more you heat and strike it. There is a slight dark brown streakiness to it, but I kinda like it and think it gives a more organic feeling.

Effetre: Choco-lotta

This is probably the best match I've found in glass for Pantone's "Russet" and of course, it's no longer available?! *sigh* But I have a couple more colors I've just ordered that I'm planning to test out, so I'll be sure to post about those later on. In the meantime, I'm having so much fun thinking of other ways to decorate my chocolate beads and will begin offering them in my Etsy and ArtFire shops soon. I've even had to stop myself several times from taking a bite out of one of them—they look so deliciously real! *Ü*


  1. Great write up Lori. I really like Chocolata and glad I have some. I would really like the brown of the lighter devardi if it wasn't so streaky. Hmmmmmmm


  2. Your beads look totally delicious!


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