Many moons ago, I studied Fine Art and English Literature at uni –  I loved it – so much so that I went on to study for a Masters Degree in Literture and History.  These days, I don’t get so much time to read as I used to and I really miss reading and getting lost in a good book.

I also love collecting all sorts of books about colour and I hoard colour charts (the Pantone colour charts are a major obsession, it’s quite a problem).  Recently, I started to read a book called The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair, it’s a fascinating read full of unusual stories about the origins and history of certain colours and is a unique study of human civilisation.

As I’ve been trying very hard (and I have found it mightily difficult) to work with a very limited colour palette, I’ve been particularly fascinated by the chapter on different shades of white.  There’s a wonderful story about the shade of white called Isabelline – referred to as a “dingy yellow-white” – which dates back to the 1600’s and is all about Archduchess Isabella Clara Eugenia and the colour of her undergarments.  Such a pretty name for a colour but a rather unglamorous history.  Although, I think that the fact that the colour of the manes and tails of Palamino horses is also referred to as Isabelline is rather nice.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I’ve been making more white pieces and I think I might call this little collection ‘Isabelline’ after Archduchess Isabella and those beautiful horses.  Here’s a little look at a few more pieces I’ve been working on.

White Mimosa Pearl Hair Pin Trio – photo by OXI Photography
White Mimosa Pearl Headpiece – photo by OXI Photography
White Opal and silver hair comb
Close up of White opal and silver hair comb

chapter on White shades – The Secret Lives of Colours by Kassia St Clair

The Secret Lives of Colours by Kassia St Clair
chapter on White shades – The Secret Lives of Colours by Kassia St Clair


Victoriana necklace in white opal and freshwater pearl


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