Thursday, March 24, 2011


My color sense is practically non-existent. If I try to combine colors into a pleasant palette, it invariably ends up a disaster. I am forever grateful that the women in my life have exquisite taste in color.

Perhaps because of this, I've had a lifelong love for the variety of celluloid guitar pick called variously Confetti, Mix-up, or my favorite name for it -- Clownbarf. (Sometimes I've seen it called "clown vomit" but I find that a bit uglier.)

Here is an example of a vintage 1930s D'Andrea clownbarf pick I saw recently on eBay:

This aesthetic carries over into other areas -- I'm always looking for this kind of color mixing in other places:

Funkytown (detail), by Polly Apfelbaum

There is a type of gemstone called fordite that I like very much. To call it a gemstone is a bit of a stretch, though. What it is, is the built-up layers of paint from old-style (pre-robots) auto factory paint booths, hardened over the years by baking and age, then sliced to reveal the layers:

From the website

And just today, I discovered -- via a fine jeweler named Scott Schreiber -- that there is a clownbarf opal! OK, it's officially called Koroit Boulder Opal, but it sure looks like clownbarf to me!

Scott's chunk of Clownbarf Koroit Boulder Opal