I have many clients who request specific colours when they are choosing a carving.
"I want a pure white bear" or "I must have a flawless black owl".
Colour has long been understood to be something which appeals greatly to our visual senses. Colour affects our emotions. It can make us feel excited or mellow, happy or sad.
Colour psychology isn't a one size fits all concept. Our age, gender and culture can also affect how we relate to colour.
Black is the colour of sophistication and always has a classic feel to it.
Pure black stone finished with a glossy mirror finish has the ability to magnify the lines of a carving. The outline of the sculpture becomes the star of the show as shown by this stunning Tim Pee Walking Bear.
Even more exciting, is how the shadows create a black on black effect which draw out the richness of the black colour and creates mystery as well.
I have come to believe that many clients associate the colour black with "traditional" Inuit carvings.
The older carvings from the 50s, 60s and 70s were perhaps not as colourful as more contemporary pieces.
These clients choose black because they associate it with history and tradition and want their collections to be authentic.
26" Perfection in Black Toonoo Sharkey
When it comes to contemporary Inuit artists, I think you would agree that Toonoo Sharkey is the master of pure black sculptures.
This iconic Sharkey raptor is sophisticated, mysterious and lush; all the attributes of the colour black.
But the real star of this piece may not be the black stone.
It takes a glorious apple green inlaid eye to offset the tendency of the completely black stone to be predictable.
As in life, it often takes an unexpected twist (like an eye-popping colour) to complete the perfect sculpture.
What is your favourite colour?