July’s Creative Color challenge – indigo!

For July, Louise chose indigo as the color challenge!  You can see in her post, blueberries were her inspiration.  This made me think, though – just what color are blueberries really and what is “indigo”?  I had always thought of it as an inky blue, but somehow in the back of my mind I thought there might be some purple in there.  What I knew for sure is: I don’t have any enamels in that color.

I looked up indigo to see what I could learn.  I found out that traditionally indigo was considered a color on the rainbow between blue and violet.  However, this apparently controversial – I guess the people who measure rainbows can’t agree on it’s actual wavelength.  Well, what I take away is indigo is blue tinged with violet.  As an aside, I just can’t get over the color of this mushroom, Lactarius indigo!  Indigo is associated with the sixth chakra and indicates loyalty, spirituality and intuition.

Then I looked into what gemstones are indigo.  It turns out there aren’t too many choices – Azurite or Iolite are basically it.  Luckily, I happened to buy two Iolite cabochons when I was at the SNAG conference in May!  I must have known!!

View 1 of one of the Iolite cabochons
View 1 of one of the Iolite cabochons

Iolite is quite an interesting gemstone.  Mineralogists call it “cordierite”; and it is only relatively recently that it has been sold as a gemstone (rather than a collector stone).  It is found (now) in India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Brazil.  The really interesting quality of this stone is that it is pleochroic. This means it shows different colors or depths of color when you view it in different directions.  Iolite is a stone that shows it’s pleochroism off to the naked eye!  Not surprisingly, this is REALLY hard to photograph!  You can get an idea of it from my two photos.

View 2 of the same Iolite cabochon
View 2 of the same Iolite cabochon

The other “fun fact” about Iolite (or at least fun legend) is that it has been called “Viking’s compass”.  Apparently, Vikings used thin colorless slices of Iolite on cloudy days to locate the sun!  The Iolite acted as a polarizer and enabled them to determine their position!  How fun is that!  It is believed that they got their Iolite from Greenland or Norway.

Anyhow, back to the color challenge….  I decided to make a pendant to show off the Iolite:

"Mood Indigo"
“Mood Indigo”


A close up of the Iolite in it's setting.
A close up of the Iolite in it’s setting – what fantastic color!!

I had a lot of fun exploring indigo this month, I can’t wait to see what Louise challenges us with for August!




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