7 December 17: The power of blue

Happy Thursday, folks. There’s nothing like studies and facts to make my day. I’m definitely more of a ‘fact is stranger than fiction’ kind of girl (an ex- one told me my tombstone will read ‘A study says’. I do hope so). Yesterday I read that the world’s favourite toothbrush colour is blue and that weight lifters apparently lift more when they work out in a blue room. Today feels like it could be one of those fact-hunting days. IRead more

24 November 17: Matchnik or maverick?

I once had a boyfriend whose mother told us what colour paper to wrap our Christmas presents in. I say WHAT?!? In a world of beauteous wrapping paper, who are any of us to be so prescriptive? A 2012 survey revealed that the first Christmas squabble happens at 10.13am on the big day: I was spoiling for a colour-related fight waaaay before then. However, I reached an internal peace instead, chiefly by vowing to ignore all wrapping paper diktats theRead more

24th October ’17: What rugs tell us

A few weeks back I wrote about how it’s human nature to find faces in inanimate patterns. I’m sitting here staring at an Afghan rug at at my dad’s house and I’ve spotted a cricket dressed in coat and tails, sitting on an old office stool, almost certainly typing πŸ€” (swipe for pic) Ancient carpets are often full of symbolism (way more symbolic than a typing cricket), such as sky doors leading to Heaven in Persian rugs (or a combRead more

20th October ’17: The best colour books

Are you one of those curious creatures who reads cookery books in bed? I know you’re out there: I even count some of you amongst my friends. As a fairly hopeless cook, a teeny part of me yearns to be that person but since discovering books about colour I’ve realised it will never be (bolognaise again, anyone?). I thought I’d share with you some of the colour books that accompany me to sleep. There’s The Secret Lives of Colour (byRead more

13th October ’17: Infographic infatuation

Have you ever noticed how quickly humus goes off? I swear it happens so fast you can almost see the degradation as if you were watching time-lapse footage of it. That’s why when I stumbled across an infographic called ‘The Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad’ and saw humus at the very top, I thought the visual representation of its instability totally hit the nail on the head (it sits where hydrogen normally would on the periodic table). WithRead more

10th October ’17: ‘Be gone, Blue!’ said Pink

Welcome to Tuesday, folks πŸ’•πŸ’™πŸ’•πŸ’™πŸ’• Each day on The Colour File, I wax lyrical about something and nothing to do with colour. My hope is that the pictures bring a splash of colour to your day accompanied by a random (but hopefully interesting) fact or two on the subject. On rare occasions, I even get a little bit serious – like today, which isn’t just Tuesday but World Mental Health Day, too. Mental health is a subject extremely close toRead more

27th September ’17: Plastic treasures

Hello Colour Filers πŸ™πŸŒΊπŸ¦ŠπŸ¦πŸ₯πŸΈπŸ€πŸ¦‹πŸ‘•πŸ‘Ύβ˜‚οΈ As I first mentioned back in March, I’ve been a fan of art made from discarded plastic for some time but I’ve only just learned that ‘junk art’ (or ‘trash art’) is a recognised artistic movement (junk art was first coined as a phrase in the 1960s). I love the many and varied ways that people put plastic trash to good use in the name of art, such the large-scale reclaimed plastic sculptures byΒ @b0rdalo_iiΒ andΒ @mcphersonsteve‘sintricate and impressivelyRead more

17th September ’17: I ❀️ collectors

Happy Sunday, lovely people. I’ve always been fascinated by collectors: without enthusiasts, the world would be a less colourful and quirky place. One-third of UK adults engage in some form of collecting and, it transpires, we are often inspired by the random or the unexpected. Auctioneers Mallams say that 1960s-themed programmes such as Mad Men have rekindled our love of vintage toasters, kettles and ovens (out with the new, in with the old). I once wrote about collecting for @psychologiesmagazineRead more

11th September ’17: Shelfie inspo

Hi colour-lovers πŸ¦‹πŸŒΌπŸ  Someone recently asked me where I get the inspiration for my shelfscapes from. The answer is ‘Anywhere and everywhere.’ Sometimes it’s an event that prompts it (I composed a green one for St Patrick’s Day), sometimes it’s flowers or a new junk shop treasure that lead the way, but often it’s because I see colours together in unexpected circumstances and want to replicate the feel in some way. Today’s shelfie came to me after I went toRead more

19th August ’17: the beauty of maps

Welcome to the weekend, lovely people πŸ’—πŸ’•πŸ’—πŸ’•. I am utterly hooked on maps. Whether they’re topographical (showing contours and changes in elevation, apparently) or topological (showing things relative to each other, like the stations on the London Tube map), a coloured map is the epitome of beauty AND functionality. However, with more and more of us increasingly relying on satnavs, could maps soon be a thing of the past? Research shows that 80 per cent of 18 to 30-year-olds can’tRead more

18th August ’17: Hello from Wales

Hello folks, My second-in-command and I are down at the beach with our lovely friends, spotting seals and dolphins and truly understanding why the Welsh ‘glas’ means blue, and green, and both together. Life is a good place to be. Catch you tomorrow. Martha, The Colour File xRead more

Colour File Interview: Carrie Reichardt

Carrie Reichardt is a leading contemporary UK artist and self-confessed ‘craftivist’. She uses murals, ceramics and screen-printing to create stunning, affordable, subversive art and her work has also been shown at the V&A. Here, she tells Martha Roberts about her lifelong love-affair with colour… Martha: Can you describe your first colour memory? Carrie: I am not sure of my first colour memory, but I do remember that, as a child colour was extremely important to me. I went through aRead more