New - from the Out of Africa Collection
I have never been to sub Saharan Africa, but have increasingly been seduced by the beautiful imagery from that continent.
This recently came to a head when I bought a copy of the eye wateringly expensive book 'Africa Adorned' by Angela Fisher - with page after page of colour and vivacity leaping out of it. It brings to mind the jewellery and colours in the desert lands of Northern India - the women wear large jewellery and head dresses, and bright colours, almost as if to combat the drab brown of the sand and scrub land surrounding them. Tribal sophistication is bold and dramatic, calling forth of the fierce nature of our human spirit to overcome all obstacles. That's what jewellery was originally worn for in ancient cultures ....to remind the wearer of her strength and purpose. Jewellery never was just about baubles and beads. It had purpose. And power. And beauty.
Clothes and accessories should be as bright as you are comfortable with - if you want to be noticed - the key however, is to be comfortable.
Sweet little gemstones on tiny chains are lovely, in their own way - but the statement they make is completely different from what the Caprilicious Tribal woman is all about. I have some of these 'little sweeties' in my own little collection, mainly bought for me by my mother, who is into pastel colours and whites - get the picture? - but as I grew older, I realised I had to find my own style, and dress to project the image I have of myself in my minds eye - and that image is bright colours and stand out jewellery (sorry, mum).
I am a strong believer in that old adage (or have I just made it up?) - you are what you wear - ergo, if you dress well and feel confident, you walk tall and are undaunted by the curve balls that are thrown at you during the course of the day.
I set up a new section on my website and Facebook page - Out of Africa - the intention is to make urban - contemporary pieces influenced by tribal jewellery to sit on those pages - and hopefully on you. This section is all about big, bold and eclectic mixing to complement the romantic patchwork of chunky knits, flowing attire and a bohemian Lagenlook. I am keen to make these at affordable prices so that all my readers are inspired to try them out - I am sure they will go down well. Tribal style is more about attitude than a place. So whenever you want to show off your fun and free-spirited side, tribal jewellery is the way to do it. This collection will be full of vibrant pieces to add a whimsical and artistic touch to anyone's wardrobe
I have been gearing up to this for a while now - I made some chevron beads, faux bone and this week, faux amber which will fit in with this, my new venture. The necklaces are meant to be bright, bold and in your face, some more so than the others - to the ladies who model themselves along the lines of heroines from the novels of Jane Austen, I say - perhaps you might want to look at my other pages.
As you can see, the beads gleam in the light - no varnish was involved - each bead was buffed with my trusty bench buffer, 'Buffy' - I would never have imagined that I could love a rotary, fast moving tool so, I am usually girlishly afraid of them - but, I couldn't do without my darling Buffy now. Mike's task this week is to find me a little table and a box to house Buffy so that the dust is contained, a la Melanie Muir, not to mention catching the beads that sometimes ping around the room like bullets - Oh, that Buffy - he likes to keep me fit, diving after those beads!
I made a Hamsa pendant out of wire and hung it on a necklace made using a few Chevron beads, a couple of faux amber beads, with glass millefiori beads and real carved bone beads, reminiscent of Berber jewellery from Morocco. The Hamsa is a stylised hand - if you want to read about it, here's a link to a post I wrote earlier - http://www.capriliciousjewellery.com/3/post/2012/11/where-i-keep-calm-and-play-with-wire.html
It is called Flower Power because of the Millefiori beads - which is Italian for a thousand flowers - and also because Marrakesh was on the hippie trail in the seventy's and eighties. It is bright and colourful and is bound to brighten up your day - who says the desert in the only place where one needs cheering up - look outside - the rain and slush and snow is just as dreary.
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Mike took this pic - clearly I need a better photographer, urgently
Is that a Gauntlet (or are you just happy to see me)??
I have been issued with a challenge by one of my customers - if you can help, do feel free to drop me a line. I am required to take the beads from the first picture below and turn them into a piece that will evoke the feeling of being in the second picture - which is a frozen river in Ladakh.
Her last challenge was to request a necklace evoking a stark cold mountain scape, snow capped, with sunlight hitting the mountain tops. I created Meluhan Dreams for her with wire, crystals and druzy - she sent me this picture, and is clearly delighted with it. She even phoned me all the way from Delhi to say how happy she was and to have a chat with me about Caprilicious - I was so thrilled. I have to make sure I rise to this challenge as well.
I have a couple of months to decide how I am going to work this miracle!
From The Vineyard
I found this string of almost perfect amethyst nugget beads while sorting out my bead box - each one looked like a grape - the gems in this string are almost edible. Teamed with some peridot beads and the tiniest freshwater seed pearls, they went into this necklace with a gold plated birch leaf. I hung a bunch of crystals, pearls and amethyst on the front of the bail to resemble grapes. I know it should have been a vine leaf, but this is England and vineyards are not so plentiful out here - so please indulge my poor muse here.
A lentil bead, made with polymer clay
I love the idea of making my own beads and components, and fashioning my pieces from all the images floating around in my head - mixing polymer clay with gemstones and crystals - Mixed media jewellery is the way forward, I am convinced of this. I made Aloha with this bead, and a string of sea sediment Jasper. It was named by Mike, who said it has a Polynesian feel to it - who am I to argue??
Om is a mystical Sanskrit sound of Hindu origin, sacred and important in various religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. It occurs at the beginning of every prayer or invocation and can be used repetitiously in a mantra for meditation. I acquired this conch shell pendant, inlaid with a turquoise Om - It sat in my collection for a while, until, the beads that go into this necklace fell out of a box into my hands - if I believed in mystical stuff, I would say that was really weird!
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I love this clip - it is of Diana Vishneva dancing to Deva Premal's 'Moola Mantra' - the forms she makes with the simplest movement and accessories are astonishing and beautiful - rather like the courtship display of a bird. I loved it so much, I bought the CD - but alas, neither do I look like Diana, nor can I dance like her - the best I can do is a booby bird's dance.
That's a wrap for this weeks jewellery folks, have a fab week and I will catch up with you, same time, same place, next week,
For some reason this week has been about earrings - well, it started with the lady who bought the Ghau Box necklace commissioning a pair of earrings to match, and then deciding she wanted Dew Fairy Dreams as well - and would I come up with a pair of earrings 'to wow her' - so no pressure then! I thought about making little ginkgo leaves out of polymer clay and wiring them together, but soon realised it would be impossible to get an exact colour match due to the techniques used to make the pendants in Dew Fairy - so I made wire ginkgo leaves to match instead - this was harder than I thought as the two had to mirror each other exactly, and wire develops a mind of its own when you want it to play nicely - its like the roll knows when to play me up - but tame it in the end, i did - and this is what I came up with. My customer is away on holiday, so will only see them next week - I will let you know what she says.
They do look good together - the green chips are peridot and they are an exact match to the ginkgo leaves
I was now on a roll - I had some earring components I made in the kiln out of Copper Precious Metal Clay - Copper clay is a soft putty like substance consisting of fine copper powder in an organic binder. It is rolled out, textured, dried, sanded and fired in my kiln at 920 degrees Celsius - the organic binder burns away, and the copper sinters together to leave pure metal - this is then cooled, tumbled and polished and formed into jewellery. Precious metal clay is available in silver, gold, copper and bronze. I have fallen in love with copper as a medium for art jewellery, and have chosen copper clay - for now, anyway. I tried many different firing schedules, and finally came up with something that works - hooray! I then learned about cold patination of copper and got me a set of chemicals - or rather, sent hubby off on an errand to find the chemicals for me - you can see the effect achieved after I patinated the pieces and sealed them with Plastikote spray to hold the patina.
These earrings were made to go with the Leaf Unturned necklace, whose focal is made of polymer clay and precious metal clay copper.
Bacchus was the original party god - his devotees were associated with wine, grapes, sexual free for alls and not surprisingly, fertility! A drunken orgy is still called a Bacchanalia. Bacchus' divine mission is 'liberation' - he loosens the tongues of those who drink his wine, and allows them to do and say as they wish. It is said that most of Bacchus' worshippers were women, and his feasts were attended only by them - although this part of the story is a bit suspect, given the 'fertility' bit he is meant to represent.
© Copyright Christine Westerback and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
I made bunches of grapes with teardrop shaped glass beads - they looked almost edible, and then wired them individually on to a frame with crystal leaves, polymer clay leaves and stems, copper tendrils, and added some jade and dragons vein agate grapes to the other side of the necklace - it is a necklace that can be worn by any self respecting bacchanaliast! ( yes, that is a made up word)
It was bought within twenty four hours of posting it on the website - I wish the new owner plenty of fun with it.
Pantone is the world-renowned authority on colour and has been inspiring design professionals with products, services and leading technology for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity for over 45 years.
In 1963, Lawrence Herbert, Pantone's founder, created an innovative system for identifying, matching and communicating colors to solve the problems associated with producing accurate color matches in the graphic arts community.The PANTONE VIEW Colour Planner, introduced in 2004 is a biannual trend forecasting tool that offers seasonal color direction and inspiration 24 months in advance for multiple usages, including fashion, cosmetics and industrial design, which the fashion industry follows rather slavishly. The colour of the year for 2012 has been predicted to be 'Tangerine Tango' which means that a lot of clothes and accessories will have at least a touch of orange to them.
'Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, provides the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward. Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,' says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.” http://www.pantone.co.uk
So I figured, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em - this is my take on Tangerine Tango ----
Sophisticated, dramatic and seductive enough for you?? - Tangerine Tango as interpreted by Caprilicious Jewellery
Lava rock ovals and flowers, mother of pearl luminous orange ovals, freshwater pearls, generously sprinkled with silvertone spacer beads in various shapes and sizes
Picture jasper teardrop shaped 2" long cabochon, wired in sterling silver with a copper bail, and rectangular glass beads.
Jasper, a form of chalcedony, is an opaque and impure variety of silica, usually red, yellow, brown or green in colour, rarely blue. Picture Jasper exhibits a combination of banding patterns from flow or depositional patterns from water or wind resulting in what appears to be scenes or images when cut. I think picture jasper is particularly beautiful as it appears to be ingrained with geological and historical memories. I set it with dark lava rock shapes to offset the brightness of the orange mother of pearl and added silver tone spacers and freshwater pearls for sheen.
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Where Dragons Fly
At the edge of the rain forest,
Along the green narrow creek,
I can hear their rustling wings
Invite me to hide-n-seek.
They flutter forward, backward,
And sideways, in the bright sun.
Red, blue, orange, and brown
Dragonflies, having some fun.
I had a set of four lapis chrysocolla pendant beads bought in Hong Kong a long time ago - these are usually strung in a row with seed beads between them, and I have been racking my brain to come up with a different way of presenting them. Looking into the depths of the stone, it felt like I was immersed in a pool of water deep in a rainforest - there are gold glints of pyrite which gleam softly, bringing dancing motes of sunlight to mind.
I imagined a calm lake, just after a fall of rain, with insects coming out for a drink before the next storm and looked for some pictures to embody that idea - this crystallised into the Rainforest Symphony necklace. I had some polymer clay leaves which I added to the necklace, and made earrings to match - I think I achieved that feeling of tranquility that you see in the pictures of the rainforest - the calm before the storm.
I stumbled across this blog on one of my regular trawls through the internet and contacted Susan with an invitation to look at my website and blog. She writes fashion updates for readers mainly from the US to help them find flattering fashion for the over 50s woman. Her mission statement is To find fashion for women over 50 that exudes sophistication, energy, and a continued sense of wonder.
She liked my designs - and prices - enough to give me a shout out in her blog last week - you can find it here http://flattering50.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/statement-necklaces-from-across-pond.html
. I commend her blog to you - it has some very sensible tips on how to dress well - and look great, and what the well dressed American woman is wearing today. I have had quite a few of her readers come along and take a look at my designs and blog, so thank you Susan.
She says 'If you are an over 50 woman with an artist talent for creating jewelry, fashion, art, music or something else? If so, I'd love to give you a little free publicity on Flattering50
. Just send to email@example.com...
--a brief description of your creations and a little about you
--a link to your website or blog
--a JPEG or two illustrating what you create'
- so if you fit the bill, do send her an email.
Well, that's it for the week - have a fabulous weekend, and see you next week