Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, and lovers of unusual handmade statement jewellery, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog this week. I've been getting ready for my second exhibition at Raintree in Bangalore, India - the invitation cards were designed by my friend Neelam Madden of Look- in- the-Bag - consummate artist that she is, she designed three of them for me and they are all so nice that I cannot make up my mind which one I want to use - perhaps you, my very kind readers will point me in the right direction. These are the three invitations - do drop me a line and tell me which one you like best - I will use the one with the most votes between the blog and the Caprilicious Facebook page.
If any of you are in Bangalore at the time, do be sure to save the date and I hope to see you there.
This week, I went back to my old routine of playing with wire and polymer clay. Rummaging around in my little hoard of cabochons, I found four pieces that I was inspired to turn into pendants with a wire surround.
A piece of carved black jade was set into a wire and seed bead surround and hung on a necklace made of citrine nuggets. Mystical good luck symbols and phoenixes (yes, that is the correct plural form for phoenix - it must be correct, Google says so) are carved into the stone and I called the piece Shangri-La, after that famous utopian land in James Hilton's book Lost Horizon. The people from this land live in a state of permanent happiness and are immortal - I'm not sure if being permanently happy is a good thing - you wouldn't even know how lucky you are to be so happy if you haven't known the other, and that is most unfortunate. La La land might not be so much fun after all!
Tiramisu is a coffee flavoured dessert originating in the area of Venice in the Sixties. The stripes in this coffee agate pendant bead reminded me of the stripes in this dessert. The pendant was surrounded by wire and seed beads electroplated with copper.
The red quartz beads in the necklace are very pretty and glow gently in the light - I hope my photographs have been able to capture their beauty.
Sylvanus was the ancient Roman God of the Woods - protector of forests, plant life and fields. The pendant in this piece is made from a piece of petrified wood and this name seemed apt. The petrified wood fossil is set in a wood jasper surround in a composite or Intarsia stone. I wound yards of wire around it to make a pendant loosely inspired by Nicole Hanna, which I hung on a necklace of blue howlite beads.
Petrified wood is a fossil. It forms when plant material is buried by sediment and protected from decay by oxygen and organisms. Then, ground water rich in dissolved solids flows through the sediment replacing the original plant material with silica, calcite, pyrite or other inorganic material such as opal. The result is a fossil of the original woody material that often exhibits preserved details of the bark, wood and cellular structures.
This sumptuously enamelled pendant came from Jaipur in India - it is heavily gold leafed and enamelled, and studded with CZ's in Meenakari work- this form of enamelling came originally from Iran to India probably via the Mughals, and was originally meant to decorate the back of heavy gold jewellery, which was studded with uncut diamonds.
I let the beauty of the pendant do the talking and put together a multi strand necklace of shiny seed beads and gold crystals - the number of strands was determined by how many I could get past the pendant bail. Stringing seed beads is not my favourite occupation, I can tell you - and by the time I had finished, there were more on the floor than in my necklace. The kittens were having a fine old time. They jumped to attention each time one clattered to the wooden floor and tried to help me pick it up. This meant I had to stop work and find the bead before they did - they were only trying to be helpful, of course they were!
These beads are made from inspiration and help from a number of people - Layl McDill's face cane, extruder canes from Marie Segal's blog, and Barbara McGuires face beads among others. I used my cane slicer and have to say it really does work, although it's engineering is a little bit clumsy.
The pendants are meant to be Christmas presents for my juniors, and as they don't read this blog, and I know you won't tell, I can share the making of these with you. There are ten lentil beads to go with them to finish off the necklaces that will go out to the ten young ladies who work so hard, they deserve a little treat come Christmas time.
Here are the beads in the process of being made, starting with the face cane, going clockwise. I will show you the necklaces when they are finally finished later on in the month.
Unfortunately the fourth pendant I was attempting to make was an abject failure. It is a fossil coral, in a very pretty salmon pink and grey, and I meant to team it with spectrolite beads - I can see the necklace in my minds eye even now, but alas it is not to be.
I spent a whole evening weaving a cage for the stone, and then I hated it - I cut it up before I could justify it's existence to myself - 'it took ages to make, it's not so bad, actually it's quite pretty'- you know the kind of thing. I went to bed, quite disgusted, and tried again the next day - that wasn't any good either, and went the same way as the first - straight into the bin. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
At this stage, a bit dispirited, I decided to call it a day for the week. Thank you so very much for stopping by and do leave me your thoughts about the invitation for the exhibition - have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
I'm Neena Shilvock, and I'm crazily addicted to jewellery. I've been designing and making quirky and interesting statement necklaces for the last five years and my passion hasn't cooled off one little bit - in fact it has got worse, such that I'm even dreaming jewellery.
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I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
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