Hello readers, and a very happy Friday to you.
Have you ever played those games on Facebook - you know the ones that ask 'Which Cocktail are you?' 'Which Colour are You?' 'What does your Name say about You?' 'What Flower are You' and even more ludicrous, 'Who were You in a Former Life? '!!!
I have often wondered what makes people I have previously regarded as fairly sane play these games - and having played them be crazy enough to admit that they have actually wasted so many precious moments of their life on drivel. Perhaps they ought to see a psychiatrist and be told what they seem to be desparate to know - "you are crazy, Toc ! Toc ! Toc !."
We all live slightly schizophrenic lives, me more than most, and these days I'm beginning to wonder whether I ought to consult an Oracle of sorts, or even a shrink - I suppose a prerequisite of trying to find out about the future should be a baseline measurement of who or what you are at that very moment. The problem with that is I'm a bit afraid of the final answer.
So, here I am, born in the UK, brought up in India, having now spent nigh on thirty years of my adult life in the UK, married to an Englishman, and a gynaecologist and obstetrician who designs and makes jewellery. I have done my utmost to integrate into the community in which I live, but have not lost that core of my being from whence I came. (from whence I came? who talks like that?)
And now I have got involved in making Soutache jewellery which is mainly an Eastern European specialty, although it's concoction is originally attributed to an Israeli, Dori Csengeri. It is a fairly recent art form and new techniques are evolving all the time and while this is happening, I am really enjoying the ability to inject colour and movement to my jewelery.
Anyway, enough about the crazies, here's the piece I made this week.....
This is one of my favourite old black and white movies about Norma Desmond, an aging drama queen from the silent movie era who's career is over though she refuses to accept it. This piece is for drama queens everywhere, who enjoy a touch of the theatrical and revel in being highly visible. I can imagine Norma standing at the foot of that beautiful staircase, wearing this necklace.
I think the amethyst slabs set the pendant off beautifully, don't you?
I sent a couple of pieces of jewellery to a lady who was buying them as a gift and as I was writing this, I had an email from her - I thought it was worth sharing on this page. When people are so fulsome in their praise, it really makes my day.
That's me for this week, folks. Thanks for coming back and spending some time with me. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Good day, good people and thanks for joining me today. I hope the summer weather is treating you all well, wherever you are. We've had a few nasty rain storms here in the UK and that has meant that I have spent more time indoors than I would like.
I played with cold enamels and coloured a few dragonfly forms that I had - I made one of these necklaces earlier and having given it away to a friend I was requested to make another. I enamelled a whole bunch of dragonflies, sprinkled them liberally with tiny crystals and made three more torque necklaces, each one slightly different from the last. The first one sold almost immediately.
I created a couple of mosaic centrepieces for a friend who makes wooden bowls using segmented turning. Segmented bowls and vessels are made up of dozens or hundreds of small wooden blocks. Woodturners glue these often very tiny pieces into rings which become part of a stack. The process is exacting and critical, but it must be fabulous when the final bowl emerges. I have a couple of Shekhar's simpler bowls on the website and I have talked about them before. Let me show you how this particular bowl evolved.
This was the bowl when he first brought it round to mine.
These were the two mosaic polymer clay inserts I made for the bowl - I just loved the process so much, I couldn't stop with one. Anyway, the man needs a choice, I thought, and he can use the second one in another piece. They were made before I went on holiday to India in February, and I forgot all about them for a while.
He brought it home the other day with the mosaic set in place - however, I thought it required a beading to connect the mosaic with the side walls of the bowl. I offered to make a piece of beading from polymer clay for it, and deliver it to him to attach, but he trusted me enough to leave his baby with me - Boy, was I anxious that that I should meet his expectations that I would do a good job!!
A snake of clay from my trusty extruder was segmented to resemble the 'rays' of the sunburst and to hide the join, cured in a gentle curve, and set into place around the mosaic. I thought it finished the bowl off perfectly, Shekhar was pleased with the final result when I sent him a picture, and I could finally stop holding my breath! He needs to remove the chuck that attaches it to the lathe before he can finish it off completely and I can't wait to see the bowl when it is done.
All week, I've laboured over this little piece of soutache, and little by little it seems to be coming together. It's amazing how it looks terrible when I first start out, and I have to steel myself to continue - sometimes I even need to put it away and come back to it at another time with fresh eyes. And then suddenly, something clicks, like a switch in the dark and I can see just where I am going with it. This one is half finished and will be completed at the weekend, unless of course the sun comes out to play!
I've spent some time reevaluating Caprilicious and the direction in which I am going. When I started out my only thought was to make interesting, colourful pieces of jewellery. Vibrant and bold, when I wore a piece by Caprilicious, I wanted it to grab attention. Not for me were the little, tiny delicate pieces that a lot of others make - I do not denigrate them, but they don't really interest me and I'm happy to leave it to others to make, and wear them.
As my skills continued to evolve over the years, I have attempted to recreate the ZING!! factor from the kind of statement pieces that one usually sees in boutiques at exorbitant prices, usually from the USA where people seem not to shy away from the bold and bright - and I've tried to keep it affordable.
I also enjoy the fact that I make a lot of the components myself, be it from wire, polymer clay, metal clay and now soutache. Caprilicious is not assemblage jewellery, and never has been, and this gives me great pleasure.
This train of thought came about from reading an article that said that designers should develop a style that made them easily recognisable. That is an anathema to me, as it means churning out multiples of the same idea. The only elements that link my design ethic together are my love for colour and asymmetry, and I think there's room in everyone's closet for different types of jewellery for different occasions.
I think I prefer this thought from WhoWhatWear -
'In my opinion, we’re in such a fun time for fashion, one in which personal style reigns supreme. There is no reason you can’t be a glamazon one night and channel a member of a ’90s boy band the next. We are living in an age of self-expression, and there’s no better way to flex your creativity and individuality than with what you choose to wear. So, is it time to ditch the antiquated notion of style types?'
What do you think? Do leave me a comment.
That's me for this week folks, introspection and all. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same place, same time. Until then
Hello folks, it's great to see you here again, thanks for joining me today. The sun has finally come out to play - I'm almost afraid to say it in case the rain comes back. What am I saying - of course the rain will come back in this green and pleasant land, one can't have one without the other.
I've been out in the garden, putting in plants and weeding, getting rid of slugs and snails and various other predators. Between times, I've been playing with my beads and clay as is my wont.
This piece started with a string of nugget beads that are chunky, and funky, to my eyes. They are titanium electroplated agate nuggets that have been cut to form a gentle curve around the neck. The look of the beads is extremely masculine and I wanted to add a very feminine element in coordinating colours to soften it off.
I set out to make a pendant bead with five shades of grey and it looked so drab and dull, I added a vibrant blue to the mix. The bead is made of four separate harp shaped elements that are then sewn together, edged, backed and filled with felt to round it off into a pillow shape. My first attempt failed miserably and I couldn't think why, until I took half of the felt filling out. Hey Presto and Alakazam! that was the effect I was looking for! I added a dangle, because I can't seem to stop with the embellishments and then talked sternly to myself until I obeyed and simply left it be. As this was meant to be a bead, I passed the beading wire through the pendant and made up the necklace with cobalt blue dyed jade.
The necklace when all made up reminded me of the play Steel Magnolias, which was eventually made into a movie in the late eighties - the name suggests that women can be as soft and beautiful as the magnolia flower, yet possess a core that is tough as steel. The unexpected femininity of this necklace made with an ordinarily masculine looking string of beads brought this title to my mind.
Is it heavy? I hear you ask - yes, but not inordinately so, as I used only 60% of the beads that were on the string. The pendant of course, is as light as a feather.
I only get the time to play with clay during weekends - no matter how busy I am, a couple of hours kneading the clay and creating something, anything, however small, sets me up for the new week to come and is a major stress buster. This weekend it was about polymer clay embroidery. My friend BN gave me a couple of vintage wooden hoop earrings which I dismantled and 'embroidered' on with bright colours. Having read a tutorial by Shirley Rufener, I added some clay to a few pendants I had lying around and 'embroidered' on them, too.
And, before I sign off, and just for some fun, I thought I'd show you a video I found somewhere in the ether - it is a dance called The Frug (pronounced Froog) from the mid sixties, choreographed by Bob Fosse, who also choreographed all the numbers in the film Cabaret. This number, called The Rich Man's Frug is very stylised and great fun to watch - Bob Fosse is known for his creative use of unusual poses, gestures, and arm movements and a lot of his choreography has influenced dancers today. It is a strangely interesting and arresting number, and I'll bet that if you start to watch it, you will stay put for the whole five minutes of the clip.
Wasn't that fun? Anyway, that's me for this week folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place. Until then
Hello folks, and how are you today?? I am so glad you stopped by to take a look at the goings on at Caprilicious. This week I've been busy with an old friend who visited me from India with her daughters. Most of the week was taken up with entertaining them and I didn't have too much time to spend with my beads.
Before they arrived, Mike and I went to a jazz evening at Kilworth House, a stately home converted into a hotel not far from us in Leicestershire, and as usual I took the opportunity to wear Caprilicious. Pearl Hibiscus, one of my favourite pieces went down a treat, I think. I love wearing my own jewellery - it is one of the perks of the job!
I thought I'd try to make a piece of jewellery with a colourful dyed howlite donut - the plan was to incorporate wire into the design, but halfway through, my design consultant (Mike) said he didn't like it so I ripped the wire out and started again. Ideally I wanted the central hole in the donut to be visible and edged with wire lace, but eventually ended up filling it with a blister pearl once I agreed with Mike that the wire work wasn't working. My friend suggested I used crystals in the final necklace and this is the collaborative effort I eventually came up with.
I think the piece came good and looks vibrant and interesting. The name Caribbean Queen came flying out of the ether and attached itself firmly to the necklace.
We went for a walk around Warwick castle. In their peacock garden, we found.....peacocks! surprise, surprise! They were in full mating mode and all of them fanning their tails and doing their mating dance to try and attract the couple of drab peahens that didn't seem to care, paying the tourists more attention than their prospective boyfriends. If only it worked that way in the human world! I've never been so up close and personal to a peacock - they are ever so beautiful.
The peacock is my favourite bird and those who know Caprilicious know that I have made loads of peacock related pieces of jewellery - that plumage is to die for and it seems unfair that so much beauty should be concentrated in one creature.
That's a wrap for this week, folks. I'm working at the day job all weekend and hope that it will be quiet enough to play with my beads and clay. If the weather heats up of course, the garden beckons and there's plenty to do in it before summer hits us. Have a fabulous weekend 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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