Hello readers, welcome back to the story of my week - this week was dominated by metal clay - I put my big girls pants on and strode out into a brave new world. Well, it wasn't quite that easy, being the cowering timorous beastie that I am - but almost. Why is it that when I am in a class, everything seems to be so easy? It all flows like clockwork and bish, bash, bosh, I'm looking at a lovely piece of jewellery. Once I get home, however, everything that can go wrong, does, and I am pulling my hair out in large chunks - I just hate this part of the learning curve and need to force myself to get on the ladder.
Anyway, there I was, a-shaking and a-quaking, but determined to do it. I mentally hitched my pants up high and dove into a new packet of silver clay, having drawn a little design onto a piece of paper. This gave me hives, right at the very start as I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler, but I carried on and eventually after a few false starts, I made what I thought would be a couple of pendants, but changed my mind halfway and turned them into asymmetrical earrings. I have wanted to try out this design format for a while and had a lot of fun playing with it. Eventually, on Sunday night they were almost done, but I was exhausted and didn't put them in the kiln for fear of making an error due to tiredness.
I learned the Bargello technique from Jana Roberts Benzon a couple of years ago and made this bead using the last pieces of material I made at the class. I simply put the bead away until I could make up my mind what I wanted to do with it. Put together with hand carved jade in a pale green, black engraved onyx with Chinese lettering and dragons picked out in gold, and a few African Baule lost wax beads, my Bargello bead assumed its rightful place in a beautiful fusion necklace.
Unisex Jewellery for Eco Warriors
I've always been fascinated by arrowheads, one of the most primitive implements made by man - the ones I acquired are a bit more contemporary, and chiselled from agate in shades of cream, beige and grey. I wrapped the arrowheads in copper wire which I then antiqued and polished and hung on a leather thong. I think they are suitable to be worn by both men and women and from these humble beginnings, I have a small range of unisex jewellery.
This Maori warrior face is hand carved bone, and came all the way from Indonesia from Indounik. I have had him for ages, and think he looks rather splendid wrapped in square copper wire which I twisted with a pin vise to give an interesting curly-haired look.
And finally, the metal clay pieces I crafted so carefully were ready to go into the kiln. I held my breath, put my big girls pants on and waited with bated breath till the kiln beeped at me - 'come and have a look, don't be such a scaredy cat', it said - and I did, and it was fine - phew! I thought, as long as I still had those pants on, I might as well try out a bit of soldering, and that worked as well - OMG! I will tumble and polish the earrings and have them on the website at the weekend, and on this page next week.
I shall go now and rest my weary head. The stresses and strains of the week have almost done me in, but I shall carry on with clay, now that I've been bitten well and truly by the bug.
That's it for the week folks, have a fab weekend, and I'll catch you next week, 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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