Hello folks, thanks for joining me today. It has suddenly gone all sunny and warm on us here in the UK, but since Monday is a Bank Holiday I can almost guarantee that it won't last. After the debacle of the Handmade Fair I decided to take it easy - one of my oldest friends was visiting me from Vancouver and I had the pleasure of having her and others who live in the UK come and stay. It was fabulous to catch up and discuss old times and find that although so many years had passed since we last met (about 40 to be precise) we had not changed fundamentally. The weekend flew by and her visit was over too soon, unfortunately. Now that we've met up, we've pledged not to leave it so long again.
I spent some time taking photographs of the creations I had left over from the Fair. I had made some necklaces using a technique taught by Loretta Lam. The beads and pods are made from a very light clay - Ultralight - which handles like marshmallow when uncured and is very light when it comes out of the oven. The beads are cured and then a veneer and embellishments are applied in stages. They float when placed in water and are light and easy to wear.
As you can probably see, the embellishments and veneers have been applied so that the necklaces are reversible. The technique is labour intensive but interesting and the necklaces are chunky but light, different and most definitely fun.
This necklace was literally made from left overs - a veneer from a class I took in March, canes from last year, a sunflower from a tutorial written for Bead and Jewellery magazine and some orphan beads in my collection of beads that I made earlier on and didn't use up. The lady pounced on it, and tried it on - that was it, love at first sight! She refused to take it off, bought a pair of earrings to go with it and wore it around the show. I hope she gets a lot of enjoyment from it, bless her cotton socks!
I was given carte blanche to modify this necklace into something a bit more sophisticated by a client in India. She came to my show, made a few purchases and came back for more - on the second day, she carried a bag of beads which she trusted me to take back to the UK and modify in my own time, at my own pace and to my own design. Now that's a whole bowl of trust! And I mean to deliver to all her expectations, of course.
These are rather beautiful tourmaline beads, but strung together on cheap thread, with an adjustable gold thread 'clasp' and don't look terribly special.
I added rice pearls in a random manner to bring a bit of brightness to the necklace, and a beautiful diamante clasp to one side to take the degree of sophistication up a notch and I hope you'll agree that it makes the necklace fit for a queen. The lady I am designing for is sophisticated, smart and smouldering with a distinctive style of her own. Her style is certainly unique and she dresses like a diva with well thought out, dramatic accessories. I think this one will suit her personality down to the ground.
I spent the rest of the week at a conference in Leeds related to the day job and am due to be involved in some very interesting and exciting developments.
Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next weekend, 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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