Hiya readers, thanks for coming back to the Caprilicious blog today. Easter came and went and everyone scoffed their chocolate eggs and hot cross buns - squillions of calories all in one large collective gulp. I was curious about the Easter egg and tried to find out it's significance.
Apparently, the custom of giving eggs at Easter celebrates new life. For Christians the egg is a symbol of Jesus' resurrection, and when they are cracked open they symbolise the empty tomb. Eggs are rolled by children as a symbolic re-enactment of the rolling away of the stone from Christ's tomb and they are painted (originally red, but now in every colour imaginable) to commemorate the blood of Christ.
The Easter bunny is a throwback from pagan times when the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, Eostre, had a hare as her companion. The hare symbolises fertility and rebirth, and so does the egg. Later Christians changed the symbol to the Easter bunny which is fluffier and cuter than a hare.
While everyone else was eating their eggs, I was being industrious and making up a few pieces of jewellery for the Handmade Fair. Everyone who reads this blog know that Caprilicious is going to the fair, but if you've just joined us, welcome, I have put this poster on these pages just for you, in case you should wish to come to it.
This week I was attracted to shiny - all the beads that came out of my stash were shiny, quartz chunks and needles electroplated in a precious metal or titanium vapour. I felt like the proverbial magpie that is supposedly attracted to shiny objects.
It started with a remake of my fantasy flower out of bronze clay. I went very slowly and carefully and was rewarded with a large flower that fit in the palm of my hand, about 5" across when I finally opened my kiln up. Here it is, strung on a necklace of Titanium coated quartz needles.
By this time, 'shiny' had engraved itself deep into my psyche and everything I was compelled to make was that way inclined. Without ever making a conscious decision, I was soon well on the way towards making part of an evening wear collection of necklaces.
Both the Hamsa pendant and the beautiful tassel came from Turkey and I made all the clasps myself, to add further interest to the jewellery. The brown rough cut nuggets in the tasselled necklace are gold vapour coated quartz and they have a lovely dull sheen that a still photograph cannot really do justice to.
While my bronze clay flower was going through it's cycles of creation and drying before going into the kiln I sat with Mike and watched a couple of old musicals while I stitched beads around an ammonite fossil, to end up with this cuff bracelet. The bracelet has an aluminium form inside it to keep it flexible, light and adjustable.
I also put together another version of Berber Sunrise, with faux amber beads, some of which I made earlier right here at Caprilicious and others that I bought in India. The pretty little green patinated beadcaps came from the USA and the enamelled bead came from Morocco.
And that's a wrap for this week, folks. I aim to finalise the way my stall looks this week - it has to be stylish but simple to set up and I have a friend who is going to show me how to do this as she is a 'visual merchandiser' and knows all about these things. Have a lovely weekend, I'm on call at the day job and hope it won't be too busy. Take care of yourselves and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place,
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.
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!
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,
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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