Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, and how are you today? Have you been watching the Presidential campaign and the debate?? Truly!! I cannot believe that morons and/or the morally corrupt will have their finger on the nuclear button for the next five to ten years - the world is going to hell in a hand basket, whichever one of them wins! I rushed off to rummage in my stash of gemstones and began to bead around them furiously in an effort to alleviate the pain behind my eyes.
Cariba is a necklace made from sea sediment jasper tusk beads in beautiful greens and browns reminding me of a tropical sunrise. The pendant was made from three cabochons of solar quartz, surrounded by beads and soutache braids in coordinating colours. The beads themselves are unusual and the whole ensemble is very fetching. Making it certainly took my mind off the world's troubles.
I do so love pearls - their luminescence when worn close to the face gives one a healthy glow. However, I'm not keen on granny's pearl necklace - I like mine to have a modern twist.
On a visit to China, we visited a government run pearl farm, and watched as they injected particles of sand into the oysters before lowering them into freshwater pools to wait for the pearls to form. I didn't know that pearls were merely Calcium Carbonate - how depressingly mundane! The Chinese eat ground up pearls as a calcium supplement, grind them up for face powder and add them to lanolin, beeswax and cocoa butter to produce face creams and exfoliants, as well as antiseptics.
Drilling holes in pearls can be tricky as the calcium is likely to crumble if handled wrongly - which is possibly why tiny pearl beads can be more expensive than the larger ones.
The pearls in this necklace are dyed in grey with an iridescent sheen, and drilled from side to side at the top, which means that they hang in a manner that suggests a double string. A hand carved mother of pearl shell clasp worn to one side like a corsage complements the piece beautifully. Hand fulls of waxy prehnite teardrops were strung onto all three strands, and the necklace was finished.
La Mamounia is an opulent hotel in Marrakesh, originally a palace built in the 12th century. Prince Mamoun who owned it turned it into a hotel in the 20th century and it certainly is one of the most beautiful and opulent places I have visited. We were fairly recently married and Mike took me there, sat me down in front of the grand piano in the foyer and played 'As Time Goes By' for me, the romantic sap that he is. I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed by the beauty of the hotel - the floors are so shiny that I swear that one could see the underwear of the women who walk upon it in skirts!
The enamelled amulet in this necklace comes from Morocco, and the beads are bamboo coral teardrops dyed a vibrant green, reminding me of the beautiful gardens surrounding the Mamounia.
The large coloured beads are cat's eye's - they have a reflective fibre-optic thread running through them that gives them a sheen.
I've now booked my annual trip to see my mother back in India and will take some of my jewellery back with me for my third show in Bangalore. I do look forward to meeting old friends and relaxing in the environment that I grew up in and remember with great fondness and the rose tinted glasses of the retrospectoscope.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week, 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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