Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
This has been a week where I have run my fingers ragged - and put all my mental and physical energies into making this piece - Meluhan Sunset. One of my FaceBook fans commissioned me to make her a statement necklace, and I was determined to come up with something that would justify her faith in my abilities. In the meanwhile, I also had to keep my mother happy and rested, with her regular quota of shopping, and I think I have managed it all - no wonder I feel like a wrung out dishcloth!
When this young lady asked me to design something for her she said ' i loveeeeeeee mountains...particularly high altitude ones...barren...with a slew of colors splashed & snow...& the sun shining ever so brightly on them'. My mother shook her head in despair -'this is all too much to imagine' she muttered under her breath - 'Oh me, Oh my - can this girl not just buy something you already have on your pages'??
However, I am made of sterner stuff, and decided, with my imaginative friend, that snow capped mountains would have to be made with druzy, which is a fine coating of crystals on a rock fracture surface.
Movement of the earth's crust and inner layers are responsible for the formation of these beautiful gemstones. Heat and pressure from molten lava and the gases arising from this created cavities within the rock, and many years later, new minerals were deposited onto it's surface from the cool ground water that trickled over it.
I love druzy, as it looks like crystalline sugar, growing on a gemstone and its colours are based on the minerals deposited many years ago. It can be coated with silver, gold or titanium vapour, but for this purpose I chose agate with black and white accents. I bought 3 stones, meaning to use one of them in this piece, but in the event, I used two - it just seemed right.
The inspiration was this picture of an afterglow over the Himalayas I found, and I decided that the two druzy stones would be set asymmetrically to one side like the mountain tops in this picture, and I would create an afterglow using Swarovski crystals and knot less netting with fine wire.
Once I had created the bezels with wire lace, I made a frame for the necklace and wired the gem stones to the frame. After this, I had a fine old time, with my stash of Swarovski crystals, and about 25 metres of 26 gauge wire! Of course, I know that a bunch of crystals wired together would never look like a photograph, but, this, in it's own modest way is an artists impression of an afterglow - I just know that it will be loved and enjoyed. My mother quite shockingly said, off her own bat, that she liked it - I couldn't speak for a couple of hours - and that is most rare for me!
Coincidentally, I am reading a book called 'The Immorlals of Meluha' by Amish Tripathi, (http://shivatrilogy.com/index3.html ) which mum brought with her - Meluha was set in the Indus Valley civilisation and was a near perfect empire, where they had found the secret elixir that kept people young and alive forever. The land of Meluha was close to the Himalayas and I named this necklace Meluhan sunset - to my mind, the people of Meluha must have enjoyed the beauty of the mountains and the sunsets that go with that part of the world. I have been to Nepal, and got pretty close to Mount Everest (no, I didn't climb it) - the mountains are certainly pretty fabulous. We stayed in a place called Everest Lodge, and watched the mountains all day - the views were breathtaking. However, it wasn't till I met and married my husband Mike, that I learned to truly appreciate the beauty of a sunset ( we are very rarely awake at sunrise, although I am sure they are just as beautiful) - he is absolutely crazy about the mountains, and sunsets. So it is with pride I present.....(drum roll).....MELUHAN SUNSET...
As you can imagine, all this took me a long time, fortunately, I had time off from the day job to be with my mum - she will carry the necklace back to India and courier it to Delhi, which is its final destination - so I had to finish it before she left the UK.
I made a pair of complimentary earrings to match - had to force myself - I hate complicated earrings - measuring with precision is boring and I always struggle to make 2 pieces that look exactly equal and opposite. I decided to make the effort - the necklace is so ornate, I felt I needed to. I am not sure whether they should be worn together - would it be over egging the pudding? I suppose it depends where you are going to.
Strawberry Fields Forever
I made some seed bead and wire berries, and along with lucite flowers and leaves I put together this necklace. I also made a pair of simple complimentary earrings to complete the ensemble.
And, that's all I had time for - I think I did pretty well, considering. Mum is with me for another week - the countdown has begun - she is now hooked onto my way of shopping - on line! - so more goods are flooding into the house, adding to the beads I buy - Oh well, long may she enjoy herself! The only problem is that she has now learned to use ebay - and is a vicious bidder who checks on her stuff two or three times a day - so now instead of going to the shops, we are glued to the settee and the computer screen - plus ca change, plus cest la meme chose!
Catch you 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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