Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Good day to you readers, I trust you have all had a great week. I certainly have - but more about that later.
People in the UK awoke to find a fine covering of dust all over their clean cars this week - a sandstorm in the Sahara desert had picked up fine particles of sand and blown them all the way overland to us, and a light rain had deposited them on cars and other stationary objects. People had loads of fun writing on car windows - the favourite witticism was 'I wish my wife was as dirty as this' and the newspapers coined a new term 'Sandageddon'!
It seemed just right that I should make 'Dune' - a little pendant I made out of a composite or Intarsia cabochon and wire work.
Derived from the Latin word Intersere, meaning 'to insert', Intarsia is a form of marquetry in wood or stone. The composite is made of a number of pieces of stone, each one cut and faceted to fit exactly into an adjoining piece. Sometimes areas of the pattern are raised to create more depth. Once the individual pieces are complete, they are fitted together like a jig-saw puzzle and fixed to a stone backing which is sometimes cut to the outline shape of the image like a border.
The cabochon in the piece above contains jasper and amazonite, surrounded by onyx and marble. As the cabochon is a work of art in itself, I framed it simply, with wire curls embellished with turquoise and coral. The artisan who cut the jasper and amazonite to fit the pendant probably had a picture like this one I took in the Sinai desert last year in his mind's eye.
The amazonite sky in the pendant has to my eye, the beginnings of a sandstorm, due to a smudge like marking in the amazonite - but I'll bet the artisan who cut it didn't imagine this uniquely British reaction to a sandstorm. I saw this van in the car park of my local supermarket and was compelled to take this picture. I wonder what his wife thought when she read that??
The wire frame was antiqued and embellished with a little wire rose containing a red coral at the top right corner and turquoise beads down one side.
I had a fabulous birthday - I was treated to a long weekend at the Savoy in London as part of a theatre break - we saw The Jersey Boys which I enjoyed very much, ate our weight in food and sweets, wandered hand in hand like young foolish things (ageing by the minute) in Covent Garden and the West End, met friends, had drinks at the American Bar, were treated to lunch - all sorts of fabulousness - I hope it was a harbinger of the year to come.
What do you give a jewellery maker?? Why, jewellery that she can't/wont make herself, of course. This necklace is from Tibet and is embroidered onto a backing of cloth, with a sash to tie it around the neck - I love it - thank you Michael! The Savoy of course is lush, as one would expect and we enjoyed being waited on hand and foot, and then some. Breakfast, which is a meal I do not usually eat, was a must have and we sat down at the American bar both evenings - their mocktails, and they have but two - the Cucumberland and the Savoy Ice Tea are both to be recommended. We were there at Earth Hour, and the whole place was lit up with fairy tale candles - who needs electricity??
Earth Hour at The Savoy
Pearls are in this season as a hot jewellery trend, but I've never really been a pearls person. Being a bit of a trend watcher I have now decided after a bit of soul searching, that actually I do like them, just not in grandmotherly mode - growing old gracefully and wearing age appropriate jewellery - what's that all about?? There are tons of modern ways to wear pearl jewellery - and none of them prissy.
I have made it a personal mission to look for different ways to wear pearls and create looks that even the most non grandmotherly Caprilicious woman will love. Baroque or misshapen pearls have a more contemporary look and the design possibilities are endless.
In this necklace, I have put together five strands of pearls and interspersed them with raw uncut nuggets of garnet. The clasp is pretty too, and can be worn to one side - it is a blister pearl, which is a pearl still attached to the shell of the oyster. The necklace can be worn twisted into a rope, or with the strands still separate, with the clasp in different positions - on the back, to one side or to the front.
Pearls and garnets are a well known combination, the twist in the tale here being the raw nuggets which give the piece its Noir Baroque look.
The rest of the week was spent making little earrings while watching television of an evening - I seem to always have a project on the go, and when I don't, making earrings are a fall back way to enjoy an evening!
That's all I had time for this week folks, have a good week and I'll catch you next Friday, 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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