Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Welcome, readers, to the Caprilicious Blog. Wandering around the garden centre last weekend, I fell in love with the most beautiful statue of Kwan Yin. We have a small garden, and didn't quite know where I would put her - but she simply had to be brought home. I have never felt so strongly drawn to an inanimate object, and with a few surprised glances in my direction, Mike dutifully trotted off to order the statue and pay for her delivery. The serenity of her face is almost infectious - and of course, we could all do with some of that - serenity, not an infection!
Last week, I made some squiggle earrings - they were tacked on at the end of the blog. They were very difficult to make, and of course, it is always a nightmare to get free form earrings to be equal and opposite and mirror one another exactly.
However, the degree of difficulty was a challenge, and it seemed to work out - more or less - they are light and pretty, but don't accurately reflect the amount of work that has gone into them, or the degree of difficulty. Perhaps, that's as it should be!
My friend BN tried on a pendant I had made earlier - Bluebells - and said it was a bit big for her at 2" in diameter. She wondered if I could make a smaller one - once again a challenge, as most of my pieces are on the larger side. Both of them are here for you to compare - Bluebells, and Baby Bluebells.
I do so enjoy rising to a challenge, and with both pendants patinated and the patina preserved with micro crystalline wax, I cannot decide which one is best - can you??
At this point, I should have given up wire work, and gone on to something less onerous on the hands, but instead, ploughed on with a Ssssssserpent! With four lengths of copper wire, each about 2 feet long, the serpent slowly but surely wound its way around my neck, with frequent stops to rest my fingers. It took over ten hours to wrap and shape this necklace, and finish it to my satisfaction. When presented to a Wire Workers group on Facebook, the notifications on my page went wild for a couple of days - they understood the work that had gone into it, and were gratifyingly enthusiastic.
The legend of Nagina, remembered from my childhood was that snakes partner for life, and if one of a pair is killed, the image of the 'murderer' stays on the retina of the dead snake, which only another snake can see. The female of the species being deadlier than the male, and all that, Nagina would hunt out the murderer of her spouse, and from then on, his days were numbered. Perhaps the male snake just goes off and finds another spouse and does not bother with all this exhausting avenging of the beloveds death jazz ( or am I being sexist here??).
This legend was made into a Bollywood movie in the late eighties, with Nagina transmogrifying into a beautiful woman ( of course!) who sang and danced and swayed like a snake, every time a flute like instrument was played, with many costume changes, including pale grey contact lenses when in snake/woman form, and writhed orgiastically, morphing back and forth from snake to woman in order to wreak her revenge. The song is on You tube - she came over all peculiar and unnecessary as soon as she heard this instrument and looked like she was about to do herself a mischief! If you want to see it, you will have to find it on You Tube - I refuse to have it on the blog - type the word Nagina into a You Tube search, and voila!
I foreswore wire for a while after this, my hands and wrist hurt so much, Mike had to massage them to get the circulation going again.
One of Gerry's friends at the jewellery party gave me a box of beads from a necklace she had loved, but had sadly broken - some of the beads were missing, and she asked me to replace them with coral and turquoise, and make her a symmetrical necklace, about 18" long. Symmetry is not my strong point, but hey, the customer is always right! So, here goes.....
These pictures were sent out to her and I was gratified to find a message in my inbox saying she loved them.
The Wings of Love
These earrings were sitting forlornly in a box, waiting patiently for a new home. Their chance to shine came the other day when one of my old friends walked in with her son, looking for a gift for the son's teacher. Gratifyingly, the young lad fell in love with so many of my pieces - he is about 11 years old, and he oohed and aahed over the pieces I was showing his mother - he was the best salesman I could have hoped for - he got his mom to buy a couple of items for herself, and just flipped out over the colours on these wings.
I showed them the remaining wings in my stash, and pictures of the stuff made earlier, and his mother ordered a pendant to go with these earrings - all I can say is, K can you come work for me?? and what a lucky teacher!
For those who haven't seen them before, these are the wings of an Indonesian beetle - the wings are collected after it dies, and made into jewellery - they are not coloured or varnished - this is nature in all her beauty - no wonder they are called 'Jewel Beetles'. The beautiful iridescence of the beetle wings will endure and remain splendid for many decades - examples survive from India that are over one hundred years old, including use as decoration in Victorian tea - cosies.
This week has just flown by and the weekend is here again - I am down to work at the day job on Saturday, and hopefully it isn't raining on Sunday as we have plans to go to the Upton on Severn Jazz Festival. That's all I have time for this week, have a great weekend, catch you 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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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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