Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Last week, as I posted, I was turning over the question of what to do with my wire lace peacock - it started life as a pair of Peruvian threadwork pendant/earrings, which I embellished with crystals and put together with some copper wire and yet more crystals to make a peacock - but I didn't quite know what to do with it - I threw the question open to a couple of jewellery makers groups - one in the UK, and the other predominantly with members from the USA - and having got loads of inspiration and ideas, decided on a simple handmade chain incorporating pearly beads and crystals to match the peacock, and to hang it asymmetrically. In folk art, peacocks are often drawn looking backwards at their tails - this may be because they are vain creatures, but the artists use it as a symbol of renewal as the feathers are renewed each year.
I made my peacock look back at its tail feathers too - I loved the curved shape it gave the neck - and it was lovely to be able to bend wire in the direction that it wants to go for once! I titled the piece Scherezade as it seemed to be so 'Arabian Night's Dreams', with its brilliant colours - and I love the haunting music by Nikolai Rimsky - Korsakov. I think the dancer in the ballet below might have worn this piece! The design seemed to flow - all I had was the bare minimum of an idea and my box of crystal beads, and one thing just followed the next till I felt as if I woke up and the finished article was staring me in the face - maybe I didn't make it after all and it was the elves that visited in the night - however, Santa's grotto, this ain't!
Once this piece was finished, I felt drained - it had absorbed all my creative energies and I turned my thoughts to simpler pieces that give me just as much pleasure. I had a few pendants and pieces of polymer clay I had made earlier, so I set about making them up into items that were wearable.
I like my jewellery to tell a story - as if you haven't guessed by now from reading my blog! I continually research my inspirations on the internet, gathering ideas and stories poetry and music, as the piece comes into being.
I made a water lily, on a lily pad out of polymer clay - hadn't quite decided what to do with it, but realised that by a happy accident, I had put in a fold over in the leaf that could be used as a bail. The two wires I had cured into the piece so I could attach it to something then became redundant - so I cut one off, and attached a little lamp worked glass and bead dragonfly to the other, which I coiled into a spring, so that the dragonfly appeared to be hovering over the waterlily - from that idea it was easy to take it further, into creating a lily pond with fish and snails and dandelion heads - I let my imagination run riot - and turned out a pleasant and summery piece with a three dimensional aspect to it.
Flowers in a Tornado
I have had these tornado beads for ages - I made them up from a tutorial by Lisa Niven Kelly of Beaducation, and I love their organic shape - it struck me - I mut be the only person - or one of a minute number of people - who needs a tutorial to make a messy bead - most people have to learn how to make their jewellery neat and tidy, but I had to do it the other way around! I paired them with some lucite beads and knotted waxed blue cotton for a light and pretty summer necklace. However, mindful that summer is a time for sun tan lotion, perspiration ( ladies glow! - I am told, but lets call a spade a big shovel here) I put wire in at the top, to keep the look pristine for longer! I made earrings to match too. It is a tangled necklace - but I have a secret weapon to keep the threads from turning into a hopeless knot - large safety pins! - placed strategically across the strands will allow transport of the necklace, completely safely, without the nuisance of untangling it each time it is worn - of course you have to remember to put the pins in when you take it off.
I had an abalone shell pendant set in Sterling silver, and I made up a little necklace in complementary colours to go with it - am wearing (test driving) it at the moment, and it feels just right around the neck. Some lovely zebra dyed blue howlite arrived in the mail, and I couldn't wait to use it, it was so pretty - I had a pewter dragonfly clasp that I was keen to use, and as it was meant for two strands, the howlite was put together with opaque blue seed beads, chrysocolla rectangles and silver coloured spacers, with a dangling dragonfly to match - there are earrings to go with this piece as well, on some lovely extra long surgical steel kidney wires - cant wait to see how they will go down.
I want to say a special thank you to those who write on the Caprilicious Jewellery Page on Facebook and leave comments on my website/blog - your encouragement means a lot, thank you very much. Also, those who have come back to buy a second piece from me - I often wonder whether you liked your jewellery if you don't write back - but when you buy a second piece - I am sure you did! My pieces of jewellery are like my little babies - and I send them out into the world - I can only hope you love them as much as I do - am I being fanciful?? and a bit overly sentimental, bordering on silly?? -almost certainly, but then I am new to this and am not blase' as yet - please forgive my enthusiasm :)
Catch you next week with another instalment of the Caprilicious Blog
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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