Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello good people, and a very happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it. Easter eggs are everywhere and I'm going to resist them this year, as always figting a loosing battle with the flab. This year I have the whole of Easter off work and nothing planned, and it feels glorious to think I have no responsibilities except to relax for four whole days. I shall however be making more pieces of jewellery for The Handmade Fair. I spent ages thinking that I had a lot of stuff ready and then someone bought up a bunch of necklaces, leaving me with a hole in my inventory which needs filling, and quick!
Seal of Approval
I love pendants made of handcarved jade and buy them regularly, forgetting each time how irritatingly annoying they are as they never have an integral way to hang them. Perhaps they are meant to be displayed on a plinth or little easel - but as far as I'm concerned, as jewellery, I need to find an engineering solution each time. Each one is different, so one answer doesn't fit all, unfortunately. However, I've always loved finding solutions to problems and enjoy a bit of a challenge.
I managed to hang the pendant on an improvised bail made of coiled wire and added prehnite nugget beads in a lovely shade of pale green. I left the necklace overnight, and by the time I woke up, had decided that it needed a bit more 'Zhoosh'. Four more strands of beads were added, and only then was I satisfied. Turquoise, ruby with zoisite and Czech glass seed beads went into the necklace in a tousled, bohemian look.
I started to make a soutache bezel around an ammonite fossil, not sure what exactly I was going to do with it - perhaps a centrepiece for a cuff bracelet? or a bail for one of my jade pendants? - in the end it seemed to cry out to be strung simply on a strand of Biwa pearls, rather than be part of another piece. The reds and greens reminded me of the military uniforms worn by the Cossack Guards and the Russian folk song 'Kalinka' began to play in my head.
Beetle wings are a tour de force of nature - the jewel colours are amazing. This will be my sixth necklace made from these beautiful wings that once belonged to the Indonesian Jewellery Beetle. My very first necklace was commissioned by Meghna who wore it to a cocktail party thrown by her parents.
Two rows of wings, with a glass tear drop adding a bit of weight to the centre of the piece, drawing it down into the decollete' - a simple, yet effective piece. These necklaces are difficult to photograph lying flat, the wings seem to have a mind of their own. I used up my entire stash in this necklace and hadn't planned on buying any more. Mike was aghast and twisted my arm into placing another order from the shop in Thailand, so it would appear that there are to be more of these on my pages. I will have to think up new and novel ways to make the necklaces as I don't really like to repeat myself. As an aside, the owner of the online beetle wing shop in Thailand is called Ronnie Biggs!! It is either a joke or he is named after his notorious ancestor, in which case, Trains, beware!
That's all I have for you folks. Have a fab Easter break 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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