Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
I have been a doctor for thirty years now - so what is it that draws me to creating jewellery and all the other things I do around Caprilicious? - photography, writing blurbs, posting on Facebook, setting up and modifying my website regularly, writing this blog, marketing, sales, packaging and posting, trawling the internet for unusual elements and beads, entering into bidding wars with unseen enemies for beads I crave, learning new techniques on line, taking classes - and all this while keeping a stringent eye on the day job! I am a long way from retirement (it seems like a long way just now) and there is no room for error - I have to keep up with the advances in medicine as they occur, and the job itself is pretty stressful.
A good friend of mine asked me the question, and this set me thinking - what have I gained from all this activity - am I just a busy fool?
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time ...
For 'art' insert jewellery making in my particular case! I have found friends in quarters I would never have thought to look, met some really interesting people, and of course, the people who buy from me are the tops! After all, Caprilicious is my alter ego - every piece in it speaks to, and of, me - as a corollary to this - anyone who likes my jewellery is a kindred spirit!
OK, enough of this introspection, let me show you what I made this week. And so, without further ado......
Roya was made with snow white jasper lozenges with inky blue agate nuggets and blue - black crystals. A few silver tone spacers and four Shiva eye beads add a pop of colour to an otherwise sober piece. The Shiva eye is the operculum or lid of the sea snail, and has recently become very fashionable. It is usually circular and fits snugly, sealing the entrance to the shell. These beads are filled with an orange resin, giving them their colour - if not for this, Shiva Eye beads are usually white.
ROYA is an Arabic name, meaning vision. This ties in with the Shiva Eye - according to mythology, Shiva and Parvati, his wife, were having a bit of a romp in the Himalayas, where they lived. Parvati came up from behind, and shut both his eyes with her hands, and the world went dark for a few seconds. Shiva, who had a really bad temper (and by all accounts, no sense of humour) opened a third eye in the centre of his forehead. He would rather be disfigured for life, than be blind for a few seconds??? - I don't know! someone should have sent him directions to the nearest sense-of-humour shop in Nepal!
My mother suggested that it might have been because he wanted to keep an eye on his mortal subjects at all times - who knows?? In his place, I would have added a fourth eye for good measure, this time in the back of my head, just to keep a watch for those naughty people behind my back - lack of foresight (or is it hind??) I call it!
Wake up, Titania
I spent an enjoyable day with polymer clay and wire, fashioning what looked like the seed pods of the 'Honesty' flower, a project from a book by Rie Nagumo. Translucent clay is difficult to work with as it becomes brittle very quickly, and I had to coax it and speak to it sweetly ( threats and the swear words flying around weren't working on the darn thing) to stay attached to the wire frames until the curing process was complete. I made quite a few, and only managed to lose six.
These are paintings by Kay Konrad, a German painter who painted these beautiful imaginary scenarios from A Midsummer Night's Dream. The one above is called Titania meets Oberon and the one below is Träufelnd Oberon, Titania Asleep. As the mood of my necklace was evocative of these paintings, I requested permission from him to reproduce them on these pages. Have a look at his art on http://www.kaykonrad.de . I think his paintings are so dreamy and fairy like. I sent him a link to Caprilicious and he said my jewellery was beautiful - what a nice man - I am anybody's for a compliment!
In the painting above, Oberon is just about to drug Titania in her sleep with fairy dust so that when she wakes up she falls in love with the first person she sees. A lot of people have had that problem, even without the (non) help of Oberon's magic - or there wouldn't be so many divorces in the world - so I called my necklace Wake up, Titania, in an effort to save her from falling for a wrong 'un. Seed beads and coiled segments were wired onto fairly stiff copper - I wanted the necklace to be robust, and not become misshapen too easily. The seed beads I chose were a pinky - purple to go with the mood of the paintings, but the copper wire inside the glass shines through, and only the more strongly tinted beads show up pink.
My poor Muse was exhausted after this effort, so I gave her a rest, and entertained myself by exercising my right brain - reading a fabulous book called Wire in Design by Barbara Mc Guire. It is a compendium of a whole load of wire artisans' work - I then Googled each artisan in the book and drooled all over their stuff, until I could coax my muse back through the door, all rejuvenated after a couple of days off.
Eva Cassidy was a hugely talented American jazz vocalist who died tragically of a melanoma at the age of thirty three. Terry Wogan introduced her to the UK listener by playing her music on his show on Radio 2, well after she died, and her album went to the top of the charts in the UK and Europe. This necklace is a tribute to her amazing arrangements and vocals - the silver electroplated maple leaf, with the pewter leaf spacers interspersed with faceted onyx olive shaped beads is called Falling Leaves. The maple leaf has a few onyx beads on a little chain dangling in front of it to provide extra movement to the piece, without detracting from, or obscuring the beauty of the leaf skeleton.
That's all the Muse and I had time for this week, have a nice weekend, and we'll catch up with 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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