It surprised me then, when for no particular reason my eyes were drawn to soutache jewellery and bead weaving. Perhaps it was the beauty of the stones I brought back from Jaipur or just the need to do something different. I'm not sure what the impetus was for this new direction I am taking, but here it is!!
A textile designer from Israel, Dori Csengri was playing around with pieces of the braid one day in the mid eighties, and in an Eureka! moment she designed a piece of soutache jewellery. How amazing is that! Since then the best proponents of soutache appear to come from Eastern Europe.
Of course being me, I couldn't possibly do anything simple and easy, could I? I decided that I had to learn basic bead weaving to embellish the cabochons as well. The stones can be attached to the backing with glue and surrounded with soutache braids, but the wire worker in me scorns the use of glue to hold a stone in place in perpetuity. I wanted to use tiny seed beads to weave a setting around the cabochon (there goes my eyesight!) and having made a few practice pieces, I decided to take a class to consolidate my knowledge of the technique and pick up a few extra pointers along the way.
Oh No! I went back home and did it all again the next day, there was nothing else for it. I even met the same Punxsutawney Phil's on the train, they were obviously commuters who go up to London on the train every day. It takes an hour and six minutes to get in to Euston, and of course, it is much cheaper to live in Warwickshire, even with the train fares. I sat in the sunshine and had a coffee at the same Turkish cafe - it really was a Groundhog Day moment. I made a couple of little pieces at the class. They provided us with ugly acrylic cabochons, cheap cotton thread with Bengali writing on the packaging that snapped as soon as I looked at it and plastic pearls and I couldn't bring myself to waste my energy on making anything that resembled jewellery with that lot - I know, I am such a snob! I can't understand why they would stint on supplies as the prices they charged were steep enough for them to have provided us with halfway decent stuff. Anyway, I learned the how to's and how not to's and was happy with that.
Here are some pictures of another piece I started this week, my eyes and fingers needed a bit of a rest and I had to wait for the green beads to arrive. This time I kept a pictorial diary in Instagram - have you looked at the Caprilicious Instagram account??
It is called caprilicious_by_neena_shilvock, and I post updates as I go along if I remember to bring my mobile phone to my seat in front of the telly.