Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
As a child, my excuses for work not handed in on time were extremely inventive to say the least - but now, I have surpassed all my previous efforts, and then some! My inner child is alive and well, having survived standing behind the blackboard for most of my chemistry lessons, and learning all of The Merchant of Venice off by heart as a form of punishment - so well, that I can rattle the whole play off today, a hundred years down the line.
It took me an entire evening to mold, cut out, dry, and sand my latest effort - Oh, I was mighty proud of my beautiful creation!
The next day, I was ready to fire it - but, I couldn't find the bl@@~y sheet of paper with the instructions - I hunted high and low, but in the end, with a sense of deja vu, conceded to myself that 'The house ate my instructions'.
I went back to my computer and downloaded a fresh set of instructions and followed them accurately, and guess what?? This time, 'The kiln ate my pendant'!
All I had left to show that I had actually put anything in the kiln (apart for the photographic evidence above - thank God for technology) were a few tiny pieces of sintered metal, and on scrabbling through the carbon particles, I found the little stone I had set into the pendant.
I think I went a bit hysterical at this point - well, it wasn't worth crying over, and that seemed to be the only other possible course of action. So, I sat there, on my haunches in a red towelling robe, clean and fresh from a prolonged soak in a hot bath while my kiln had been chomping away at my pendant, scrabbling around in carbon particles with blackened, dirty hands and a smudge on the side of my nose, laughing as if my sides would split - Mike thought he'd phone the men in white coats to take me away, but I escaped incarceration in a padded cell in the nick of time!
Inspirational Beading is a blog written by Mortira vanPelt of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island. She makes the most exquisite beaded jewellery and likes to support her fellow artisans. She published an interview with Caprilicious Jewellery on her 'Inspired Beader' page and sent me a link - http://inspirationalbeading.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/inspired-beader-caprilicious-jewelry.html
Mortira likes to make eco friendly jewellery and says 'I often try to put a bit of a green spin on things, while also appealing to every type of beader. I also hope to create discussion and debate, so comments are always welcome, no matter how old a post is' - so do head over and leave a comment on her blog, if you are reading this.
Avatar was made in 2009, and is possibly the highest grossing film of all time. Neytiri was a Na'vi princess of the Omaticaya tribe and the female protagonist of that movie. She was portrayed as brave and fearless, and had a strong sense of loyalty. The entire movie was shot in shades of the most beautiful cobalt, turquoise and ultramarine blue.
I fell in love with the dyed jade medallion in this next piece, and teamed it with opaque turquoise crystals. The pendant is strong, and almost masculine, with the dragon motif, but it's colour is very feminine. Not entirely happy with the lack of movement in the piece, I added a turquoise teardrop bead, wire wrapped with shiny blue crystals. It is a very striking piece in Neytiri's colours, and it sits on my 'Oriental Inspirations' page on the website. The dragon motif seems to embody Neytiri's strength of character.
I love the colours, and the addition of a bit of wirework finishes it off beautifully in my opinion - what do you think? Leave a comment at the end of this post and tell me, why don't you??
Running With Scissors - as usual!
As if I wasn't despondent enough with the bronze clay fiasco, I decided court yet more failure by attempting to make canes using polymer clay.
Canes are cylinders of clay or glass that have a design running through them, and when the cylinder is sliced, each cross section contains the design. Each one is made up in a large cylinder so that it can be managed easily, and once the process is finished, the cane is reduced to the size required, and then a cross section made - lo, and behold (hopefully) a design appears. This is the theory, but.....
I find it very difficult not to cut it open and peek midway through the process - you need a the patience of Job (whoever he was) to make a cane without slicing it open every two minutes, and it has to be accepted that a whole load of clay might end up on the scrap heap. Added to this, once the cane is made, it has to be 'rested' overnight before it is cut open, or it smears and distorts and generally looks like rubbish - even more patience.
Can you see why this might not be a suitable endeavour for yours truly??
I decided to try out some tutorials by Marie Segal of Art From My Heart at http://mariesegal.blogspot.co.uk/_
These tutorials were probably written for someone more experienced than me (that's almost everybody) and involves the use of extruders and other implements - but I was going to die trying, and in actual fact, it wasn't so bad - have a look at my attempts - I think they are quite acceptable for a first time.
I only wish I was less annoyingly ambitious - most people make bullseyes and little flowers to start with - but no sirree, not me, I have to try out the daddy of all the canes available. Anyway, I now have five canes - next, to make something with them - probably next week.
You can see on the bottom right that I didn't wait to rest the cane before cutting it open - it is meant to be heart shaped at the centre.
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Another necklace with solar quartz set in sterling silver, the stalactite this time dyed purple, looking just like a purple flower, so I named it after one of my favourite movies. Teamed with amethyst teardrop nuggets, a few peridot, crystal beads and pearls, it turned into a delicate, and elegant necklace - very understated, but yet, making its own quiet, sweet melody. A little silver flower toggle clasp I had been hoarding for just such an occasion came in handy to finish this necklace off to perfection.
I know that many of you read this blog regularly - certainly more than the twenty three kind people who have publicly declared their affiliation by pressing the 'follow this blog' logo - can I ask you to please click on it
- make a poor artisan who is doing her best happy, eh?? and rack up some points in heaven!
I promise it won't rear up out of your computer and bite you - all that will happen will be that the blog will drop into your inboxes each week, with a silent 'plop' , and there will be a smile on my face - it is safe, I promise - please, pretty please..... I've even put the link on the end of this sentence for you - you won't even have to scroll back up to the top right of this page, where it normally lives.
Them's my shenanigans for this week folks, thanks for stopping by. Catch you next week, same time, same place.