Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
G'day readers, I hope you have had a fabulous week and are getting ready for yet another cool weekend.
I myself am 'doing a geographical' - I am escaping from my problems by going away - but unfortunately as the man said, 'Wherever you go, There you are'! It will be two years since my brother died unexpectedly and I am yet to come to terms with his loss - I wander around in complete denial, but I know it will hit me eventually, when I go back to India to visit my mother and he isn't there. Just now, however, I need to get away - from being a member of a 'caring' profession, from well meaning callers, from having to be strong and comfort my family, and from having to confront the fact that I will never see him again.
The Arowana fish, also known as the “golden dragon”, because of its close similarity to an actual dragon, is said to be the most expensive aquarium fish in the world. It is meant to bring good luck and prosperity and is used by Feng Shui masters to increase personal development and money-making opportunities.
This fish apparently is so highly attuned to negative forces, that when it senses a disaster, it whacks itself against the side of the aquarium to warn it's owner. If the owner doesn't take heed and do something to repair his karma, it will leap out of the water and commit suicide, sacrificing its own life to repress negative energy for its owner. (I put this down to the concussion it suffered when it was beating itself about the head during the attention seeking phase).
Liuli crystal is made in China - a multicolour crystal, which has a very complicated casting technique - it is expensive, because 40% of the castings fail and have to be discarded. The molds cannot be reused and the firing temperatures are very high - each piece is one of a kind and multicoloured. This necklace has two strands of square Czech glass beads in a beautiful emerald green.
The success of this form of currency can largely be attributed to the high intrinsic value African people put upon decorative items, and social status was easily determined by the quality, quantity and style of jewellery worn.
The very first bead made in Africa was the ostrich eggshell bead. The ostrich eggshell was first used as a container for water after the contents were eaten, and when this broke, the remains were converted into beads. I made some polymer clay beads that resembled them. I ran out of rock salt to roll the clay in, to make the surface appear uneven and worn, so I used lentils from the store cupboard instead.
The kitchen is the tool shed of a polymer clay person - pasta machines, extruders modified from icing guns, even a potato peeler to shave thin slices of clay, blenders, cookie cutters, ovens, baking sheets, kitchen foil, parchment paper, spoons, soda cans, rock salt - and lentils - all of these have been pressed into use, with the proviso that they cannot be reused in the preparation of food - all except the oven, of course!
I really love the idea of making a lot of the components that go into my jewellery myself - and mixing media excites me - the sky's the limit with this type of jewellery. And just as I finished making the beads and wondered what I was going to do with them - these pendants arrived in the post - it doesn't take a genius to spot that they go together - and the necklaces have a name already - Dancing in the Dark - probably because of their high visibility! Somebody who likes the bold, the bright and the different will love them - if you are that person and are reading this - read on............
Hermes is a Greek God, the son of Zeus and Maia - Zeus seems to have spread himself around - I suppose that is permissible if you are the father of all the Gods!
Hermes moved freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, as emissary and messenger of the gods, and is protector and patron of travelers, orators, poets, and sports. Winged sandals are one of his symbols, but his main symbol is the herald's staff, a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings. The silver pendant in this necklace reminded me of this symbol - it is very similar to the staff of Asclepius, which is the medical symbol - this, though has only one snake and no wings.
A silver 'window druzy' stone, flanked by wings and garnets was enhanced by the addition of two strands of little garnet beads, and silver plated glass tear drops. The necklace turned out dainty and delicate, and I was quite pleased with the effect.
Dancing in the Dark
Anyone who has been to Prague will have heard of their famous Black Light Theatre - the stage, set, and theatre are all painted black, and with the use of fluorescent costumes and UV lights, the performers are able to produce spectacular contemporary illusionary dance forms.
I named the next few pieces of jewellery after this beautiful spectacle - they are so highly decorative and visible, that they will probably be at their best against the backdrop of a little black dress, although I'm sure some improvisation around that theme will be just as stunning. The pendants came from the Silk route area, and are rather heavy, so rather than give the wearer a pain in the neck, I teamed them with light weight beads. I made some of the beads myself, as you will no doubt have read earlier.
I couldn't make just the one, I had to put them all together - they are definitely statement pieces, and I just love the colours and the 'in your face-ness' of them - not for the timid then, eh?? I am sure the person(s) who get them will love them.
That's all I had time for folks, catch you next week, same time, same place