Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Good morning, and how nice it is to have you stop by. How are you today? We have had a mixed bag, weather wise, in Britain (what a cliché - a blog from the UK mentioning the weather in almost the first sentence!), and our collective moods have been up and down with the vagaries of the elusive summer sunshine.
I spent the week preparing frantically for the jewellery party at my friend's place at the weekend - cleaning and polishing stuff I tried to chose carefully to match the demographics of the people who are likely to be there.
I am determined to put on a decent show - both for Caprilicious, and for my friend, who has bigged me up and invited all her friends - Gerri and I have known each other for ages, having been at school together. These good folk will be driving for up to an hour to get there and will be expecting a decent show for their effort.
I will tell you all about it next week, when I have recovered my equilibrium. Just now, I am wandering around the house muttering and shaking my head, looking for stuff the house appears to have eaten - a bit like Gollum and his 'Preciousssssssssssssssss'.
These stones landed on my doorstep earlier this week, bought from a vendor in India - 342 carats of carved cabochons in Labradorite and rose quartz, 73 carats of prehnite teardrops, and best of all, 233 carats of a labradorite slab.
You might well wonder why I would want to buy a large flat grey stone - enlarge the picture, and you will see a fine tracery of blue, that resembles lightening bolts running through the stone.
This is what happened when I tilted the stone so it got some light shining on it from the living room window - the flash of Schiller is unmistakeable.
When I tilted it further towards the light, the flash was so brilliant, I almost needed my sun glasses to look into it directly.
I have put these stones away, deep in my stash, and will bring them out periodically to look at, and stroke, until one of them speaks up and demands to be used. The large slab will remain with me, until I can be certain it will go to a good home, it is so beautiful, it deserves preferential treatment.
Beads Unlimited are a bead company in Brighton. I occasionally submit designs to their website, for their readers gallery, and Jo Porter went along to the Caprilicious website to take a look at my other designs - she loved them so much, she offered to feature me on her Bead Barmy Blog - and here's a screen capture of what she wrote.
To read it for yourself, here's the link - http://www.beadbarmy.com/2013/06/hobby-to-business-caprilicious-jewellery/
Thank you Jo, and Beads Unlimited, for your kind words and your little gift of beads and wire.
Flutterby from last week was a hit, and sold even before the blog was released on Friday. I had one more cloisonne butterfly and I decided that it too, should be allowed free - and so Flutterby (2) was born. I used amethyst, fluorite and emerald nuggets, so that the two of them wouldn't be identical.
With my foot still poorly, I gave it a fighting chance by resting it as much as possible - this meant that I could not work with polymer clay, as this meant treks back and forth from the oven to my work room. So I played with my kiln and fired some silver clay, and for the first time, bronze clay as well. Silver is now so expensive, I had to make sure I got it right- here are the pieces I made.....
Metal clay is made from powdered metal mixed with water and a substance called "methyl cellulose" to create a clay-like dough.
Metal clay handles similar to traditional modeling clays, and when dried is transformed into a solid, metallic object through a firing process. During firing, the methyl cellulose binder is burned away and the metal particles "sinter" into a solid form.
The montage below shows some of the story. I managed to make quite a few pieces, and only one of them broke in the heat of the kiln, probably because the imprint of the design was a bit too deep - Oh well, I can live with that.
The whole thing was fired for an hour in an oxygen depleted environment, buried in carbon particles in a lidded stainless steel container and left to cool in the kiln overnight. And then, I held my breath as I opened up the container and scrabbled around in the charcoal for the pieces of bronze that I had buried the day before - would they be OK, or would they be rubbish????
It's amazing what a bit of soapy water in the tumbler can do - the stainless steel shot works its way into every crevice and shines and hardens the metal - I love my little tumbler, it makes the metal so pretty - I forgot to put a couple of pieces in the tumbler, and you can see the difference straight away. I couldn't wait to add some pretty gemstones and turn them into danglers.
Daffodils Daffodils lining the road to Coombe Abbey
............Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
One cannot imagine an English Country Garden without daffodils - I found this beautiful set of brass stampings on a site in the USA and bought a few of them - this is the second one I have used, with a woven copper frame and loads of Czech glass. I meant to put a beaded necklace on it, but in the end decided to give it a more modern look with a leather thong. A blue chalcedony tear drop finished the piece off with elegance.
That's it for this week, thank you for stopping by. Must go and pack the car now and see how many things I can forget! Catch you next week, same time, same place with the story
p.s. for those of you who read the Caprilicious blog each week, to the side of the title is a logo that reads 'Follow my blog with Bloglovin' - this will ensure that it lands in your inbox without fail, so you don't need to be connected to Facebook to get it. Alternatively, below this is the Network Blogs link - this will do the same - you can take you pick
see you soon