Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
A Room with no View
It has finally happened - after an year, and many avoidance tactics, I have had to bite the bullet and move a lot of my jewellery making stuff to a little bedroom - the smallest one in the house. This bedroom used to be an occasional room for the previous owners grandchildren, and when we extended the house, we put a room for the TV on the outside, thus blocking off the window and all natural light - this is not ideal for any sort of crafting activity, but unfortunately is the only space in our house I can use. To camouflage this lack of a view, we had a stained glass window put in with jewel colours, from a design by Frank Lloyd Wright, made by an artist in Warwick, and that now, is my view! The mannequin in the corner is called Betty, and I use her to photograph the necklaces I make. I had already taken over part of the conservatory with my kiln and enamelling endeavours, but needed somewhere indoors to house all my other tools - crunch time came when I acquired a bench buffer - I simply had to have a place to put it. But, it has all been worth it - 'omelettes and eggs'..................... !!
I took an online class with Melanie Muir, and between her techniques and a book written by Bettina Welker, I made these cuff bracelets, and got them to shine like glass using the bench buffer. I was a bit afraid of it and started out with some practice pieces which I ruined completely, but now, I think I have cracked it, and had a lot of fun making the bracelets. They are lightweight, and have a metal form hidden inside, so can be bent around the wrist to give a snug fit - I love cuff bracelets, next only to necklaces, and wear them all the time. Have a look and see what you think..........
I also made these puffy, swirly 'lentil' beads - they draw your eye repeatedly to the centre of the bead, and put them on a necklace made of golden yellow wooden beads. I love the little lock and key shaped clasp - I found those on one of my random browsing expeditions and had to get them - I think a pretty clasp simply elevates a piece of jewellery from the ordinary to the interesting, don't you?
I have developed a mad obsession for Malachite - the green is so stunningly deep and rich, and the markings so beautiful. It is named for the Greek word for "mallow", a green herb.
And to think it is just the verdigris 'rust' in the copper content of the stone that gives it that colour - I'm not keen on this most prosaic of explanations for the beauty of the stone! I bought some faceted beads, with fabulous black markings and teamed it with puffy snowflakes and electroplated silver glass beads. As someone said, malachite is 'impossibly chic' - malachite green can be teamed with most neutral colours, notably teal, aubergine, cream, and navy blue - excellent to ward off those winter blues.
Eastern Promise - Lapis and Turquoise
I recently went back to the Nepalese site I love, and bought a few more pendants - I tend to hoard the pieces I love and these pendants are no exception - this one was from a batch I bought last year, and have taken out of its box every so often, stroked it gently in a gollum - like way - ' yesssssssssssss, my pretty' I said lovingly, and put it away in the dark recesses of my cupboard - well, I finally shook myself out of that bit of craziness and made it up into a piece of jewellery. Unfortunately for you and I, artisan made pendants are a little more expensive than we would like - as would be expected, I suppose. But, these pendants certainly live up to the 'pretty' tag! I echoed the lapis and turquoise in the pendant with lapis and turquoise beads, added a toggle clasp - and 'hey presto' - a necklace appeared, replacing the component from the cupboard!
That's all I've had time for this week folks, thanks for reading the blog, have a great weekend, and catch you next week - same time, same place.
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