Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
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.
I'm Neena Shilvock, and I'm crazily addicted to jewellery. I've been designing and making quirky and interesting statement necklaces for the last five years and my passion hasn't cooled off one little bit - in fact it has got worse, such that I'm even dreaming jewellery.
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