Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
A Truly Caprilicious Week
Hello readers and lovers of statement jewellery, thanks for joining me this week. If this is your first read, welcome - if it isn't and you are a regular reader, may I request you to please support the blog by following it on Bloglovin or Networked Blogs - the link is in the sidebar. Do also take a moment to leave me a comment - it's nice to know I'm not talking into thin air and there's someone in the ether out there, actually looking at my work.
I put all the polymer clay beads I made over the last week, using various faux effects together, and I found that I had filled the lid of a shoebox - rather a lot of beads! I did so enjoy making them though - a week away from the day job just passed by in a gentle haze. And yet, I felt compelled to make even more, trying out techniques and tutorials I have been collecting on my Pinterest boards for ages and haven't had the time to try.
I once saw some glass drawbench drizzle beads on a website and loved the look of them so much, that I decided to try and replicate them in polymer clay. Researching how to do this drew a blank, so I decided to give it a go myself.
I photographed the process as I went along, and by the end, I had a mini tutorial for anyone who might want to follow in my footsteps and also as an aide-memoire - these beads are so pretty, I will most definitely make them again.
I know it is a very simple tutorial and describes a technique that most polymeristas can carry out with their eyes shut, but I would have given a lot to find something like it when I first started and is aimed at beginners.
The week went by in a truly Caprilicious manner. One minute I was making a sweet and serene necklace and the next time I looked in the mirror, there was a riot around my neck!
Coin pearls, and gemstone beads in shades of blue went into this necklace inspired by the bright blue of the sky. I made this necklace long but added a Mabe pearl clasp, so that it could be doubled up into two rows if necessary.
Holi is the Indian festival of colour, marking spring. People buy coloured pigments and a free-for-all carnival of colours ensues, where participants chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water. There is music and laughter and everyone has a riot of a time. They end the day looking terribly bedraggled - well, everyone knows that if you mix more than three colours together, you get a muddy brown - but by then, nobody seems to care a jot.
This necklace is a riot of colour, with the bright red of the coral and the colourful cat's eye beads. The cat's eyes have a fibre-optic element embedded into them and they catch the light to provide that extra glint. The colours of the cat's eyes match the colours in the brightly enamelled Moroccan bead which is the focal point of this piece.
Shibori is a Japanese tie-dye technique. This next piece was inspired by a Shibori scarf I saw on Pinterest and an orange and grey gown I saw on someone's Facebook page. I remembered the beautiful carnelian slab nuggets I've had in my stash for ages - they are waxy and in a delicately shaded orange. They are a perfect match for a string of rutilated quartz beads. I would wear this necklace of an evening and feel very sophisticated in it, indeed!
Every time I walked past my shoebox lid full of beads, the faux drawbench beads called out to me. I couldn't resist them anymore and teamed them with a couple of nuggets of coral - red, black and silver is always irresistible, see for yourself. We were re-watching Some Like it Hot and Running Wild was the song that was being played as I put the necklace together.
The Peacock in Park
One of my favourites, the peacock is such a beautiful, irresistible bird. I sat down to make this wire torque, and it took me simply ages to decide how to finish it - and it took a week to make. This is probably one of the most labour intensive pieces I have made and I will almost certainly never be able to remake it.
A swirly wrap of both sterling silver and fine silver around a pleasingly hefty ombré chunk of amethyst with a little pewter dragonfly wired onto it was then hung on a lilac organza ribbon. Fine silver is tarnish proof because it is an alloy of silver and germanium, rather than silver and copper, which is sterling silver. It is the copper content of sterling silver or 0.925% silver that causes it to tarnish by being oxidised. Fine silver is also easy to manipulate and doesn't break - a pleasure to work with especially in the higher gauges of weaving wire.
The tracks made by the sterling silver over the amethyst describe the flight path of the little dragonfly wired onto the pendant.
And last, but not least.................. drumroll.........
I brought these little beauties back from my holiday in India - they are little carnelian and amethyst briolettes, and they took simply ages to string. I made the necklace one string a day until all the beads were used up - and then I didn't like what I had made so I restrung them three times until I was finally satisfied.
Well, readers, you can see that I have been having a lot of fun in my time off from the day job. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and so it came to pass that I had to go back to work on Wednesday. Oh well, it was great while it lasted and I feel refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to face any curveballs that come my way.
That's it for this week, have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
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