Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, how nice to see you again. Last week has gone by in a blur that has been mostly about metal clay. I went to a workshop at Metal Clay Ltd in Wareham - the teacher was the delightful Anna Mazon of Drakonaria who came to us from Krakow in Poland. I fell in love with her Herbarium pendants and when I saw that she was running a class, I decided that I just had to go to it.
Anyone who knows me well knows my phobia for driving, but I was determined to face my fears and drive the 175 miles - the four hour drive was hell on my nerves, especially with all the roadworks, traffic and diversions - but the class was so worth the effort, I learned so much and am determined to put it into practice over and over again.
Anna gave us a few templates to design our pendants with, but I, who am rubbish at drawing, took the bull by the horns and decided to draw a gingko leaf and design a pendant from it - after all it is easier to be brave when you have an experienced teacher to correct your errors. That said, I didn't need too much correction and the template made, I cut out the clay and made the pendant. All the other ladies had much more experience than me and had been working with metal clay a lot longer. However, the experience I had with repairing broken greenware came very handy when I accidentally broke bits off the pendant a couple of times, and repaired them with panache. Oh, come on, it's just as important to know how to correct your mistakes as it is to learn never to make them! I just went 'oops!' and repaired my piece. Eventually it was ready to fire, and then I was given a lesson in soldering a setting for a stone, which is an entirely new skill that I got to learn.
The Appassionata is Beethoven's 23rd symphony, written at the time when he realised that he was becoming progressively and irreversibly deaf. It is thought to be a very technically challenging piece to play - all I know is that it sounds fabulous and that it is at least 25 minutes long, or I would have played it for you - if you have a free half hour to spare, you can listen to it here. I hung my pendant on a necklace made of blue sunstone and mother of pearl beads and added a dangle of dark blue jade.
I thought it deserved a beautiful name.
Morgan Le Fay
Arthurian legend has long been of interest - as a young girl, I sighed over The Lady of Shalott, handsome Galahad, and tales of King Arthur and Guinevere. Morgan Le Fay or Morgana was Arthur's half sister, and hated him and Guinevere with a vengeance. She was a sorceress and practiced the dark arts to plot their downfall and her name always invoked a shiver down my spine. And now, even though I am all grown up, the stories still haven't lost their magic.
As an adult I came across Marion Zimmer Bradley's book 'The Mists of Avalon', where she tells the story of Arthur from the perspective of the women involved. Morgan is portrayed as a victim of circumstances, a story in which there is neither black and white nor good and evil, but several truths, much like real life itself. I developed a sympathy for the character since I read the book. The rough cut amethyst nuggets in this necklace brought Morgana to mind - they are dark and Autumnal, and just right for the season.
That's all I had time for this week, thanks a lot for stopping by folks, 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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