Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Dear readers, thanks for stopping by this week, it is always a pleasure to have your company. As I mentioned last week, I've had a few days away in Edinburgh, both sight seeing and attending a reunion to which I was invited. Of course, I took the opportunity to showcase Caprilicious Jewellery - I take any opportunity to showcase my jewellery! and I was gratified that so many people came and took a look and picked up some pieces.
I never know how much or what to carry and consequently end up taking too much - however, after a few of these events, I am now an expert at packing and unpacking and can do it all without help in the space of twenty minutes.
The display of course, never satisfies my aesthetic sensibilities, but as I usually show far away from home and am unable to carry too many display items, I have to make the best of what is available.
As you can see from the pictures above, Edinburgh is a fairly masculine, sombre city built in sandstone, not without the occasional pop of colour and a whimsical sense of humour. The reunion was at a school, where the men played cricket and the ladies chatted, drank tea and shopped at Caprilicious. There was a raucous party that night at a club overlooking the estuary with the Firth of Forth in the distance, and we all had a great time dancing to the sounds made by the Madivala Cockroaches! These stalwart gentlemen all come from St John's Medical College in Bangalore and practice in the UK. I have to say their musical skills were impressive and extremely professional, for all that they are busy doctors scattered around the UK and have very little time to play together.
Last week, I made a dark and brooding black and white necklace, but Ms Muse got going this week with an explosion of colour. I made some hollow beads earlier as a prototype for a tutorial I am writing for Bead and Jewellery magazine later on in the year. The beads are gaily coloured with oil pastels and doodled on, giving a carved effect. They are about 2 inches in diameter, but very light as they are hollow. I showed them to a friend and he looked dismayed. 'Who on earth would wear beads this size?' he asked, with a shocked expression. I didn't know what I could make with them either, until something went 'Whirrrrrr.......click' in my head and I suddenly knew exactly how to string them.
The Doodlebead Necklace
Knotted together with ultrasuede, showing off the carving on the beads to great effect and a length of Kumihimo braid at the back, this is a cheerfully colourful necklace.
It would seem that Ms Muse hadn't finished with colour yet. I picked out a beautiful flashy blue labradorite cabochon and beaded around it. Soutache embroidery comprises of a few different elements that are repeated over and over - the difference between one artisan and another are in the colours and beads used and the layout of the various elements.
I don't often plan the design before I start or the colours I want to use, and tend to rummage in my box of braid and beads, picking out those that catch my eye in a random manner. What emerges is as much of a surprise to me as it is to anyone who watches the piece evolve. I sometimes post pictures on the Caprilicious Instagram account of work in progress when I finish up for the night, and I have no idea what is going to happen to the piece when I next pick it up. This one ended up colourful, with blues and greens, yellow and orange. I wanted it to be a smaller piece that could be worn both day or night and hope I have succeeded. I hung it on a copper torque necklace that has been coated with a non tarnish finish.
There is something extremely Middle Eastern about this pendant and the flashy azure blue of the labradorite inspired the name. The colour Persian blue comes from the blue of Persian pottery and the tiles used in mosques and palaces in the Middle East.
That's me for this week folks. We have been re bonding with our cats who were put into the cattery when we were in Edinburgh - they weren't too pleased about it, and let us know in no uncertain terms. They are being spoiled and pampered to attempt to make up for it.
Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next weekend, 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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