Hello readers, how are you this weekend? Thanks for stopping by, it is always lovely to have your company. We've had a great upset - one of our cats went missing last Friday and we have hunted high and low, leafleting all the surrounding houses and putting up posters in all the local shops, unfortunately to no avail. We feel terrible about it and even writing these words hurts, so I shall say no more about it.
With all this going on we did not enjoy a moment of the most beautiful weekend we are likely to have this year and it took me ages to finish the piece of jewellery I had started a week ago. I did force myself to play with clay and beads, just to lift the sadness that engulfed me all week.
The Kimono Collection
These are pendants made from polymer clay, made to resemble crackle glazed Raku pottery with a Japanese theme running through them. They are all coloured using alcohol ink and I think they are quite fun.
Sizzle in Pink
Wallowing in clay, especially when it has to be pounded with a mallet to condition it, is a very satisfying way to dispel tension. I have a few blocks of slightly old clay and the plasticiser required to be re-dispersed through it to make it pliable again. I bashed away at it using a mallet and the pasta machine and all this took some of the edge off my frustration and anxiety. In the meantime, I had started a pendant with a beautiful solar quartz cabochon dyed to resemble watermelon tourmaline. Matching the braids and beads to the colours of the cabochon, I created Sizzle in Pink. It took ages to finish - what would normally take a week took me two, because of my preoccupation with Charlie. When I finally finished it, it certainly sizzled! I hung it simply on a shepherd's crook torque necklace.
A couple of weeks ago I sold some polymer clay roses to a lady who commissioned them to make a hairband for a little bridesmaid to wear to her mother's wedding. Elaine sent me a picture of the finished article and I thought I'd show it to you here. She wrapped a load of crystals all the way down the band and it looks really pretty.
That's all I had time for this week folks - we are exhausted, mentally and physically and I have decided to wean myself away from talking or even thinking about Charlie lest I make myself ill. We hope very much that he will come back, but who knows what the future holds?
Thanks for joining me, once again. Have a good weekend and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place. Until then,
Hello readers, thanks for joining me today. Britain has been swathed in a heatwave and I'm afraid I've basked in the sunshine, gardening, swimming and eating outdoors - generally pretending that I am living in Australia, knowing that my bubble will burst all too soon. Still, it has lasted four days so far and seems set to go on for a while more.
I took the opportunity to chill out in the garden, and merely managed to finish one piece of jewellery for which I've had the components made for over two years.
I attended a course where one of the tutors was Christine Dumont.
This is what she has to say about herself on her website "Born in Belgium, I have lived in the Middle-East, Morocco, Canada, UK, Malta and Belgium. After a career in healthcare computing in Canada and Europe, I now devote my creativity to art and writing. My jewellery pieces are made mostly from polymer clay...The potential of polymer clay as an artistic medium has yet to be unlocked and I am excited at working at the forefront to shape its future."
She is softly spoken, slim, chic, and the kind of essentially European woman who makes me feel like a hot, sweaty, galumphing, unsophisticated mess. Her jewellery is very like her and she taught us a very interesting technique which took me so long to perfect that I came away with the components in a box, to be made up at a later date.
As you can tell quite easily, this is not a Caprilicious piece - it is starkly simple, and in a style that I call contemporary minimalist. Christine calls these necklaces 'Cellularia'. The beads are made in two pieces - a hemispherical piece with a perforated lid and therefore light and hollow.
I did my best to 'Neenafy' it - adding beads, ribbons and other elements but they just looked stupidly out of place. Finally, I gave in and put the components together as Ms Dumont intended in her Cellularia necklace. I felt like an impostor pretending to sing in an alien language, much like Charlie Chaplin in this classic clip as The Tramp who made up a song with foreign sounding nonsense words when forced to sing, and made an excellent fist of it!
I played with clay last weekend when I had a few minutes to spare and will probably have something to show for it when the pieces are finished next week. Here are a few pendants I made.
Vivid and colourful, they are more my style, however, the Cellularia necklace is slowly growing on me and I am beginning to like it. I have no idea what I am going to do with these pendants - they have been sanded and polished to a high shine without the use of varnish. They gleam beautifully in the light, but I'm unable to capture that sheen in a still photograph, unfortunately.
That's me for this week folks, I hope the sun is shining on you too, wherever you are. Catch you next Friday, same time, same place. Have a lovely week,
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.
Good morning readers, thanks for stopping by the Caprilicious Jewellery blog today. This week has been very busy in preparation for a show I am planning at a medical school reunion in Edinburgh on Saturday.
I spent a few days picking out the jewellery I intended to take with me - we have booked tickets to fly with a no - frills airline which restricts the amount of baggage I can carry. It is so difficult to choose which ones to take and which to leave behind - in my eyes, they are all interesting and deserve to be showcased. My problem is that I do not know my target audience - all I know about them is that they are from a medical school in Bangalore. Oh well, I'll give it my best shot and see how things go. I shall have something to report next week.
Solar Quartz is a natural agatised quartz that is sliced from stalactites. It is usually clear white or gray, with central mossy inclusions. As with all quartz it is thought to be an energy enhancer, connecting to spirit and harmony and is said to bring emotional strength with great power and energy.
A stalactite is a formation that hangs from the ceiling of caves, hot springs, or man made structures such as bridges and mines. Any material which is soluble, and can be deposited as a colloid in suspension may form a stalactite. Stalagmites grow up from the ground and can sometimes meet up with stalactites and form pillars supporting the walls of caves.
It seems such a romantic notion to me that something as beautiful as this, can be sliced up and worn as a piece of jewellery. The slices of solar quartz are dyed in many colours and I have quite a few of them from my trip to Jaipur. The pale cream slices I went with for my next piece were stunning enough for me to try and outdo myself, and I am so glad I did.
Surrounded by jet black soutache braiding and grey/black dyed baroque freshwater pearls the piece is startlingly sombre, but yet beautiful at the same time. At that very moment, a parcel dropped into my letterbox - a string of black agate slab beads which would go perfectly with the pendant and so it was that Raven's Moon appeared in my hands.
For some reason recently, spiky beads are attracting my eye more and more, and they seem to be calling to me to make jewellery with them of late. They are different, they are interesting and they elevate the piece of jewellery to a greater height - but that's just my opinion - what do you think??
Dark and beautiful, with a row of diamanté sewed around the solar quartz, embellished with soutache braiding, dark beads and pearls, the sheen of this necklace reminded me of a raven's wings.
That's all I had time for this week. There is a room in my house piled high with all the stuff I'm carrying to Edinburgh. My friend BN is an alumna of the medical school whose reunion I am attending, and will be there to help me, fortunately- she's very good at readjusting displays and helping people try on jewellery and I am very grateful for her assistance. Mike will come with me and hang up the banner and drag tables together - all the tasks that need a bit of muscle and then sit back and watch the performance. I will get him to take some pictures for the blog next week.
Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place,
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by to spend some time with me today. I've been very busy with the day job this week, attending a Congress in Birmingham which meant getting up early and taking a train in, as it did not seem worth the effort to drive and have to look for parking in the City Centre each day. I also spent a day showcasing Caprilicious Jewellery in a Handmade Jewellery Group and received some very gratifying comments and sales.
The weekend was spent playing with clay, as usual, but this time I had an order to fill with specific colours and sizes. I usually make whatever I like with no other specification than what I feel like doing on that particular day. This time, although a lot of fun, it was a bit anxiety making - would I get the colours right? Would she like the pieces I made? I had never done this before and had no idea of the prices I ought to charge either, and in the end I decided to leave it to the lady. Well, to cut a long story short, she loved them when I sent her photographs, and we were both very happy. Of course, my over developed anxiety bone will not let me rest - I mailed the flowers out to her earlier on in the week and now I worry that they will get to her in one piece, that she will like them when she has them in person, and that they look well in her jewellery.
During one of my periodic trawls of the Web, I found a poem and enjoyed it so much I felt I ought to make a piece of jewellery to be named after it. I wrote to the poet, Dianne Regisford, and she asked to see the necklace. When I finally had it ready, I sent her pictures and she graciously agreed to let me use the poem from her website, and she very kindly sent me a couple of photographs of herself to use on this blog too. I was also requested to use her full title when I published the poem on the Caprilicious blog.
So, here then is Nomad Spirit, as interpreted by me in Beadwork and Soutache!
Blue and brown is not a combination I have ever played with before, but the iridescence of the ammonite fossil and the lustre of the pearls raised the game of the browns in this piece.
Gnawa music is a rich Moroccan repertoire combining ritual poetry with traditional music and dancing.
The Lila is is a rich ceremony of song, music, dance, costume, and incense that takes place over the course of an entire night, ending around dawn.
The ritual enables participants to enter a trance state, in which they may perform startling and sometimes spectacular dances.
It is by means of these dances that participants negotiate their relationships with djinns either placating them if they think they have been offended, or strengthening an existing relationship. The maâlem or Master Musician, by burning incense and playing musical instruments, calls the saints and supernatural entities to present themselves in order to take possession of the followers, who devote themselves to ecstatic dancing.
It all sounds like a load of fun and an all nighter with a difference - but it is a very serious matter for believers.
Often found attached to a fibula which is essentially a cloak fastener, is a Tagemout. This is an egg-shaped bead which ranges in size according to prosperity and is decorated with filigree and enamel. It is a symbol of fertility. Coins are usually attached to it, symbolising wealth and I attached Afghani coins that I had in my stash as this pendant bead came without them. Apart from the black agate beads and the colourful ceramic beads, I made the others from polymer clay. The faux beeswax amber beads were inlaid with wire 'repair' joins, and turquoise and coral clay and then distressed and antiqued to imitate real ones, and the lapis beads are polished to a high shine. A Tibetan chant burned into a piece of bone which came to me as a gift when I purchased beads from a vendor ages ago, and has sat in my collection waiting patiently for it's turn to be used, was dangled from a chain at the back of this necklace from a copper clasp I made myself from wire.
That's me for this week folks, I hope you have a fabulous week and I shall catch you next Friday, same time, same place