Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, I'm happy to be with you this weekend - the show at Leamington Spa Pump Rooms and Art Gallery is done and dusted, and I can now chill out and relax over the next few weekends.
The show was great fun, as the weather decided to play ball and people came out in droves. The Pump Rooms are at one end of Jephson Park, and to my astonishment when I pitched up at 9am to set up on the Thursday, there were people wanting to come in and had to be turned away.
Admittedly they were early visitors to the park who needed to use the toilets, but I've never seen the likes of it - a queue built up by 10am and when the doors were thrown open at 1030, a bunch of mothers pushing prams followed, followed by a steady stream of visitors. There is a little cafe to one side of the foyer, and loads of people visited it for a quick cup of tea. Most of them stopped by our stalls and some of them picked up a piece or two. A couple of bus loads of holiday makers from Yorkshire were dropped off outside the Pump Rooms, and some more people were wandering around the shops having come from Hull to attend a family wedding.
On the last day, there was a Classic Car rally in the park, which had loads of visitors, who took the opportunity to nip in for a walk around and a bit of retail therapy. As far as Caprilicious was concerned, it was the best show in the UK - I took a variety of stuff with me and people were amazed by the different techniques I had used to make jewellery. There was a lot of appreciation for my stuff from the visitors and they were very complimentary, even if they didn't actually buy a piece. If I wasn't a naturally modest person, my head would have loosened itself from my neck and floated off into the stratosphere!!
I was exhibiting alongside a painter and a photographer, as you can see here. I took some of my larger pieces, but didn't expect them to sell, they were strictly there to pique the interest of passers by and beckon them to the show area. I had lots of modestly priced items on sale and chatted away happily about my favourite subject - Caprilicious. The people in Leamington Spa have a regard for artisanal goods, and time and time again I heard them say how much they preferred buying from the maker rather than an impersonal store. Music to my ears, really. I chirruped away happily talking about polymer clay and metal clay, wirework and all sorts, my jaw hurt in the evenings from all the talking and smiling I was doing.
Quite a few people came to look at the 'trail' of artists in Warwickshire Open Studios brochure - one gentleman, in his seventies, had even taken a train up from Buckinghamshire to do the trail. He said my jewellery was 'delicious' and that it was a good thing that his girlfriend wasn't with him as he wouldn't be able to tear her away. I suggested that he bought her a gift, but unfortunately she'd recently run off with a ukulele player (he then added that the musician had more money than him, as well as the ability to play the ukulele - obviously an irresistible combination ). Then there was the gentleman dressed in a steam punk top hat and a vial around his neck which on closer inspection contained three tiny skulls (he said they were some of his relatives). I reminded him that Angelina Jolie and her then husband Billy-Bob Thornton wore a phial filled with each others blood around their necks while they were married - his wife looked a bit alarmed at the suggestion! They were dressed so eccentrically, I'm sure they had a classic car parked outside in the rally but I didn't like to ask. Besides, I was too busy taking their pictures!
I had a couple of days off from work to put things away and calm my nerves. On the Tuesday I picked up a pendant I found on the internet from Lahore in Pakistan - it is a vintage pendant, originally from Afghanistan and suddenly a necklace seemed to come together, who was I to stop it?
A mehfil the Persian word for a gathering of poets and singers sitting around drinking wine and eating delicately spiced, aromatic food. In my romanticised version (I've probably watched too many Bollywood movies in my misspent youth!) a candle in a hurricane lamp is passed around from poet to poet, and whoever the candle stops in front of recites a poem or sings - a kind of 'spin the bottle' for Persian intellectuals in their version of a Roman orgy. I can easily imagine a woman sitting in semi darkness, wearing fine silks and this necklace and when the candle arrives in front of her, she raises her head and delivers the most beautiful poem. I wish I could be that woman, but as I am not a poet, and would die a million deaths if the candle stopped in front of me, I thought I'd at least make the necklace.
That's me for this week, folks. I've decided that I would like to try and empty the website of earrings so that I can make some more. I've dropped them all in price - all except the Shibori ones, so wander on down to the website and see if you fancy a couple of pairs. I've also reduced the silver earrings and the mixed metal earrings on the website until the 1st of August.
Have a good browse, and enjoy your week. I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place