Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
This week, I put together a small collection of fine silver pieces, made in my kiln. I have restricted myself to copper and silver plate so far, but I think the time has now come to treat myself - and you, of course, to a precious metal. I have been laying the ground work for a while now, collecting supplies of silver chains, jump rings, head pins, clasps and all the other bits and bobs I needed for this task. Obviously, this has taken a while, but it has been so much fun, to compare prices, pick out pretty, shiny chains - this of course, is a never ending process, but at least I now have the basics to start up a small collection. I made some little earrings and pendants from Precious Metal Clay - this is silver combined with a starch binder in the form of a clay - it needs to be shaped and prepared with a design in mind - when this goes in the kiln, the starch binder burns away to leave an almost pure silver - 99.9% silver.
To go with these I bought some very pretty semi precious gemstones - faceted apatite, carnelian, citrine, tourmaline, labradorite, blue chalcedony - all shiny and so pretty - I am really enjoying this!
One of my earrings is a semi lunar shape, embossed with a design, one in the positive, and the negative on the other. I was thinking of the 'far side of the moon', which we earthlings never get to see - the hemisphere that faces away from the earth, and was first seen by the Soviet Luna 3 probe in 1959. The earth's gravitational force has stopped the moon from rotating, and the far side of the moon was found to be smoother, with fewer craters when finally seen by human eyes, when Apollo 8 orbited the moon in 1968.
Another of my earrings was stamped with a cherry blossom motif, and I added pink jade butterflies and Swarovski pearls. I also made a snowflake shape in two sizes - a pendant with a pair of earrings, which I wire wrapped with sterling silver wire, little coral Heishi beads and Swarovski pearls. A slender sterling silver chain was added to the ensemble, pretty!
I had a couple of tiny enamelled charms, just one of each, so I used them as charms on curb chain bracelets, with tiny gemstones as added charms - pretty everyday jewellery. A motley collection, but I think it is a good start. I intend to make at least one item with silver each week - so I shall be busy - I have to start the enamelling up as well - my kiln awaits me eagerly!
So there you are folks - my first bits of silver - perfect for little inexpensive trinkets or presents, I have done my best to stay with the Caprilicious ethos of being just that bit different from what is found on other sites and in the High Street - I hope you like them.
I had a faux bone/ ivory leaf - the last but one piece I made before my mother arrived in the UK, and decided to use it with some leaf shaped spacers and black pressed glass beads in a pretty and light necklace. I tried my best to add an asymmetrically placed brightly coloured bead - but for some reason, I was dissatisfied with the result - so in the end I gave up and the necklace is all black and white and silver. I did in the end add a tiny chunk of turquoise - just to confound my Muse - I stamped my foot with a firm hand, and added a molecule of colour - I was going to have some, no matter what! Some earrings appeared in my hands, as I sat in front of the TV with my husband, they have an extra wire loop in the centre, to add to the swaying movement with movements of the wearers head - by that I mean, instead of making it all with one piece of wire, I used two. I was sorely tempted to keep the piece for myself - but I think I enjoy the pleasure people who wear my jewellery get, more than wearing it myself. Anyway, as the designer, I get to test drive it first! - just to iron out any problems and kinks, of course!
I love carved ox bone - now that ivory is banned - and rightly so, the artisans who learned to carve it have turned their hand to ox bone. Because of the intricacy of the work involved, and the wastage of the raw material, carved ox bone is expensive, but I have managed to find a dealer in China who seems to be fairly reasonable. He says, absolutely correctly, that Chinese carving is superior to that from the Indian Subcontinent and this is probably because the ivory trade flowed mainly from poaching the Indian and African elephant, and exporting the tusks to China. However, I don't much like the conventional pieces this vendor has for sale - he has some beautiful pendants and bracelets, on cheap elastic, with ugly clasps, all put together, to my mind, most boringly, one bone bead after another with no relief whatsoever. I bought a few bracelets and necklaces from him, and cannibalised them. This throws up its own engineering problems because of the way the pieces of bone are pierced, but I spent much thought and time on this knotty problem and came up with a pair of earrings - I will look for different ways to use the bracelet tiles as the weeks unfold - my motto is, have wire, can do!
So here is the first of my Chinese ox bone offerings - it is now as far from the original as is possible, I think. Anyway, lots of possibilities have opened up, and I will address them as I go along. It is all about engineering, as well as beauty, and is a challenge I will relish.
I am still waiting on the Chrysocolla with Lapis Lazuli gemstones I need to make a Rainforest Symphony Mark 2 necklace, so while watching TV, I put together some rainforest insects for when the stones arrive which should be any time now. There appear to be two dragonflies, a butterfly like insect and a cross between a dung beetle and a lady bug. Here is a picture of the first one - hopefully, next week should have the second one made and sent off - and loved!
Rainforest Symphony Mark 1!
Catch you next week folks - I hope you have enjoyed this weeks offerings