Hello readers, this week I have spent some time thinking about the essential Caprilicious Woman - the woman who wears my jewellery. I was idly looking at photographs I have taken of the jewellery I have made over the last couple of years and I realised that the jewellery on the website is extremely eclectic - there doesn't seem to be a theme running through it.
For instance, some websites I have looked at have sweet and simple, very pretty pieces that appeal to someone who dresses like a fragrant rose. Yet others have large, bohemian pieces that are a cross - cultural patchwork for people who like to dress in a more exotic manner.
The Caprilicious website, however, caters to both these tastes - in fact they may be the same woman in two different moods, on two different days. That, in essence is what a Caprilicious woman is - someone who cannot be corralled into a box, a blithe free spirit who changes her attire with her moods and looks great in all of them! A bit schizophrenic, you say?? You might think so, I couldn't possibly comment!
Why the introspection? Well, I made some sweet and pretty floral earrings in one half of the week, and then the wind changed, and so did my mood - and out came Oshun - a very tribal piece of jewellery.
As I've mentioned before, I tend to make jewellery while watching the telly of an evening, much like a knitter, and I lay the finished piece out on the coffee table till it is photographed and ready to put on the website.
I caught Mike standing at the table one morning, and he said he couldn't believe the same person had made the two pieces of jewellery - that got me thinking ....I just wondered what on earth was going on in my tiny mind that I could find both pieces of jewellery equally engaging - and then I realised - that's what a being a Caprilicious Woman was all about.
I bought these really pretty orchids - and my house elf promptly stole them from me - I turned the house upside down looking for them - I've even mentioned the story on my blog - and then one day, there they were - just sitting on the side of my table, as if butter wouldn't melt and they'd been there all the time. But I know better - I know it is my malign house elf playing games with me - so to foil him, I made them up into jewellery ( he doesn't like made up pieces, only components!) and having photographed them, put them away in my cupboard - aha! take that, malign house elf! Kapow!!
I have been trying to make Ranunculus flowers out of polymer clay - and ending up with only mush - but finally, finally, I made these really pretty flowers that actually look like ranunculi. You can't see it very well in these pictures, but each layer of petals is in a different shade of the same colour.
The Kaleidoscope Saga
This story started with a polymer clay cane I made for a friend - she was picking a design for a commissioned piece of jewellery, and this cane was a reject. I hate wasting stuff, so I put together this kaleidoscope cane, and made a bunch of earrings with it - the last one was made with the end of the cane, turned into a swirly bead. I stuck a spike on it, and connected them with some wire - here it is....
Dog Rose Earrings
I made these flowers in my kiln last year - but didn't know what I wanted to do with them. I wanted them to be different - but what would make them stand out from the earrings made by everyone elas?? - it took me an year to figure that out. I am very proud of them because they are entirely handmade - well, I bought the tear drop shaped jade beads - but you knew that - you didn't expect me to go rock hounding as well as everything else, did you??
Anyway, I finally decided that the addition of colour would make them 'pop' - and that word immediately brings to mind polymer clay, which is quintessentially mouldable colour. The ear wires were made with 20 gauge wire, hammered and polished, the headpins to carry the jade drops made with the same wire. So here, I present my very first entirely handmade pair of earrings..... (drumroll)................
Once I made these, I was on a roll - I had a pair of hydrangeas which received a similar treatment, and a little vine leaf pendant charm was hung with a polymer clay backing sheet with a real leaf impressed into it, and cut out in the shape of a leaf.
Oshun is an Orisha - the beautiful and benevolent Yoruba deity of rivers, love, feminine beauty, love, life, sex, fertility, and art. I was given the beautiful wooden tribal head by my friend BN - I gave my Orisha a shock of hair made of a clutch of beads, some shells, and made the necklace with wooden beads I found in India. My sister in law brought me the trade beads while on a trip to Kenya, and I used some of them to add colour to the piece.
The tribal look is an antidote to 'sweet and pretty' - and I have gone as wild as I dared with this piece. It can be worn with neat and tidy clothes as an almost shocking counter balance, or as an accessory to summer linens and slouchy trousers, with loads of chunky bracelets and fringes and feathers, in a sort of uncontrolled, joyful clutter. Go as Tribal as you dare - it is such a fabulous look, you can but enjoy it. I have loads of pieces on my Out of Africa page - I enjoy making them, and I certainly enjoy wearing them.
A couple of warm days at the beginning of the week, and my thoughts turned to butterflies and dragonflies - those entrancing creatures who embody summertime. Unfortunately, the rest of the week was only fit for ducks as it rained persistently - but the inspiration stayed with me and I made one of each of these, and hung them as pendants.
That's it for this week folks, catch you next week, same time, same place - have a fabulous week
This is the question that has been driving me crazy - people seem to use it interchangeably - sometimes I just turn an idea or thought over and over in my head, instead of consulting the Oracle - so today, I went into Roget's Thesaurus and the answer is ......either / either! I have the entry from the Thesaurus here:-
Main Entry: mould
Part of Speech:noun
Synonyms: conformation, copy, duplicate, embodiment, facsimile, figure, form, mold , plaster, replica, sculpture, shape
Phew! - now that I have that sorted, let me tell you what I have been up to this week.
I had a resin pendant, in Victorian filigree, coloured to resemble amber with the exoskeleton of a scorpion embedded into it. I seem to have acquired all this stuff, until my stash is so large, I shouldn't really need to buy anything else - but it doesn't work that way ever, does it - like being too rich or too thin or having too many shoes! - you can never have too many things in your beading stash.
Anyway, I digress - so, I put this pendant which is as faux as faux can be, with some real branch bamboo coral which was dyed gold and black - two rows of those with two more faux amber beads and I had myself a handsome piece of jewellery - it looks quite regal in fact - well I think so, have a look at it for me...
I called it Isis - the Egyptian Goddess, who was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife ( just like me - wife, I mean) and was the patron goddess of nature and magic, mother of Horus, the hawk headed God of war. She had seven ( a lucky number in Egypt) scorpions to protect her from harm - three in front of her, two under her palanquin and two at the rear - this babe sure didn't take any chances!
My little exoskeleton pendant is unlikely to do much in the way of protection, but what I like about it is that such an ugly/scary object has been so convincingly prettified - that's why I bought it, I guess. I like the contrast of pretty and scary in the same object!
At the weekend, I pulled out all the moulds I have - in my mold stash (!) and decided that from now on, I shall use every one of them - one or two each week and until I use them all shall buy no more - I do want the AMACO sun mould set, but fortunately, it is out of stock in the UK and I refuse to pay a whole load to have it shipped out to me from the States. So I pulled out the 'Hydrangea' mould and a sunflower mould and made some Copper Precious Metal clay bits with them- my problem is that I tend to make jewellery with what I have - it just evolves as I go along from a little germ of an idea - when I conceive a whole design, it never works out for me. This is actually important when making pieces of copper, as I need to know how many holes I want in the piece - too few and I will kick myself, and too many just looks silly - you get my drift?? Anyway, I imagined a necklace with polymer clay and copper pieces, all from the same mould and designed a necklace - and the long and the short of it is, it never happened and I ended up with a polymer clay necklace, as well as a sweet pair of copper earrings and pendant to match, which nods cursorily in the direction of Steampunk.
Hydraulic Hydrangea - pendant and earrings
I made these from Precious metal clay, and decided to patinate them with the Vintaj range of Patinas which are new in the UK - they seem to have them a lot more in the USA - where copper is a favourite metal - very rustic and Boho - I took a look on various other UK websites, and it is slowly creeping into UK consciousness, so I guess, I shall be at the forefront of the Copper Revolution. I coloured my flowers Tiffany blue and moss green, and then, since I had changed my mind about how I was going to use them, set myself a challenge to make them up as they were - I had 4 holes in each as they were meant to be links in a necklace - this is how they ended up. I used some watch gears and cogs as I think they are so sweet - you have to look closely at the individual piece to find the gears, but they are there. It has been a challenge to take photographs to portray them properly, but I have enjoyed it. I still have two little flowers left, and they will no doubt surface some day as earrings.
Mood Indigo - named by Michael Shilvock
This was made from a Ghau Box, once again from my stash of bits and bobs. This is a rather large box, with inlays of turquoise, lapis and coral, all swirly patterned - I matched the colours with gemstones - and having made a frame for the Ghau box, filled it in with as many gemstones as would fit to give it a lavish look. My husband took one look at it and said 'call it Mood Indigo' - probably because of the prominent colour of the Lapis Lazuli - so here it is.
Play the song too, why don't you - I am a great believer in some foot tapping while I work - and there's nothing better for that than the great Nina Simone - I booked tickets to see her sing in Manchester ( can you see someone singing?? - but you know what I mean) and they cancelled because she was too ill to go on - she died in Paris not long after.
Everyone I know makes Tree of Life pendants - and they are very pretty. It is a motif that recurs in religious symbols, philosophy and mythology and refers to the idea that all beings are connected to one another.
I had been toying with the idea of making one - but I had to figure out an angle - a common or garden Tree (!) simply wouldn't do. I have always been fascinated by the story of the Book of Genesis - and the misogynistic idea that everything is the woman's fault - well, maybe it is, but I'm not about to admit it (actually, neither did Eve - she blamed the serpent!). I think it is also because I went to a Convent school as a child ( but probably just cos I like the idea of mischief). I made a pendant very early on in my practising days for my willing guniea pig and friend Sheela, also with this motif. In todays pendant, there is a serpent looking up at the apples in the moonlight, hatching the plot that will bring mankind to its knees (actually womankind) and him onto his belly for ever and ever - and so it goes for mischief makers!
I had a hammered copper star shaped pendant for many moons, not knowing quite what to do with it, and I used it to make this visual pageant of the day the Book of Genesis was born - and I had to call it just that.
Before I end, I have a joke for you - One day God told Noah to build an ark and put in two of each animal. Noah built the ark, there was the Great Flood and the animals were saved. After the waters receded, Noah released the animals, two by two, back into the wild. He said to the dogs "Go forth and multiply". He said to the deer, " Go forth and multiply".
He then said to the snakes, "Go forth and multiply." They looked at each other, flummoxed. "What is the matter?" asked Noah.
"We can't," the snakes replied "we're adders!"
Have a fab week and I will catch up with you next Friday