Hello readers and lovers of statement jewellery everywhere, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog. This week I've had time to put together a few multistrand necklaces - getting ready for Bling season in the main - there are only 89 days to Christmas and it will soon be the time of year for pretty things and gifts. I hope that some of you will be sufficiently enthused by what you are looking at to pick up your gifts from Caprilicious. I am happy to gift wrap and send the parcel to an address of your choice with a little card from you, all you have to do is ask.
The Shaman's Necklace
'Shaman are spiritual guides and practitioners, not of the divine, but of the very elements. Unlike some other mystics, shaman commune with forces that are not strictly benevolent. The elements are chaotic, and left to their own devices, they rage against one another in unending primal fury. It is the call of the shaman to bring balance to this chaos.'
Labradorite is a Feldspar with a rich play of colours called Labradorescence, first discovered in Labrador, Canada. The North American Indians call it the Stone of Shamans - it is meant to aid clarity of thought, protect against negativity and from misfortune, thus bringing balance to chaos.
I love it because it shines so beautifully when moved in the light -at one angle it is a boring grey stone, but move it a bit and Wow! it flashes with such brilliant colour one is simply carried away by its beauty. Combined with rare and beautiful grossular green garnets and a copper wire surround, the labradorite is superb.
Inspired by Isabella Rossellini's shirt necklace in Death Becomes Her, this is my first 'Bling' necklace of the year. Ms Rossellini would look beautiful in a sack, but when she rose out of the water and glided over to her robe purring like a little panther, I just knew that one day I would make a necklace like hers. With plenty of crystals and hammered gold tone links, it shines beautifully, and although I haven't gone overboard, it is still pretty opulent.
Coral, freshwater pearls and an ornate clasp - my muse was in seventh heaven. A pair of earrings complete the parure which is going to be worn with a black and cream lace dress and a little black net fascinator at a wedding.
Daytime Bling - Monet
This painting of water lilies by Monet has so many beautiful colours, and I have been collecting pictures of them to use as inspiration for a piece of jewellery for the longest time - here is the picture, and the necklace - You like?? I love...
This necklace was made for a moonlit walk along the edge of the sea, the breeze blowing in your hair, scarf and skirt billowing - dancing in the moonlight. The pearls and blue jade are ethereal, lending themselves to romance on a moonlit night. If I knew the lady in the picture, I would offer her this necklace.
These two pairs of earrings are so organic, they almost made themselves - I just took the wire where it seemed to want to go and after a while, the earrings appeared as if by magic - they both started with the same material in the same quantities, but ended up being so different. The difficulty with organic designs is to know when to stop with the curls and squiggles and say "The End" !
That's it for this week folks. I have to report that my kittens are pretty useless at being helpers - they sleep most of the day and when awake fight with one another or eat me out of home and hearth - I sound like my mother complaining about her 'helpers' !! I go to my third Polydays in the Cotswolds this week and am sure to bring back some fabulous ideas to Caprilicious. See you next week, same time, same place
Hello folks, I hope you have had a satisfying week and are ready for some fun this weekend.
A piece of great news - Caprilicious Jewellery is soon to be available at an outlet in Abu Dhabi - I have sent off the first consignment, and if the jewellery sells well there, I might do regular business. More about this next week.
I had to share this - I sold this pendant last week to a lady who asked me what inspired me to make it - she was obviously well into Art Nouveau jewellery - she had written a thesis on the subject, and she said the pendant reminded her of Lucas von Cranach's Tintenfisch und Schmetterling - I had actually seen the aforementioned pendant on a website during one of my periodic browses of the internet - but to be compared with a master jeweller - very humbling.
Who knows what stays in your brain when you look at images constantly, as I do - or, if this pendant was indeed influenced by Lucas von Cranach - all I can say is, I see the octopus, but not necessarily the butterfly - I leave you to decide whether they do actually have some resemblance to one another.
I went to Shrewsbury this week, to the workshop of the lovely Jules Harper to learn how to prepare precious metal clay pieces for the application of enamel. I went on an enamelling and a precious metal clay (silver) course last year at In The Studio, but this time around, wanted one on one tuition. Now that I have a bit of experience, there were so many questions bothering me - one cannot keep bobbing up and down in a class with loads of people - you sound like a smart aleck and eat into other peoples time.
Jules taught me how to fire copper and bronze clay properly, and to prepare them and enamel them - most exciting of all, the little lentil bead I made with copper clay and enamelled on both sides - it would look so sweet in earring designs, and is light because it is completely hollow. She is a very patient teacher, and the time just flew by - that's a sure sign of a lot of fun - maybe not quite so much for her, though. I thought it was around 5pm when I left her place, and it was only when I was halfway home, I realised it was in fact well past 7pm - sorry Jules!
Here's a link to her website if anyone is interested http://www.artclayjewellery.co.uk/
Now that the weather is slowly getting better, I want to play with my kiln and make some colourful pieces in it, and thanks to Jules now, it wont be such an anxiety ridden operation.
Having 'borrowed' the necklace on the right in reds and golds, to wear to a dinner party, I received so many compliments that I felt i needed to make another, this time in the cool colours of blue and silver - to my eye, it looks like the necklace has been bathed in moonlight - but, I will leave it to you to decide if the name is apt, and which one you prefer.
The Greek word "amethystos" may be translated as "not drunken", from Greek a-, "not" + methustos, "intoxicated". Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it. According to a 16th century French poem, Dionysus, the god of intoxication, of wine and grapes was pursuing a maiden named Amethystos, who refused his affections. Amethystos prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the goddess Artemis answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethystos's desire to remain chaste, Dionysus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.
Amethyst is a purple quartz found deep within volcanic rock, and its colour comes from manganese and iron impurities. The Agapanthus or Nile lily is an amethyst coloured flower, and the little nuggets of amethyst in this next necklace brought the buds of this very pretty flower to mind. I had a load of these in my garden, but unfortunately, as the name suggests, it likes warmer climates and all of my plants died. I might try to grow it indoors this year. I love the geodes/ druzy form of any gemstone, where the natural striations are left in, as part of the stone, and the pendant I used was sourced with great difficulty. It came to me all the way from Brazil, after a lot of bargaining with the vendor, to secure the best price. I thought it was so regal, I crowned it with a scroll of wire filigree work. A little jade butterfly, prehnite nuggets and some green crystals set the purple of the amethyst nuggets off beautifully.
That's all I had time for this week folks. We are off to Giverny, and will visit Monet's garden, and then on to Paris where I want to see his paintings at the Musee de l'Orangerie.
This photo of Musee de l'Orangerie is courtesy of TripAdvisor
I have enjoyed the Impressionists for ages and have a few prints on my walls - can't wait to see the real thing. The poor cat will be most unhappy to go into the cattery , but, needs must. I hope the weather will play nicely with us, and I will catch you when I get back,
Have a great week,
Time to indulge in my other passion - little shoots are peeping up in my garden all over the place , telling me its time to clear up winter debris and get ready for some sowing. I got some poppy seeds to sow out - poppies are my favourite flowers - if only the leaves didn't look so dreadful and straggly once the flower has died, or they lasted a bit longer - Oh well, you cant have everything. I have a little idea for poppy based jewellery, but that will have to wait. This week it is the turn of the sunflower. I have a smallish garden,with nowhere near the space I'd like to grow masses of sunflowers - like the paintings of Provence - you can feel the heat coming off the land in those paintings. So I decided to make my own with my favourite (currently) - polymer clay.
Impressionism is a 19th century artistic movement that swept much of the painting and sculpture styles of the period. It was not just a passing fad but has defined an entirely modern way of expressing one’s artistry that eventually rubbed of in other art forms like literature, photography and film making - I wondered if that could be replicated in jewellery making as well. I have a few prints dotted around the house and can spend hours gazing into the dreamy quality of the paintings. The impressionists painted by recreating the sensation in the eye that views the subject, rather than delineating the details of the subject by simply applying colours and brush strokes that took on a strange accuracy , rather than attempting to recreate a photograph with paint.
These are puffy, frilly polymer clay flowers, edged with gold - light as a feather, anchored to copper wire and adorned with gemstones. The left -over one was anchored to a memory wire choker and a wire dragonfly added to one side - and there you are, I am an Impressionist too!
It's hard to believe that a garden that looks like the first picture, can be the same one in the last - coming from the tropics I wasn't used to the aggressive changes in climate reflected in the garden, and of course mood!
It will be St Patrick's day soon - the end of Lent - and the Irish diaspora will be out celebrating - I have a very good friend who is Irish, and we spent a lot of time together in our training years - she put the story out that we were actually long lost sisters - according to the epic story her father had been stationed in India in the war...... my mother might have had something to say about that, and anyway, I'm not that old - but a lot of gullible midwives actually believed it and congratulated us on meeting so late in life and how well we got on - let's just say, I have a sister and her name is not Fidelma. So, being virtually part Irish, I am celebrating too.
Bollywood would have loved this story line - except we would have been twins, and there would have been a fire or a flood and our mother would have managed to carelessly mislay one of us in the struggle to survive, one of us would have been evil and the other a police woman - as it is, Fidelma and I are both gynaecologists - very prosaic!
With my Irish / Impressionist hat on, I created this Peter Pan collar with green howlite slab nuggets and cream wooden beads, and a sculptured bow at the neck. The Peter Pan collar was originally designed by the actress Maude Adams in 1905 for her role in the Broadway play of the same name. I called it the Tinker Bell collar though, it certainly is green enough and the collar was created for someone like her!
My friend Jinny Holt continues to make her wonderful books of spells - wierd and wonderful! - she is a true artist and can effortlessly turn her hand to lots to creative things. Read about her in her blog
Je T'aime - the necklace
The Angel's wing necklace
We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another. ~Luciano de Crescenzo
Luciano is a Neapolitan writer and film maker - now 83 - I thought this was very profound - after all , who of us wouldn't like a hug.....
I made what I thought was an angels wing in wire and silver lined shiny seed beads - an angel ought to be shiny surely .....
this is what occurred - this is, I think a night time version of the 'Spring fever' necklace
I have had to go back to my day job, my holiday at an end - have a nice week and I hope I will find you well next weekend. Happy Mother's Day and St Paddy's day to all of you.