Hello readers, thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoyed the guest post by Divya of The Jewels of Sayuri last week. I know I usually post just once a week on the Friday. However, Divya's post came in and I felt I should share it with you straight away.
We finally did it - the Number 9 that I made for the door was framed and hung on the wall under the deep eaves of our bungalow so that the weather and rain doesn't get to it. The wall was originally densely covered over with ivy and Mike spent some considerable time hacking it all away. Under the ivy there were two screws already in the brickwork, as if waiting for the frame, so on it went - I started making this piece in January and it has taken five months to finally get the finished number on the wall.
This is a necklace I made last week - big, you say? - yes, it is big and beautiful. It is a vintage Banjara choker which was probably originally made for a young girl as it is difficult to get it up around the base of an adult neck without deforming the metal severely. I acquired it last year and held on to it until I decided how I wanted to use it. It is of course, a very ethnic piece and is looking for a home with someone who likes their jewellery unconventional and dramatic - a proper Wild Child.
I restored it by cleaning and polishing it, gently hammering out all the dinks and replacing the glass that had fallen out of it's settings, finally adding a threadwork piece to the back using little colourful seed beads.
Simsim is the word for sesame in various languages of Arabic origin. I first heard the word when my mother read to me from the 1001 tales of Scheherazade, Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves being one of them. Ali Baba discovers a cave kept by forty thieves filled with treasure, whose entrance only opens with the pass word “Open Simsim”.
The beads in this necklace are Red Sesame jasper, given to me by my friend BN who found them a bit too big for her taste in jewellery. I held on to them for a while as I tend to use brighter colours usually, but I reckoned that I could brighten the mix by adding another bright colour and a few pyrite beads. Red sesame jasper has a reputation as a stone worn to alleviate stress and reconnect with Earth’s grounding energies, and a cleansing effect that eliminates negativity, stabilizing the aura. It is an ideal worry stone for soothing the nerves and restoring balance. It has other properties, including the enhancing of tantric sex - if you wish to read about this and it's other metaphysical properties in greater detail, I refer you to this site.
Bluebell Fields Forever
The May day Bank Holiday rolled up and it rained - surprise, surprise! But the forecast said it would clear up by the afternoon, so we set out to look for bluebell fields - I got Mike to drive me to Arbury Hall, a stately home which is only open to the public on Bank Holiday weekends and pay the entry fees to wander around the gardens belonging to the Viscount of Daventry. Mike walked around behind me, grumbling about the landed gentry, money made from slavery and working the poor into an early grave, tax fiddles and other such like mutterings, making it clear that he didn't want to be there and resented paying money into the Viscount's already bulging coffers. Me, I just wanted to see the bluebell fields and try and get some photographs, and so we tramped around looking for the best views - once we had them, I was bundled into the car (which I wasn't complaining about as it had started to rain in earnest) and driven back home.
When we got home, it was early yet and I had a play with clay and came up with these beads that I fancy are shaped a bit like gooseberries or Chinese lanterns. They are beige and black and chunky, but quite light as they are hollow.
And these came to me all the way from Morocco - they are so colourful, I shall enjoy putting them to use. The coin placed beside them to give you an idea of their size, is an English ten pence piece.
That's me for this week folks, hope you've enjoyed your read. Do join me again next weekend, same time, same place,
Itchy feet, that's what I have!
Hello folks, nice of you to join me. Yes, as I was saying, it's been a while since I've packed my bags and ventured out to pastures fresh. My next trip will be to India to visit my mother, but that isn't for another couple of months, so I'm having to travel vicariously through Caprilicious. Last week, I was in Rio, and this week I am in Africa, with the Tuaregs. Here are some of the necklaces I made with Tuareg/ Berber tcherot amulets, there have been quite a few of them in the last couple of weeks.
The most striking attribute of the Tuareg is the indigo veil, worn by the men from the age of twenty five, giving rise to the name 'the Blue Men of the Sahara', or 'Men of the Veil'. The women do not veil themselves, and are the boss of the family - good for them!
The Tcherot is an amulet that protects the Blue Men when they cross the desert. This one is made of tooled camel leather, with engraved silver and copper set into it. I added the most colourful beads I could find - polymer clay, coral, fire agate, shell pearl, a couple of lapis lazuli nuggets - anything colourful in my stash, and then added beaded tassels to either side of the Tcherot (just in case it wasn't colourful enough!!). Tiny African trade beads and ceramic beads from India went into the making of the tassels, and at last, I was satisfied.
Escape Arts is a charity enabling adults and young people to become involved in creative projects. They are based at the Old Slaughterhouse, The Yard, Sheep Street, Stratford Upon Avon and are running an Artisan Christmas Market on the 12th and 13th of December. For the love of Caprilicious, I decided I'd brave the cold weather and give it a go - if any of you are down there do come and say hello, I'd love to see you.
In the run up to the market and Christmas, I've made a load of little earrings - if there are any left over after Christmas, I shall upload them onto the website as I haven't photographed them as yet.
With the last little Tcherot amulet I have in my collection, I made a colourful necklace using vinyl trade beads with a splash of even more colour from a couple of polymer clay beads I made earlier. The vinyl beads are in turquoise and mango and as the amulet is small in comparison with the others on the website, I made a three stranded necklace to give it some Oomph!
The Ginkgo Angel
Oh, come on, be fair, it is Christmas! I love the shape of the gingko leaf - I had never come across it until I began to make jewellery. The ginkgo tree is originally from China and is also called the Maidenhair tree. The leaves are bilobed and pretty, and the lady who ran the jewellery school where I went for my classes had a tree growing in her backyard. When it came to making a piece of jewellery with silver clay using a leaf, I picked a ginkgo leaf that had come off the tree. As it was autumn at the time, the leaf was slightly worse for wear, and even had a hole in it - which I thought was part of it's charm.
The pendant was made by painting over the leaf over and over again with liquid clay and drying it between coats. When it was eventually put in the kiln, the leaf burned off along with the binder in the clay, and a perfect 'death mask' of the leaf was left behind. I kept the silver leaf for a couple of years and this year, I added a couple of sterling wire bilobed ginkgo leaves and lo and behold, there appeared an angel in the room ( quite unexpectedly, as is their wont - angels, I mean) - well, the rest is seasonal history! I added coral teardrops and tiny slivers of brilliant labradorite that glint in the light to make this bright and pretty Christmassy necklace.
Over the years, I have made a number of pieces of jewellery with the imagery of ginkgo leaves and I dug out the pictures and compiled a little collage for you.
This little pink crescent moon pendant is from Afghanistan. Teamed with silvery glass beads and a few pink agate beads it make a pretty necklace which can be worn in the neckline of a shirt to make a simple but effective statement.
That's it for this week folks. I intend to spend the weekend packing the pieces of jewellery for the Artisan Market in Stratford on Avon. If you happen to be in the vicinity or fancy a drive into the countryside, do come and say hello. Introduce yourselves as readers of this blog, and I will give you a 15% discount - a kick start to your Christmas shopping!
Catch you next Friday, same time, same place, have a fabulous week,
Hello, readers, it's nice to catch up with you again - I almost didn't make it this week, what with toothache and a root canal treatment (ouch!) and an outage of my internet all day yesterday. It was at midnight that I found the cable reconnected - Hooray!
I thought I'd play a bit of music for us. There's nothing like a bit of sultry Norah Jones at midnight, although this piece of music really belongs to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
I have decided to do a couple of craft fairs in the UK this year, the first one in Worcester in June, along with my friends from Look-In-The-Bag. I have decided that I will make a few pieces to take to the fair each week. Having never done this before, I'm not quite sure how Caprilicious will be received - will my jewellery be too difficult to sell at a craft fair? Well, there's only one way to find out, so I have decided to test the waters this year.
I bought a tutorial to make faux Czech glass and antique Roman glass from Ginger Davis Allman of The Blue Bottle Tree, and made some beads last weekend. I sent Ginger pictures of the necklaces I made up and she shared them on her Facebook page - I think she was quite pleased with the way the beads turned out.
She said " Neena of Caprilicious Jewellery used my Faux Glass tutorial as a starting point for these orange beads and made them look like ancient trade beads. And the faux turquoise and lapis are made from Diva Designs, Inc.'s tutorials. What a well-conceived piece! If you like the ethnic look, you'll love Neena's work."
I was now drowning in a sea of beads - so I decided to use some of them and deplete my stock. I had three Afghani pendants left in my collection - they must have come from the same necklace as they are all the same size and shape. I wanted to try and make the necklaces as different from each other as possible.
This title comes from the run-of-the-mill Bollywood 'Boy meets Girl' movie. Boy, rich, Girl, poor or vice versa. They elope and Boy sets Girls' mind at rest (in common with all boys, this Boy too wants only one thing) by exchanging garlands at the conveniently located local temple. She promptly gets pregnant - completely ignoring the Indian government's exhortations to use contraception posted on every free wall and surface, at every turn. But she's married in the eyes of God - because she exchanged garlands with said Boy, didn't she? And then, the story goes on to tell us what happened next, to Boy, Girl and Baby.
A Mela is a gathering or a fair - the largest one in India is the Kumbh Mela. It is said to be the largest peaceful gathering of people on the banks of one of four holy rivers, every three years - they estimated that a hundred million people attended it in 2013. I used Rudraksh beads, donated to the Caprilicious cause by my mother - these are worn by the sadhus who attend the Kumbh Mela and I have written about them before. Isn't the young sadhu in the picture cool?? He's gone for a less traditional way of wearing the Rudraksh beads. and is obviously aware of the camera and posing for it.
Cosmic Mela is named after a swirly bead I made with some leftover offcuts of clay, some of which happened to contain specks of silver foil - it ended up looking cosmic - that's the best word I can find for it.
Czech glass beads can be expensive- almost as expensive as gemstones. I welcomed the opportunity to replicate them in polymer clay. I used a bunch of flowery moulds I have collected over time, some of them had their first outing with this tutorial.
That's it, I will make no more ethnic/ tribal jewellery for a little while. I quite enjoy making the kind of jewellery that can be worn with any sort of attire and do not necessarily wish to be pigeon-holed as an 'ethnic jewellery' maker. Preferring the internationalist's approach, I like to make stuff that is loosely applicable to everybody, indeed any sort of pigeon-hole is an anathema to me.
I fell in love with the whimsy of these millefiori glass pendants, flowers and ladybirds. Put together with dyed jade beads, I reckon these necklaces will be ideal to take to the craft fair. I continued the whimsical theme with a toggle clasp in the form of a dragon fly.
Reach For the Stars
I was beginning to develop withdrawal tremors from a lack of wire in my life. Just as I was really beginning to feel the pain, a couple of bismuth crystals arrived in the post. I have used them before and simply adore the beautiful colours and crystal formation. These two crystals seem to soar upwards, reaching for the stars.
Bismuth said to relieve emotional and spiritual isolation, facilitating a state of oneness, connectedness and serenity. Useful when experiencing change, providing for calmness, vitality and orderliness. Bismuth facilitates the enjoyment of travel and stimulates group and relationship cohesiveness.
That's it for Caprilicious this week folks, have a great week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
I'm Neena Shilvock, and I'm crazily addicted to jewellery. I've been designing and making quirky and interesting statement necklaces for the last five years and my passion hasn't cooled off one little bit - in fact it has got worse, such that I'm even dreaming jewellery.
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I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
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