We all doodle - as children, how often did we mentally leave a boring lesson by doodling in our note books and get to some place in our subconscious where nobody could reach us? Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas harnessed that idea and created the Zentangle art form - Maria felt that while doodling, she felt timeless and free, engendering a sensation of well being - they recognised the signs of a meditative state, and the art form was born. Today, there are Certified instructors, it is taught in schools, there are seminars in the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York, there are numerous books written about it - amazing, and all from the humble doodle. Zentangle is a type of meditation achieved through pattern making - there are more than 100 named patterns, and combining them in an unplanned unexpected way causes one to enter into a state of flow - Yoga for the mind!
I always knew that repetitive patterns were pleasing to the eye, but never quite understood why - perhaps I have been in a meditative state most of my life - I sure have doodled prolifically during my time at school.
i decided that polymer clay canes were the best way to go, but couldn't quite abandon wire, so made a combination of the two - the piece was very complex to make, but so much fun - I was also researching Zen and Wabi -Sabi design and this inspired me to make this piece - I called it The Bold and the Beautiful - definitely not for the faint hearted - someone really gutsy would wear it as a summer piece with a white Tee, or a black dress - I wonder who that person will be.
I bought an ox bone Buddha face cabochon, and kept it in my stash for over an year - I found it while looking for quite something else and decided to use it in some way. I tend to put the bits I want to use out on the coffee table in front of me, and glance at it as I to and fro in the natural course of a days work - the first thing it said to me was 'Zen'. Zen is a Japanese form of Buddhism that believes that meditation, contemplation of ones self is a better way to look for enlightenment, rather than the mere practice of the rites and rituals of orthodox religions.
Zen architecture is modern and serene, weaving emotions into simple sculptural forms to give a deep environmental experience - dreamers are encouraged to be one with their dreams. I found this extremely evocative picture of a Zen garden, and from this was born the Zen necklace with its serene Buddha presiding over swirls of wire.
Saw a poster of 'Midnight Tango' a show at the Aldwych in London, with the fabulously talented Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone. The outfit she was wearing in the poster reminded me so much of a showy hibiscus my mother has growing in her garden in India - it is called 'Midnight Blue'. I designed a necklace with that in mind using polymer clay to fashion the petals and a crackled agate for a moon at midnight. The necklace was so popular on the website that it sold within two days of me posting it - and I am not surprised - its inspiration was so breathtaking, that even if the necklace fulfilled half its promise, it would be interesting, to say the least. One of my friends in the jewellery making community liked it so much, she commissioned me to make her some petals, and I did - she was kind enough to promise to credit me with making the petals when she uploads pictures of her jewellery.
I am hoping to actually see the show before it closes on the 31st of March - hint hint to my husband if he is reading this.
I had quite a few days off from the day job and I have been quite prolific this month - I counted up what I made and it adds up to 17 pieces of jewellery, including two pairs of earrings - they are sometimes the most difficult as they have to be exactly equal and opposite - unless a degree of cheating is involved and they are called asymmetrical! You have to love a trier!
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See you next week, have a good weekend,
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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