Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello good people of the internet world, thank you for dropping by today. I hope you've had a good week and enjoyed every moment of it. The days have gone cooler and there have been sprinklings of rain, but in general, the UK is still basking in the glorious summer we've had this year. I've almost forgotten about what it feels like in winter, and who knows what is to come with all the anxieties about global warming.
I wrote a tutorial for Bead and Jewellery Magazine in early 2017 called Sunflower Smile - to write the tutorial, I had to photograph the steps as I went along, and then, once the article was accepted, send the finished product to the magazine for it to be professionally photographed. The tutorial was published and the beads returned to me.
I've had the sunflowers since then - I used one and the necklace was picked up at the Handmade Fair. SInce then I've run into a complete block about what to do with the other two.
I bought some grey agate druzy slab nuggets a few weeks ago and when they arrived I wanted to make something entirely different with them - different from anything I've ever made, and different from anything anyone else is likely to make. I think I've achieved my goals with this piece - there can't be that many polymer clay sunflower and slab bead necklaces in the world!
Sweet Sunflower Smile
The colourful beads at the back add a bit of zing! to the piece.
In Greek mythology, Apollo – that handsome god of the sun – was the subject of adoration of a nymph who sat and gazed at him every day. Eventually, the gods took pity on her and turned that nymph into a sunflower, which is why sunflowers always appear to be yearning for the sun.
Sunflower centres are actually made up of thousands of tiny flowers, which then grow into seeds. It is said that if you place a sunflower seed under your pillow, you'll wake up and discover the answer to any question on your mind.
The Morning After
The markings on the pale grey dragon's vein agate in this necklace look like a bloodshot eye, the morning after a great night out on the razzle. The blue agate has a bit of light tracery running through it as well and together, they make a very pretty picture. The two brushed metal beads and the sweet little clasp set with a black onyx only make it prettier. Once again I rescued a potentially drab grey necklace, this time with touches of blue and silver.
One of my clients requested a necklace with a Tagemout bead - she saw one I made earlier and asked for a similar piece. It took me ages to find a suitable Tagemout, and I spent some time over the weekend making the faux amber beads in the necklace.
Polymer clay is a chameleon substance which is readily manipulated to resemble glass, gemstones, amber and other materials.
The Moroccan Tagemout bead was strung with faux amber in the necklace I made a couple of years ago.
Amber doesn't surface in the Sahara, due to a scarcity of ancient pine forests and was formed on the shores of the Baltic Sea in northern Europe and shipped onwards through Italy. It was packed onto the backs of camels by indigo-shrouded Tuareg traders, who carried them deep into the desert to exchange for gold.
These faux amber beads are meant to be old, and fashioned some time back in the 19th century. Their surfaces have a crazed and weathered patina and appear broken and repaired. Many have been broken in half parallel to the stringing hole. Tiny strips of decorative silver are hammered across the break to make them whole. Little pieces of 'coral and turquoise' are inserted into the niches in the 'amber' as a decoration. The beads are now ready to be made up into a necklace, possibly next week.
Translucent clay coloured with alcohol inks and embossing powder.
The beads were rolled, embellished and cured.
Each bead was sanded with 3 successive grits of sandpaper, and antiqued
Buffed and polished, and finally ready to use.
So, there you are then. That's what I've been up to this week. What have you been doing? Do tell.
Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.