Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, nice to meet you here again. Last week we talked a bit about statement jewellery. This week we talk about why people wear jewellery in the first place - the potted story of jewellery, if you like.
People originally began to cover their bodies with skins from the animals they hunted for food to shelter themselves from the elements - but jewellery doesn't appear to serve any such purpose - so why then has it become an important part of our psyche??
These shells, coated with red ochre are the oldest known ornaments - thirteen of them were found in a cave in Morocco, dated to 82,000 years ago by archeologists. They are thought to have come from Tunisia where the snail that once lived in these shells originated. They were probably used as beads as they have perforations to indicate this.
Picture from National Geographic News.
Decorating and beautifying the body with jewellery made of animal hide, leather, bones, shells, feathers and berries are well known early forms of jewellery.
However, simple adornment may not have been the only reason for the wearing of jewellery - advertising wealth and status, hoarding wealth in the form of precious metals, and using jewellery as coinage to make purchases has been described in many societies.
Procreation and the perpetuation of our gene pool is a basic human instinct - and jewellery aids in the 'plumage' factor - something bright and attractive that flashes and glints, drawing attention to the wearer.
Amulets to provide protection - Gods and Saints, hopefully appeased into working away furiously in the background to protect us from all manner of evil are often worn as charms and pendants. This one is St Christopher - patron Saint of travellers.
These are Ghau Boxes - worn in Tibet and Nepal - they are decorative portable shrines, and are ornate boxes holding prayer scrolls, miniature idols and lucky turquoise and coral nuggets worn as pendants - now that's getting closer to the kind of statement jewellery we know and love.
When times are hard, people are willing to try anything to make them feel better. With the 'belt and braces' approach and mysticism from the East raising its head and bringing words like 'Chakras' and crystal healing into our collective consciousness, there are reams (or Mega Bytes) written about the power of various minerals and gemstones.
Initially, 'tumble stones' used to be carried in pockets and pouches, but then it seemed to become important that the stone was in contact with the skin of the wearer. Jewellery makers found a niche market for believers, and prettified them to be worn as a statement. These wands have been made so that the points are free of metal, to allow the energy to flow out of them into the wearer.
Expression of Self
Today jewellery is used more as a means of self-expression. How do you feel when you wake up? - delicate or bold, colorful or subdued, happy and exuberant or fed up - your subconscious will pick out your clothes and jewellery to reflect your mood.
Have you ever thought about why you pick one set of clothing or accessories in favour of another on any given day??
Next week I will visit 'How to Wear Statement Jewellery' - in the meantime, lets take a look at some of the pieces I made at Caprilicious this week.
I made a necklace I called A Circlet of Stars - it was the first piece I made this year and my sister fell in love with it and bought it from me. I decided to make a similar piece, but this time the fire polished beads I used to embellish the piece were in dark tones.
'Dark star I see you in the morning
I played with polymer clay and made some beads - of course playing with clay entails a whole day of fun, what with the curing and sanding and buffing - only then are the pieces ready to make up into jewellery - and so, the weekend vanished in a twinkling, making these, amongst other beads. They look like the rings around a planet to me - what do you think??
The Kris Kros Pendant
This is a simple design by Lisa Barth - a bit fiddly to make, and meant to embellish the front of a dull stone. It looks extremely elegant, and this was borne out by the fact that the pendant flew out of my hands within a couple of hours. I will certainly be making a few more of these, with some variations - my boredom threshold is low and I couldn't make the same thing over and over again - which is just as well for a 'one of a kind' jewellery website! The stone here is a carved rose quartz leaf, in a pale pink. The contrast between the masculine and feminine is what makes this piece, I think.
I thought I would add hair accessories to my repertoire - I have made a few hair combs in the past, and I will add to this collection over time. Embellished hairpins and hair sticks are in fashion - and these are my effort....
Great for a Rapunzel moment and there's even a tutorial by Melissa of Tangible Daydreams on how to release your hair in a 'swoosh' movement like a film star.
I am a firm believer that it is absolutely fine to wear a bit of bling to work - and if you are meeting up with friends after, your jewellery should be perfect for that too - a dual purpose piece of jewellery is always welcome. With that in mind, I added some shiny crystals to what would have been an otherwise sedate necklace - sea sediment jasper with a brass Nepalese bead.
Temple of the Stars
With a couple of days off from work, I had time to try out some new techniques - a labradorite cabochon from my hoard was crying out for attention. The stone is hand carved, and flashes a brilliant blue in the light and I didn't want to create an over embellished setting. I worked out how to set it in wire prongs - wire workers almost feel cause to be ashamed if there is a need to apply solder or glue to anything we make - we take great pride in using cold connections. I was very chuffed when Pearl Blay of The Beading Gem's Journal said she liked the photograph on G+. The stone itself in meant to have many metaphysical qualities including a beneficial effect on the Throat Chakra, as does copper - if you are a believer, this one is for you!!