Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, thanks for dropping by. This week, with a few days off from the day job, I had time to try everything my heart desired - I whacked copper into kingdom come with hammers, soldered wires onto the hammered jewellery, embellished a pendant with wire work and then hung it on a beaded necklace. I've said this before, and I'll say it again - it gives me so much pleasure to make my own components, much more than using shop bought.
The Copper Beech or Sylvatica Purpurea
Last week I played with hammers and fire, and boy, was that addictive. I had a few days off work and caught up with all the chores I had set aside for this week, all the time champing at the bit to get back to the conservatory and play with fire again. I cannot trust myself to use a torch in my craft room - for one thing I share it with Michael and our sizeable collection of books and waving a torch about in it would not be the sensible thing to do.
I made this leaf following a YouTube tutorial by Nicole Hanna, who apart from being a whiz with wire is one of the most generous people I know. She gives of her knowledge so freely and is extremely helpful to newbies in the wire world.
I set an aventurine onto the leaf in a fine silver bezel wire - I only melted one bezel, so that was pretty good going as this is only the first time I've attempted soldering a cabochon since I went to a class with Anna Mazon over a year ago.
The hardest task so far was cutting the copper sheet with the shears without injuring my fingers with the cut edges of the sheet of copper, and filing the edges of the leaf once I'd finished forming it. My hands looked as rough as a bear's backside by the time I had finished, but at least I hadn't cut or burned myself, or the house down.
The next step was to decide whether I'd done enough and use the leaf as a simple pendant, or to carry on embellishing it - and of course there was no contest. Given the chance I embellish anything that is stationary long enough for me to attack it with frills and furbelows.
I once again took a leaf out of Nicole's book and embellished one edge with copper wire work, and then antiqued the piece with Liver of Sulfur and shone it till it gleamed, with steel wool. When I was done, the piece resembled a leaf from the copper beech tree in my neighbourhood. The simplest thing to do would be to hang it from a jump ring as in the picture, but I decided to try and put it on a horizontal slant.
A string of green turquoise slab nuggets were pressed into action and Sylvatica, named after the copper beech appeared.
And I was hooked!
I made a pair of earrings - the copper sheet was fold formed into little half hoops, and I then soldered a sterling silver wire to one end and a jump ring to the other to make a flamboyant, but very light pair of earrings that resembled Fulani earrings from Mali, on a smaller scale, of course.
I made a couple of other little bits but they have yet to be refined and made up - as I said the worst part of this is filing the really sharp edges that appear when the metal is bashed repeatedly with a hammer.
My website is still playing the Scarlet Pimpernel, now you see it, now you don't - the good folks at Weebly are supposedly looking into it, but nothing has changed so far and I am fed up talking to them. I get a new person each time and have to begin the story all over - they don't seem to have any notes, or previous history they can look up - oh, for some continuity of care! I now know how patients must feel and yet I appreciate why I cannot deal with the same person each time. However, at least I have notes that I can refer to beforehand when I see my patients.
That's me for this week folks, have a lovely 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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