Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, and lovers of unusual handmade statement jewellery, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog this week. All of last week I was blinging up my shelves in preparation for the party season and this week I decided to make the last one for a while - overdosing on bling isn't good for the eyes!
Tyrian was a purple dye used to colour the robes of kings in Phoenician times - it was extremely expensive as rather than fading with time and weathering, it got brighter and deeper. The dye came from the secretions of a sea snail and was extracted by milking the snail (how does one milk a snail?? - the mind boggles!) only tiny amounts were collected by this method, which was probably another reason why Tyrian was so expensive.
By the time I put this necklace together, I began to feel as if my eyes were dropping out of my head - I had overdosed on bling.
My reels of wire were getting really annoyed at the inattention they were subjected to - and I was getting withdrawal symptoms due to the prolonged break from wire.
I was looking through the website, and I saw a picture of a blood stone cabochon I had photographed for the magical components page about three years ago. When I bought it, I thought it had a masculine vibe and wrote that I planned to put it together with copper and possibly coral. I forgot all about it until I found it by accident the other day when looking for something else on the website and had an 'Aha!' moment.
Mellow Yellow is a colour very close to the colour of the citrine beads I used in this necklace (there is also an 'unmellow yellow - don't believe me?? - then go on and google it ) and the title of a song by Donovan in the 60's. According to legend, Mellow Yellow was about the feeling one gets when one smokes dried banana skins - I am not sure whether that is the case or not - and am not about to test that theory.
Colourful oriental components went into this necklace - porcelain beads , cinnabar, coral and black agate - I just love the vibrancy of it.
Old cinnabar beads had hundreds of layers of lacquer which contained a sulfate of mercury applied to them, which were then carved into beautiful shapes.
Today, the toxic mercury/cinnabar is replaced by combining layers and layers of colored polymer lacquer, which are then hand-carved (or in some cases, machine carved) into intricate patterns.
Caprilicious is doing a globe trotting act this week - we haven't been on a holiday for a while and I am doing it through my jewellery - a bit like leafing through travel brochures or Trip Advisor! I've been saving these beads (Ok, hoarding, really - I just love shiny, pretty things) and I thought this was as good a time as any to use them. Faceted smoky quartz - faceted beads are my favourite, the extra shine appeals to the magpie in me - and a beautiful Moroccan bead went into this simple and sophisticated necklace.
I bought three of these beads a while ago - the first couple were made up into a bright and exciting necklace called Berber Sunrise, and this one is smoky and sophisticated in a completely different style - which one do you like? Or will you be a Caprilicious Woman and match each of them to a different mood?
Jazz in The Park
These buttons were made a while ago and I sanded and buffed them as and when I had the time. Buttons are the simplest and least expensive way to embellish a garment, and these are vibrant enough to brighten up a dull outfit. They were cut from a polymer clay cane I made using a technique pioneered by Alice Stroppel. I used my fabulous cane slicer to cut even slices of the cane, and was well pleased with the result.
The Boho Babe - back to Morocco
Another Moroccan bead - this time a large one, teamed with green and black agate nuggets. I wanted the piece to be long and the bauble sized bead to sit low on the chest to avoid looking like a cow bell. I strung the beads on cream coloured genuine leather, with knots between each bead and macrame knots all the way to the clasp. I am not a fan of large nuggets and beads sitting high in the neckline - perhaps you feel differently - do tell...
The beads in this necklace came to me in the post only the other day and I had to find some way of using them immediately, they were too beautiful to put away in a drawer. Golden Obsidian is formed from cooled lava - the silica inclusions deep within the rock and patterns formed by gas bubbles lined up within the molten lava give it a golden sheen. The same post brought me a book by Lisa Barth, and in it I found a design, which when modified to suit the shape of a black and white agate pendant stone, would make a perfect focal point. I hung it on the obsidian necklace with Chinese black quartz embossed with dragons in gold, as accents - a beauty straight from the Stygian depths of the earth.
The Ancient and the Modern
A prayer box, Gau (also spelled Ghau or Gao), is a Tibetan Buddhist amulet container made of metal and worn as jewellery. They incorporate a small container used to hold and carry powerful amuletic objects such as chunks of coral, turquoise and a written prayer, or sacred mantras such as the Kalachakra. I love the secret compartment and have made a few necklaces using Ghau boxes over the years. I have made them with simple necklaces, and sometimes with outrageous wirework that none but the boldest woman would wear. The two that I have here are both inlaid with turquoise and coral - the one has been put into a simple necklace with turquoise and the second, into a necklace made of multi coloured shell beads.
You can see I have been busy all this week - but now, I have to call it a day - that's as much as I had time for - catch you next week, 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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