Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
I don't believe it - no sooner had I declared that I LIKE COLOUR last week, that I received the most colourful gift in the post. My cousin Priya in Vancouver sent me this beautiful red saree with gold flowers in the body and peacocks dancing all over the leading edge. I just love the colour - it is a bright scarlet ( she thought it was too bright and didn't want to wear it) - now, I have to find somewhere to wear it to. The festive season is upon us, and I am sure it's ship will come in, one of these days. I have some pictures for you, draped over my settee - but that is obviously not the best way to display it, so my apologies - I will post a picture when I do actually wear it.
This week has been mostly about polymer clay - a friend of mine requested some jewellery customised for her, and a red cuff bracelet for her friend, who had a very small wrist - my wrist is only 5" in diameter, so that was easy - all I had to do was to make one for myself, and though it looks like a childs bracelet, I am sure it will fit her perfectly.
She also asked me to make two necklaces - she said 'I want a black chip necklace, as big as potato chips and around 25" ' and she also wanted a necklace with beads that looked like distressed wood and iron - I was most excited - at last, someone wanted a contemporary necklace, and I had carte blanche to go (almost) as wild as I would like. I had to use a lot of restraint, to keep from throwing every technique I knew (which are still pitifully few - but I am very proud of them) into the pot and made a load of beads using the fabulous Ronna Sarvas Weltman as inspiration.
At the weekend, I went on a photography course in a little village called Smeeton Westerby in the back of beyond, in Leicestershire. I stupidly got the dates wrong and turned up a day early ( let's spare my blushes and say 'over enthusiastic' rather than plain stupid) - actually 23 hrs too early, because I got lost and spent an hour looking for the place and panicking about it - I needn't have bothered - there was no one home, and it was only when I looked at my watch, I realised that it was the 21st and not the 22nd! So I went back home and played with clay, and set out again the next day. Glen Tillyard, who runs the course, is an ex press photographer, and he patiently took us around the basics of a digital SLR camera, and gave us advice on which camera to buy to suit our purpose and budgets. Here are some of the pictures I took in the practical session in and around the village of Smeeton Westerby - I have to tell you that all I have ever used is my little Canon point and shoot before this...
Absolutely enthused, I have now ordered my new Nikon 5100 - soon, I shall have sooper - dooper pictures on these pages - soon!
My friend Gerrry bought a sterling silver wire pendant from me earlier on in the year, and requested a pair of earrings to go with it - here's what I made to complement Paisley Daisy....
This was the first necklace I made with the 'chips', adding some large focal beads. My friend decided that she wasn't too keen on so many focal beads, so I took them out and remade it for her. I like the focal beads, but can see why she preferred the necklace with a few of them taken out. They will appear on these pages in other pieces I make, I don't mind.
The beads were strung onto black leather with an integral polymer clay clasp in antique gold.
The second necklace my friend ordered was looking more and more like it was going tribal - 'make me a long necklace with beads that look like distressed wood and iron' was the remit. I made copies of spindle whorls from Mali - they are light as they are hollow, but are quite work intensive - they need to return to the oven to be cured at least twice. The 'iron' was going to have to be copper wire, patinated black and varnished to hold the patina. A hollow 'faux' bone element would be the central piece, and I wrapped it with blackened copper wire to give it a rustic look. Unfortunately, when I wanted to make the necklace using waxed linen cord - my house had eaten the ball of cord! That stopped play for a while, until another load of cord was sent for hurriedly, and arrived in the post.
The necklace was strung on white leather, festooned with waxed linen cord and cowrie shells. The clasp was made with patinated copper wire - I love the look of this necklace - denim jeans and a white tunic, or my favourite harem pants and a tunic, this necklace, and Bob's your uncle. I love it so much, I think I will end up making one for myself when I have a moment, it is soooo cool!
That's a wrap for this week folks, have a fab weekend, and I will 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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