Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Happy Birthday Caprilicious
Hello readers, and thanks for joining me in wishing Caprilicious a very happy fourth birthday. Every year I have made Ms Muse a special necklace with my most favourite pendants and beads. This year, I decided to celebrate Caprilicious' fourth birthday by learning a new technique and use it in making a birthday necklace for my muse.
I purchased a tutorial by Barbara Becker Simon to make the hibiscus flower clasp and spent a week carving and embellishing it. To do this, I needed tiny wood carving gouges and I spent a while surfing the net to find them in the UK. The clasp is made in bronze clay and is large and showy. The central 'stick' part of the toggle is a stamen and was a lot of fun to make. I looked for the perfect beads to go with it, and my eyes fell on a beautiful strand of stick or Biwa pearls in my stash.
Stick pearls are made by inserting long strips of shell or a nucleus into the mantle of the mollusc. This allows an elongated pearl sac to form quickly. Once they have been nucleated, the mussels protect their flesh from the irritants by secreting nacre, the calcium-carbonate compound known more commonly as mother-of-pearl. Over the course of 2 to 7 years, the mussels deposit layer upon layer of nacre around the central nucleus. It is from pairs and groups of closely-spaced stick pearl sacs merging together that more or less flat pearls reaching an impressive size are harvested.
Lake Biwa in Japan produced pearls like these regularly for some years, so it is possible that a technique learned from there is being acknowledged by calling these pearls Biwa pearls. You can read more about it in this article.
The pearls in the necklace are V shaped and have a pale peach lustre. The clasp can be worn to one side - or at the back with the hair up, to display it to its best advantage - it most definitely warrants displaying. It is set off by a couple of enamelled beads from Rajasthan and little garnet beads between the pearl sticks.
Mini Tribal Necklace
Here's one more in the mini tribal series. I added a little crescent shaped pendant to tiny green seed beads to make a vibrant necklace.
The little paisley beads of blue howlite are set off by the lost wax bronze African beads. The peridot beads are just the right shade of green and go perfectly with the howlite.
I love labradorite - at first glance it is a pale grey insignificant stone - only when it is moved in the light does it come into it's own. The flash of colour that emanates from deep within the stone are like mini fireworks. I teamed labradorite with pale pink beads - the colours are so sophisticated together.
The pendant for this necklace came from the Banjara people in India and I teamed it with colourful beads in lucite, gemstones and polymer clay to make a vibrant necklace. The coins dripping from the lower edge of the pendant rustle pleasingly when moved.
And that's a wrap folks, in this, the final week of Caprilicious' fourth year. I am going to celebrate Diwali this weekend with a few friends. Have a great weekend and I'll catch up with you next Friday, same time, same place
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