Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
I saw a peacock with a fiery tail.
I saw a blazing comet drop down hail.
I saw a cloud with ivy circles round.
I saw a sturdy oak creep on the ground.
I saw a pismire swallow up a whale.
I saw a raging sea brim full of ale.
I saw a Venice glass sixteen foot deep.
I saw a well full of men’s tears that weep.
I saw their eyes all in a flame of fire.
I saw a house as big as the moon and higher.
I saw the sun even in the midst of night.I saw the man that saw this wondrous sight.
If anyone is interested - a pismire is an ant!!
Have any of you read this nonsensical nursery rhyme - it is a piece of nonsense until you add punctuation marks - specifically commas in the middle of each line - and then hey presto, it all reads absolutely right. Of course, you also have to delete all the full stops - go on, try it -
It would then read like this - and make more sense - but who looks for sense as a child??
I saw a Peacock, with a fiery tail
I saw a Blazing Comet, drop down hail
I saw a Cloud, wrapped with ivy round
I saw an Oak, ...... etc. etc.
I was playing with the silver ginkgo leaf I posted on last weeks blog - having attended an on - line class by Patrik Kusek I decided it was an ideal piece to combine with polymer clay. And then it struck me in a light bulb moment - even though it was a leaf, it doesn't have to spend the rest of its 'life' as one - so I decided to give it a new Avatar - as a peacock. Very ambitiously, I decided to go the whole hog and make a necklace and add the pendant to it and turn it into one large statement piece. Much kneading and slicing, swearing (at the pasta machine) curing and varnishing later, I had the bare bones of the piece - it would have to wait another day to be made up - exhaustion had set in and put its foot down with a firm hand!
The Fiery Peacock Necklace
This necklace turned out to be hell on legs to photograph - the elements are so busy visually, I could almost hear my camera's brain whirring as it decided where to focus on - added to that the high gloss varnish reflected the light off the pendant and the silver element at different wavelengths - I apologise to the poor little thing, it was quite worn out after one session with this necklace - I had to recharge its batteries straight away, before it expired through exhaustion.
Got news that my Sea Urchin necklace has been featured on Cuteable.com - this is a daily blog to which you submit your offerings and they pick a few to go on - I am thrilled to bits - really fantastic to have ones work validated. Now I can put a 'cuteable' badge on my blog!
The Kumihimo disc and bobbins I ordered arrived today - Kumihimo is the ancient Japanese art where with a complex set of almost mathematical repetitive moves, upto 16 threads can be braided. Each set of moves creates a variation of the braid, and changing the materials / textures and colours produces an infinite variety of results.
I had originally bought silk knotting thread to tie Chinese knots, which are so beautiful, but hell to reproduce from a book - they are probably better taught in a class, but I simply haven't the time or the patience - so jumped at the chance of using the thread in Kumihimo. Apparently, there are specific cords for this braiding - called rattail, and a thinner one called bugtail! and wire can be used too. So I bought me a book and braided away happily all morning, producing a very pretty black and silver round braid with 8 strands - well done me!
The Madame Butterfly necklace
I had a beautiful labradorite cabochon in my stash for a while, and I was getting wire withdrawal, having made the peacock earlier on in the week without a whiff of wire in it. So I decided to make another (yes, yet another) necklace. I learned how to wire wrap a cabochon over two years ago in my first wire work class at In The Studio, Kegworth. But now that I have moved on from that point, just making a pendant out of the little cabochon - it is just about three and a half cms long - didn't appeal to me much.
My design ethic has always skewed me towards the asymmetrical, so this time I decided to go almost Baroque - this is a style from the 1700's which is dramatic, opulent, exuberant and grand - completely unrestrained and over the top - less if definitely not more with this lot! The word Baroque is derived from the French or Spanish, meaning a rough or imperfect pearl, and Baroque jewellery is usually crawling with pearls. It is a linear style with curved exuberant forms which are symmetrical - Labradorite lends itself well to this - it looks gray /brown to a casual glance, but when in the light it is greenish/blue, and has yellow sheen - it has to be seen to be believed. The play of colour is called labradorescence. The stone comes from an island in Labrador, Canada, and you also get Indian Labradorite as well as some from Madagascar.My husband is an opera buff and we watched Madame Butterfly the night before last - and I thought, what could be more symmetrical than that? - so this is my take on a butterfly.
I wire wrapped the cabochon and used it as the centrepiece - the body of the insect - and put as many curlicues as I could get away with, a bit of weaving and every other thing I could think of - after a while, even I had to say enough is enough - there has to be an end to embellishment - I then realised to my horror that I hadn't included any pearls - there is no such thing as 'Baroque Jewellery' without pearls - so I managed to find 2 empty spaces where it seemed that a pearl would fit, and they were duly added in - hopefully they look as if they belong there and not an afterthought - Rachel Murgatroyd, of Wire Wrap Jewellery, who taught me wire work has a favourite saying ' There's no such thing as a mistake - just a design feature'!
Malcolm McLaren and Robby Kilgore adapted Puccini's opera and added these lyrics to the music.
'Calling Butterfly, Madam Butterfly
Butterfly, Butterfly have no fear
I'll be back to wipe your tears
Oh sweet Butterfly, so sweet Butterfly'
I think this is a rather sweet butterfly - don't you?
Have a nice week, catch you later.
I have some time off from the day job next week, so will be setting out an Etsy outlet, to go live on my brother's birthday, on the 2nd of March, dedicated to him.
See you next week folks.
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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