Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, thanks for joining me here again. The title of this blogpost comes from a quotation by Oscar Wilde (one of the world's biggest elitists if ever there was one - but he gave great quotes!) "One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art".
To my mind, we are all works of art - and we all deserve to wear it too. Embellishing the human body with jewellery has been around for centuries, but only recently has the concept of jewellery as art come into being.
The very first pieces of jewellery from an archaeological find were 100,000 year old beads made from Nassarius snail shells. Jewellery evolved from being functional (brooches and pins), to denote social status and store wealth (gold and diamonds), denote personal status (wedding rings), love and mourning (engagement rings and brooches) and confer protection (gemstones such as turquoise and other talismans).
Now, in the 21st century, we no longer need to wear jewellery to denote our status, and Oscar WIlde's original quotation has a chance of being adopted as the modern woman's slogan.
Once you 'get' the idea of wearing statement jewellery, it is hard to go back. You wear one piece, and you are hooked for life! Watch the irrepressible 93 year old New York interior decorator Iris Apfel, in this little video :-
Attitude, attitude, attitude - it ain't what you wear, it's the way that you wear it!
The Saga of the Bronze Clay Earrings - Part 2
If you have been following the blog, you will remember that I spent an entire week refining the design and the engineering of this piece; you can read about my adventures with bronze clay here. At the end of last week, I had a pair of components for earrings.
I put these through a long cycle in a tumbler with some stainless steel shot and a drop of liquid soap and when I drained the liquid away in a large strainer, this is what they looked like.
And this is what the earrings looked like when I finally made them up. Although they still need a some work to perfect the design, I learned a lot from making them and really enjoyed the process of being drawn out of the box into thinking laterally.
What did I make with the funny squiggles? Well, they were an experiment in setting little stones into metal clay. Here are the earrings I made with the little critters.
There are two types of opal - Common and Precious. The common opal, which comes from Peru and Africa is white, yellow, brown, black, orange, pink or blue while the precious variety is the variety found in Australia, with it's multi colored flashes.
Common opals can have markings shaped like trees, mosses and ferns - these are composed of manganese deposits in the stone. Dendritic opal is also called Merlinite and is meant to have shamanistic properties that promote spiritual growth by blending heavenly and earthly energy, helping you to remain open and approachable. If a stone can do all these things, bring it on, I say.
When I looked into the depths of this pendant I saw the tree like patterns and fell instantly in love. This photograph was taken with the pendant held to the light and you can clearly see the fern like patterns. In a less lit up situation, the pendant almost looks black, as you will see. I love the idea that there is a secret hidden inside the stone that very few people know about - perhaps that's the inner child in my psyche.
The pendant, set in sterling silver is so pretty, accented with a ruby, a white topaz and a couple of sapphires. I only needed to make a simple necklace to show it off with a scattering of pearls, tiny, shiny silver beads and an ornamental silver hook clasp.
I had an email a couple of weeks ago telling me that I had won the 'Great British Bead Off' Editors Choice - this means I need to remake the beads and write a little tutorial with photographs, for their readers. I am also required to send in the beads to be photographed and claim my prize. That should keep me busy all weekend, I think. You can read about these beads here.
Well, that's all this week, folks. I've not had too much time to play as the day job has been inexplicably busier than normal. Hopefully things will calm down a bit and I can play with beads and clay again and be as happy as a pig in muck. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place