Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Good day, good people and thanks for joining me today. I hope the summer weather is treating you all well, wherever you are. We've had a few nasty rain storms here in the UK and that has meant that I have spent more time indoors than I would like.
I played with cold enamels and coloured a few dragonfly forms that I had - I made one of these necklaces earlier and having given it away to a friend I was requested to make another. I enamelled a whole bunch of dragonflies, sprinkled them liberally with tiny crystals and made three more torque necklaces, each one slightly different from the last. The first one sold almost immediately.
I created a couple of mosaic centrepieces for a friend who makes wooden bowls using segmented turning. Segmented bowls and vessels are made up of dozens or hundreds of small wooden blocks. Woodturners glue these often very tiny pieces into rings which become part of a stack. The process is exacting and critical, but it must be fabulous when the final bowl emerges. I have a couple of Shekhar's simpler bowls on the website and I have talked about them before. Let me show you how this particular bowl evolved.
This was the bowl when he first brought it round to mine.
These were the two mosaic polymer clay inserts I made for the bowl - I just loved the process so much, I couldn't stop with one. Anyway, the man needs a choice, I thought, and he can use the second one in another piece. They were made before I went on holiday to India in February, and I forgot all about them for a while.
He brought it home the other day with the mosaic set in place - however, I thought it required a beading to connect the mosaic with the side walls of the bowl. I offered to make a piece of beading from polymer clay for it, and deliver it to him to attach, but he trusted me enough to leave his baby with me - Boy, was I anxious that that I should meet his expectations that I would do a good job!!
A snake of clay from my trusty extruder was segmented to resemble the 'rays' of the sunburst and to hide the join, cured in a gentle curve, and set into place around the mosaic. I thought it finished the bowl off perfectly, Shekhar was pleased with the final result when I sent him a picture, and I could finally stop holding my breath! He needs to remove the chuck that attaches it to the lathe before he can finish it off completely and I can't wait to see the bowl when it is done.
All week, I've laboured over this little piece of soutache, and little by little it seems to be coming together. It's amazing how it looks terrible when I first start out, and I have to steel myself to continue - sometimes I even need to put it away and come back to it at another time with fresh eyes. And then suddenly, something clicks, like a switch in the dark and I can see just where I am going with it. This one is half finished and will be completed at the weekend, unless of course the sun comes out to play!
I've spent some time reevaluating Caprilicious and the direction in which I am going. When I started out my only thought was to make interesting, colourful pieces of jewellery. Vibrant and bold, when I wore a piece by Caprilicious, I wanted it to grab attention. Not for me were the little, tiny delicate pieces that a lot of others make - I do not denigrate them, but they don't really interest me and I'm happy to leave it to others to make, and wear them.
As my skills continued to evolve over the years, I have attempted to recreate the ZING!! factor from the kind of statement pieces that one usually sees in boutiques at exorbitant prices, usually from the USA where people seem not to shy away from the bold and bright - and I've tried to keep it affordable.
I also enjoy the fact that I make a lot of the components myself, be it from wire, polymer clay, metal clay and now soutache. Caprilicious is not assemblage jewellery, and never has been, and this gives me great pleasure.
This train of thought came about from reading an article that said that designers should develop a style that made them easily recognisable. That is an anathema to me, as it means churning out multiples of the same idea. The only elements that link my design ethic together are my love for colour and asymmetry, and I think there's room in everyone's closet for different types of jewellery for different occasions.
I think I prefer this thought from WhoWhatWear -
'In my opinion, we’re in such a fun time for fashion, one in which personal style reigns supreme. There is no reason you can’t be a glamazon one night and channel a member of a ’90s boy band the next. We are living in an age of self-expression, and there’s no better way to flex your creativity and individuality than with what you choose to wear. So, is it time to ditch the antiquated notion of style types?'
What do you think? Do leave me a comment.
That's me for this week folks, introspection and all. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same place, same time. Until then
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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