Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, how are you today? I've loved the sunshine we've had and have spent a lot of time outdoors, digging the garden and pulling up weeds. It is now beginning to look fit for purpose and I can relax. The red hot poker is the first flower to come out every year in late spring/ early summer, and the first one is out, with loads of buds yet to bloom. When it is lovely and sunny, I seem to always make a floral necklace and the colours I use are bright and cheerful - I don't choose this path, it chooses me!
I would love to make beautiful abstract geometric shapes, I really admire jewellery makers who can do this and glorify negative space, but what comes out of my hands? Flowers!!
Never mind, at least flowers are pretty and everyone loves them, not just me.
The early part of the week was a bit cold and damp, and this is the piece of jewellery I was inspired to produce. I made my first ever wire Tree of Life anchored around a slab of agate druzy that has been electroplated with titanium. I had recently taken delivery of quartz nuggets, also plated with titanium and they seemed to fit together beautifully. When I finished the 'tree' it reminded me of mangrove trees growing in the Sunderbans in West Bengal.
Mangrove swamps are found in tropical tidal areas including estuaries and marine shorelines. High tide brings in salt water, and when the tide recedes, evaporation of the seawater in the soil leads to increases in salinity.
At low tide, the roots are alternately exposed to increases in temperature and drying out from the sun, and cooling and flooding by the tide. For a plant to survive in this environment, it must tolerate broad ranges of salinity, temperature, and moisture, and only a few species have evolved ecologically to make up the mangrove tree community. Mangrove swamps protect coastal areas from erosion, storm surges, and tsunamis. The massive root systems are efficient at dissipating wave energy, and they slow down tidal water enough so its sediment is deposited as the tide comes in, leaving all except fine particles when the tide recedes.
And then the weather picked up, the sun came out to play and all was well with the world - followed closely by the flowers that came out of my imagination!
I wrapped flowers made of bright colour enhanced jade beads on a branch of tiny leaves that I had coated with cold enamel ages ago. Jade flowers and leaves of Czech glass were wrapped on this frame and hung on a necklace of lapis lazuli rough nuggets with yet more dyed jade. The flowers and berries are luscious and I added a tassel to give the piece a playful look. The necklace is pretty close to the neck, so that the pendant dangles over the decolletage - this necklace is probably best suited to a simple dress with a close neckline.
I bought a new iPhone and the camera is quite fabulous. I've been using the camera to take pictures in portrait mode and it works on selfies too.
I've mentioned that I will be at the Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa from the 27th to the 30th of June and I made some beads to display there at an event called Warwickshire Open Studios. I made the beads up into necklaces and wore them to work - here are some pictures taken using my new iPhone XR
I made some more beads in scarlet and gold, they're yet to be finished and strung. Next week, perhaps.
Don't they look almost edible? Like apples, or even ripe tomatoes, perhaps?
That's all I had time for, people. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.