Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello people, I hope you are all enjoying your summer. We are in the middle of a heat wave in the UK and roasting gently - it doesn't last very long so it is important to wring every possible moment of enjoyment out of every day. Summer in the UK is fabulous when the weather is good. Because of all the rain we get, the greenery is lush and intense. Most everyone has a garden and those that don't, grow stuff in pots. The owners of the local garden centres are laughing all the way to the bank as the queues at the till grow longer and longer, but we don't begrudge them a penny - do we?!?
We went to the Upton on Severn jazz festival last weekend and I wore an Indian gypsy necklace I found in a shop on Ebay - it was from a vendor in the USA and I had it sent to my friend's address and carried it back home with me. By the time it arrived, the glass in the central motif had shattered and I replaced it with polymer clay and embellished it with a couple of bindis I had in my collection - they were bought when I was about fourteen, and they came with a glue with which they were meant to be attached to the forehead. The glue perished a long time ago, but the bindis remained with me only because I am loath to throw away pretty things, and I think I put them to good use. I tried the necklace on - one look at my friend's face and I knew she was thinking "what th........?", but was too polite to say it out loud - well, this picture is for her - yes, it can be worn - well it was worn, and I loved it.
Here's a little clip from the morning parade - Mike and I were in the crowd and the dancing was impromptu (although the girls appeared to have a routine practiced and set up) and free for all - down at the end you will find the delightful chap in the red waistcoat - he was a hoot!
Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the 1st century AD. The largest and oldest Christian group is an Oriental Orthodox church that was part of the Coptic Church. Ethiopian Coptic Crosses are worn by Christians in Ethiopia, and all around the world. They are cast using the "lost wax method", and bring together a variety of historical influences including Egyptian and Celtic design styles.
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, spanned a geographical area covered by present-day Eritrea and the northern half of Ethiopia. It existed from approximately 1137 until 1975 when the monarchy was overthrown in a coup d'état.
This necklace was made with a vintage coptic cross - being a heretic/infidel type who would once have been burned at the stake for her beliefs has not made me shy away from beautiful objects, even if they have religious symbolism written into their DNA - and I truly believe that these crosses are the most beautiful I have seen in a long time. I wanted to make a necklace worthy of this pendant and I put together glass, shell, polymer clay, ceramic, haematite, rose quartz and jasper beads in four strands with a beautiful mother of pearl clasp - most definitely a statement necklace worthy of any Caprilicious woman.
Birds do it, Bees Do It......
I have a number of these beautifully crafted, handmade heart shaped lampwork beads which I plan to turn into pendants. I started with a design in the style of Nicole Hanna, and the design has become embellished and ornamented more and more with each time I have remade it. This time I used bare copper wire to bind tarnish-free enamelled copper, so that when I antiqued the pendant in a chemical bath, the bare copper wire turned black and showed the weave up to it's best effect. I also added a wire coil in tarnish -free silver plate, which I wound around with bare copper - this too turned dark in the chemicals and when polished with steel wool, the whole thing had a contrasting effect that pleased me greatly.
Clarice - another bracelet
Last weekend, I sliced the remaining pieces of the leaf cane I had made, cured the leaves and varnished them to a high shine. I had about 14 'leaves' by the time I was done making holes in them with my Dremel, so I decided to make a little bracelet with a few of them in a free form wire style.
I made wire leaves for the back as the polymer clay leaves might be too fragile to withstand repeated injury and the effect is delicate and pretty.
I received a substantial slice of labradorite in the post, all the way from Rajasthan. It is at least 3.5" x 2.5" and at first look, I was so disappointed with it. It was only when I took it into the sunlight and moved it about and the labradorescence shined through that I was happy - no wonder the Inuits thought that the Northern Lights were imprisoned in this stone. It reminds me of the silks in India when two different colours are used in the warp and the weft and one can only see the colours with movement.
That's all I had time for this week for folks. The sunshine, the garden, the day job and the cats have kept me so busy (although not necessarily in that order) that I have had very little time to play. We have been going out at night picking off slugs and snails with a torch, guarding my Hostas zealously and I have been rewarded by pristine, un-nibbled edges on the lovely leaves.
What are you doing this summer, do tell - whatever it is, I wish you all a great time. Catch you next Friday, same time, same place
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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