Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, nice to be able to chat to you again today. In a marked contrast to the last couple of weeks, I've had a couple of days off which made all the difference and gave me a bit of a respite from the usual grind.
When I can, I like to go down to London - it is only an hour and ten minutes away from me on a train and the tickets are relatively inexpensive these days if booked in advance.
I had to go down anyway for a meeting to do with work, and rounded off the day by meeting Nimmy Victor of Sanskara Designs. Nimmy mainly makes beaded necklaces with gemstones and silver elements in a beautiful ethnic Indian style and I have often admired her designs from afar. We've never had the occasion to meet, and I thought it was time to remedy this. We arranged to meet at Camden Town tube station and spent the afternoon together checking out the shops, eating street food, and finishing off with a drink at the bar in Gilgamesh. It was great to meet someone like minded and bounce ideas off each other. I took her a polymer clay pendant I made, and she brought me some gemstones. She also gave me a carnelian cabochon and a Pietersite tumblestone saying, 'I'd like you to make something for me with these two, please.' That was it - no instructions, no colour choices- no pressure then! Here are some pictures from our visit to Camden town.
As you can see Camden Market is quirky and colourful. It was a bit quiet, but that was because it was a Monday afternoon, I'm sure it gets really busy around the weekend. It was freezing too, and we downed loads of hot tea to keep ourselves warm. We felt really sorry for the poor traders - they were in unheated premises, and weren't allowed electric fires due to the risk of fire. I caught the 9pm train back from Euston tired, but happy.
I decided that I was going to set the carnelian cabochon in a bead and soutache pendant. The tumblestone of course, would have to be wire wrapped. It's a long time since I've been back to the basic wire wrap that I learned six years ago, using square and half round silver wire, but I was determined that I would succeed in wrapping an awkward shaped slippery stone, which was also rather pretty, so I'd need to allow most of it to stay on display, rather than cover up it's beauty with wire squiggles and curlicues.
I glued the carnelian to a piece of backing and beaded around it until it was firmly held in place by a bezel of beads. Many soutache pattern books attach braid directly around the glued down cabochon, but I've never trusted glue as a permanent attachment and feel that if I'm going to take the trouble to make an elaborate piece of jewellery, I'd like it to last a little longer than the unknown lifespan of the glue I've used.
Once that was done, I encircled the stone with soutache braids and made some pretty curlicues at the ends, filled with corals and pearls. More beads and even more braid followed until I decided that I ought to stop before the pendant became too unwieldy. There was more to do, I had to embellish the edges with a picot and cover the back with ultrasuede. I also had to devise a method to hang the pendant. Decisions, decisions!!
And then a minor mishap occurred, and I ran out of beading thread! I hadn't kept up with my supplies, or lack thereof, and had run out of thread in the middle of a project! There's nothing worse than having to stop when you've just had an idea how to do something that seems incredibly important and ephemeral. I went online and bought another reel immediately, and was surprised and pleasantly astonished when it arrived in the post the next morning.
Ta Dah!! The Reveal
And it was done - I put a bail on it using beads, backed it with ultrasuede and that was it - or was it? I kept looking at it, and the bail seemed so plain, there wasn't any oomph! to it. So I picked it up again and added two more beads and all of a sudden, I was satisfied. Phew! There wasn't any more space to add a single bead - although momentarily I considered adding more to the picot edge, or even another edging behind the picot. But no, I put my foot down with a firm hand and that was definitely that. Besides, I still had the Pietersite tumblestone to deal with, so I got busy looking for my stash of silver square wire and clearing the decks of beads and other detritus from the soutache pendant.
This one had to be really, really simple, in stark contrast with the previous piece - after all, this is Caprilicious Jewellery, and I cater to every mood and caprice including my own. I went back to basics and made a spartan setting for this stone. It is a lot harder to do than it looks, but very rewarding. The stone was too fat and odd shaped to do much else with it unless I used my new found skills to solder together a frame. This way is just as nice, in my opinion - what do you think? Will she like it?? The pietersite itself has a chatoyancy that only just shows up at the bottom right of the stone in the photographs and is very pretty.
Caprilicious will be at The Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham on Friday, the 1st of December - if you are in the area, do drop in - we are there till 8pm.
That's me for this week folks, have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.