Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, as this post comes out to you on the third day of Diwali, I thought I'd wish those of you who celebrate lots of love and light in the year ahead. I lit a couple of diyas in my porch, just in case the Goddess of Wealth comes a-calling - who knows, this year, it might be our turn for a visit!
I spent most of this week in London and while I was there on business, I managed to use some of my time off having fun and seeing some interesting sights.
Mike and I had as afternoon wandering around Camden Market, eating at the colourful food stalls and looking into all the kitschy stalls, trying on hats and generally having ourselves a great time. We ended up in a restaurant and bar called Shaka Zulu - the place was so overrun with artefacts, even Africa probably doesn't look so determinedly African. Kitsch never looked so good (or should that read bad??). I felt that I needed to photograph almost everything, everywhere I turned, there was yet another image waiting to be clicked. In a way I'm glad the lights were dimmed low - the place probably needs hundreds of people to dust it and a ray of sunlight illuminating a cobweb would have taken the shine off it somewhat.
Camden High Street was colourful too, I love the quirky vibe of the place and that one might see almost anything, anytime! A Mad Hatter was having his own little tea party and anyone who fancied herself in the role of Alice was welcome to join the fun and see what happened.
And then on to the Jazz Cafe, where they had a fabulous show called Sunday Soul. We got there when doors opened just before six and found a little ledge to sit on and rest our weary legs, tired from tramping around Camden. The other people at the cafe didn't seem to mind standing around for hours and hours, but I'm afraid we wouldn't have been able to. It was certainly a fabulous band and they played some great music that night.
Historians are still arguing about the major cause of World War I (better known as The Great War or WW1), thought to be caused by a great many elements, some long-term and some short-term. Together these reasons created a brutal war involving many countries across the globe and killing a vast number of the world’s population. England, Germany, France and Russia, along with others, all wanted to expand their 'Empires'.
The murder of the Archduke and heir to the throne of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, was the putative 'spark', because it gave Austria an excuse to attack Serbia as it tried to increase its borders by annexing another nation.
Historians have maintained that the word MAIN summarises the main issues surrounding the cause of the First World War:
Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red was a display in 2014 marking one hundred years since Britain entered into the First World War. Each poppy represented a fatality during the war and throughout the summer they added more and more poppies to the display. The poppies were ceramic and handmade using techniques which were used by potters during the First World War.
Every year, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, people fall silent in the UK to mark Armistice day. For a month before, red poppies are sold to benefit the Royal British Legion which cares for war veterans and the words 'Lest We Forget' are used over and over.
And then, the arms barons rub their hands with glee as we go off and join yet another war, bombing Iraq or Afghanistan or Yemen, murdering and killing in the name of good - yet the mnemonic MAIN more or less still holds good. There's never been a war fought over principles - they have always been about the accumulation of wealth and power and all the jingoism in the world cannot hide that fact. And yet, year on year, people let their kids join armies around the world, poor kids who know no better, set to become pawns in the game of 'Supremacy' and no more than cannon fodder.
For all the rhetoric in the world, I'm afraid we've still gorn and forgotten!!
As the nation commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War, a new installation at the Tower of London, Beyond the Deepening Shadow: The Tower Remembers will fill the moat with thousands of individual flames: a public act of remembrance for the lives of the fallen, honouring their sacrifice.
We got there too late to watch the lighting ceremony, but in time to see the lit torches and the poor Beefeater left out in the cold, lit up to cast a strategic spooky shadow on the Tower - Lest We Forget. I felt sorry for the poor Beefeater shivering in the cold November night as we took ourselves off to Coppa, a really cute restaurant around the corner from the Tower with little warm pods under a netting of lights.
Intarsia is a term that is used to describe stone inlay, where pieces of similar thickness are cut and shaped to fit closely together without spaces or gaps, forming a pictorial or geometric design. The Latin term, pietre dure, is essentially stone marquetry, which first appeared in Rome in the 16th century and reached maturity in Florence. The stones are loosely assembled and then each one is glued in place to a base, typically of marble, obsidian, onyx, jade, granite, quartz, or even ceramic.
Intarsia differs from mosaics and micromosaics, where small piece of glass, stone, shell, or bone are set into a mortar with grout in between the pieces.
With intarsia, the pieces are different shapes, sizes, and material; no grout or mortar is used; and the cutting must be exact so that there are no spaces or gaps between the stones. How amazing is that!!!
I just love the idea that this little piece of stone in my hot little hand has been cut and set by a lapidary's nimble fingers into a piece of one of a kind, intricate art, and I am humbled to be able to use it in my jewellery. I set one in a bezel of tiny beads and proceeded to turn it into a seascape.
The pendant will be triangular with lush fronds of a 'coral' reef dangling from it and I have some very interesting beads that are earmarked for the necklace. Having spent quite a few days in London this week, I haven't had time to finish this piece, but I'll have it for you next week. Here are some preliminary pictures of the work in progress.
That's me for this week, folks. It has been a fun, but exhausting week and I have yet a few more days to go as I have house guests over the weekend to celebrate Diwali mainly by stuffing ourselves silly with food and drink. Have a fabulous week, and I shall catch you next week, same time, same place.