Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, welcome back to the story of my week - this week was dominated by metal clay - I put my big girls pants on and strode out into a brave new world. Well, it wasn't quite that easy, being the cowering timorous beastie that I am - but almost. Why is it that when I am in a class, everything seems to be so easy? It all flows like clockwork and bish, bash, bosh, I'm looking at a lovely piece of jewellery. Once I get home, however, everything that can go wrong, does, and I am pulling my hair out in large chunks - I just hate this part of the learning curve and need to force myself to get on the ladder.
Anyway, there I was, a-shaking and a-quaking, but determined to do it. I mentally hitched my pants up high and dove into a new packet of silver clay, having drawn a little design onto a piece of paper. This gave me hives, right at the very start as I cannot draw a straight line with a ruler, but I carried on and eventually after a few false starts, I made what I thought would be a couple of pendants, but changed my mind halfway and turned them into asymmetrical earrings. I have wanted to try out this design format for a while and had a lot of fun playing with it. Eventually, on Sunday night they were almost done, but I was exhausted and didn't put them in the kiln for fear of making an error due to tiredness.
I learned the Bargello technique from Jana Roberts Benzon a couple of years ago and made this bead using the last pieces of material I made at the class. I simply put the bead away until I could make up my mind what I wanted to do with it. Put together with hand carved jade in a pale green, black engraved onyx with Chinese lettering and dragons picked out in gold, and a few African Baule lost wax beads, my Bargello bead assumed its rightful place in a beautiful fusion necklace.
Unisex Jewellery for Eco Warriors
I've always been fascinated by arrowheads, one of the most primitive implements made by man - the ones I acquired are a bit more contemporary, and chiselled from agate in shades of cream, beige and grey. I wrapped the arrowheads in copper wire which I then antiqued and polished and hung on a leather thong. I think they are suitable to be worn by both men and women and from these humble beginnings, I have a small range of unisex jewellery.
This Maori warrior face is hand carved bone, and came all the way from Indonesia from Indounik. I have had him for ages, and think he looks rather splendid wrapped in square copper wire which I twisted with a pin vise to give an interesting curly-haired look.
And finally, the metal clay pieces I crafted so carefully were ready to go into the kiln. I held my breath, put my big girls pants on and waited with bated breath till the kiln beeped at me - 'come and have a look, don't be such a scaredy cat', it said - and I did, and it was fine - phew! I thought, as long as I still had those pants on, I might as well try out a bit of soldering, and that worked as well - OMG! I will tumble and polish the earrings and have them on the website at the weekend, and on this page next week.
I shall go now and rest my weary head. The stresses and strains of the week have almost done me in, but I shall carry on with clay, now that I've been bitten well and truly by the bug.
That's it for the week folks, have a fab weekend, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place