Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, how's tricks?? I have had a very relaxed week with two days off from work, and loads of time to play with jewellery. A little shopping trip to reorganise stuff in my craft room - I was inspired by the ladies on the 'Clean up, Fix up' blog hop, and suddenly just putting stuff away in Quality Street tins, begged from the nurses ( after they had scoffed the contents donated by grateful patients) at Christmas didn't cut it any more. I wanted proper storage - so off to Ikea I went, to buy storage boxes for all the texture plates, moulds, and sundries that are causing so much clutter - any excuse for a shopping trip, said my long suffering husband!
Meanwhile, the call of the beads got louder and louder, so I picked up my pliers and off I went to calm the ones that were shouting the loudest.
I have a couple of artisan made Nepalese pendants left from my last virtual shopping expedition, and I made Sharona with one of them - called that simply because I used to love the song by the Knack as a teenager, and it was playing on the radio while I drove home from work just before I made the necklace - I was humming it in my head as I worked.
It was a week for nostalgia - a brass stamping, imported from the USA inspired the creation of a pendant I called My Lady d'Arbanville, after the song by Cat Stevens from the seventies. The art nouveau brass stamping is very much in the Alphonse Mucha vein, with a woman wistfully sniffing the perfume from the centre of a flower, all unbound hair and flowing robes. I added a rambling rose climber with 'roses' made of wire and ruby quartz, in keeping with the mood of the pendant. As the story goes, Patti d'Arbanville, Cat's girlfriend went to the USA for professional reasons, and he wrote a morbid, but nevertheless beautiful song about his loneliness without her, as if she were dead - she is very much alive, and only 63 years of age today!
My Lady d'Arbanville
I made another scarf pin using wire and seed beads, as well as some more with polymer clay, that were commissioned by Neelam for Look in the Bag to go with her new collection.
It was at this point, I decided to make another Balinese dancer's bracelet - the last one was made with a turquoise cabochon. This time, a rose quartz and copper bracelet seemed to be the way to go. Making this bracelet is an act of masochism, the likes of which I have never subjected myself to. My fingers were bleeding and knuckles grazed by the time I was finished, three evenings later. But the finished piece is so pretty, I am sure, a few months down the line, I will make another. The only problem is that just now, I gag when I look at another piece of wire - Oh well, hopefully that won't last long.
The Balinese Dancer's Bracelet
The bracelet is made so that the heavy cabochon does not slip onto the back of the wrist, which can be very annoying when you have a pretty focal you would like to show off on the front.
I played with polymer clay on and off during the weekend - a couple of hollow cylindrical beads were embellished to resemble carved ebony, and carved bone. I love making those hollow beads - the idea of forming a bead around air, without a form inside intrigues me - so much fun!
These pieces went into my oven to cure - I'm not sure how many of them will go into the necklace I plan with them - the two little faces on the top right are meant to be for earrings - the engineering conundrum it poses interests me greatly - how one piece will be connected to the other, and then to the necklace. I have left it to the end to pierce the components - I will use my Dremel, which I have become extremely comfortable with (amazing, cos I was once petrified of it), once I decide how to hang the piece. It may take a couple of weeks to figure this one out.
While waiting for stuff to come out of my oven, I played with an image transfer technique, which I then coloured with inks and turned into a little brooch. It has already found a new home, where it is well loved!
I have set myself a challenge - this was an experiment with a mosaic cane that didn't go quite to plan - I didn't want to relegate it to the scrap pile, so I kept playing with it till it turned into the kaleidoscope cane on the left. I'm going to try and make as many little pieces as I possibly can from this 4" long lump of clay, that should rightly have gone into the scrap pile. Thus far, some earrings have come out of this challenge, and next week, I will reveal all the pieces I can come up with in one post.
That's it for this week folks - it has been quite satisfying - some clay, some wire, and some beads - what more can a girl ask for??
Have a fabulous week, and I will 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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