Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray!......... and I was finally able to go into the conservatory and use my kiln. I really don't know why we bother in Britain - conservatories are freezing cold in the winter, and roasting hot in the summer - ours is tacked on to one side of the house so we have to walk around the house to get to it. As we are stuck for space, my kiln has ended up there - but, come what may with the weather, I have decided that I am going to use it this year.
I made a start this week, and tried out some of the enamels I bought from a lady who retired from the jewellery business. With enamels, none of the colours resemble the raw powdered glass in the jar once they have been fired, and the transparent ones look different when fired onto copper than when put on silver - why must life be so difficult??? - sigh! I have perforce to keep the area tidy - with the kiln running at temperatures of 850C, there is little room for stuff falling over and general clumsiness, which is why I have this picture of my work station - isn't it tidy???
Mike has a jar of copper pennies and I used some of them to enamel onto - it was great fun, and without actually making anything, I achieved a lot. I found out what the various colours looked like and I stuck each penny on the lid of the container, so that I would find it easily again in an attempt to take the guess work out of the exercise.
This picture shows how unlike the powder the actual colours look on the pennies - at least I know what colours will be my favourites now. And, I learned that a mixture of vinegar and salt shines up the copper pennies - that old wives tale is definitely true!
Glam rock was a style of music that came out of Britain in the 70's - sparkle, sequins, purples, reds and gold, outrageous clothes, makeup and hairstyles, particularly platform-soled boots and glitter were associated with this era, with David Bowie, T Rex and Roxy Music being big stars of that genre. I am old enough, of course to have enjoyed their music, and I dedicated this next necklace to it. The clear crackled quartz, and the purple shell pearl nuggets in two strings with the pearls and silver crystals carrying an aspen leaf are most definitely glamorous. I like to contrast purple with green, so I added a green carved jade butterfly and a faceted teardrop, as well as a shimmery Czech pressed glass triangular bead to a squiggle of wire, hung from the bail of the leaf.
The Pomegranate Tree
I had a friend who had a pomegranate tree growing in her garden - as children, all we had to do was reach up and pluck one for a quick snack. I think on reflection, that the pomegranate is a very overrated fruit - there's an awful lot of pfaffing about to get an ounce of the good stuff. However, it sure looks pretty - both on the tree, and when split open. My mother found these four coral cabochons for me, and I decided to group them together into a pendant for maximum impact, as individually each one was only about a centimeter long. The minute I did this on a piece of paper, I was reminded of the pomegranate tree of my childhood. I clustered the cabochons together, and doodled around them with wire and crystals to try and recreate an organic 'tree effect'. A coral teardrop was added for movement - I love a bit of movement - otherwise the piece looses its dynamic, and is just a lump of metal and a few stones.
Have a lovely weekend folks, it is Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, and traditionally, it always rains on a bank holiday - I shall stay indoors with the cat and play with my beads. However, if the weather is more like it should be at this time of year, some gardening/ barbeque action may be on the cards.
Catch you next week, same time, same place