Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Good day, good folk, and welcome to the Caprilicious Jewellery blog for lovers of interesting jewellery. I've decided that I should try and eschew the words 'statement jewellery' - after all, everything you wear says something about you and states who you are and from which direction the wind is filling your sails.
Procrastination, that's been my middle name this week. Ever since I came back from the workshop in Wareham, I've been meaning to work with silver clay. I sat down at my crafting table - and that's as far as I got - everything I touched turned to rubbish and I finally gave up in disgust. I decided that the reason that nothing worked for me was because I didn't have this tool, or that one, and I spent a fortune kitting myself out with everything I could possibly need - I've even bought a small food dehydrator, for cryin' out loud! And now, I've run out of excuses - absolutely and completely. I'm going to have to buckle down and get on with it this weekend. It is certainly difficult to get out of the old comfort zone, but it has to be done.
Working with a kiln can be difficult, and when you work really hard to craft a piece of artware, it goes into the kiln and comes out a complete mess, it can be heart breaking!
However, I need to get away from the anxiety of failure and work to face my fears - and I need to keep telling myself that, or my hands seem to find other work which mysteriously becomes so interesting and overwhelmingly important that I cannot stop and go to the clay.
While I procrastinated, I made these pieces - you can see that they are mostly wirework, subconsciously chosen to keep me away from the kiln for ever longer.
The two beautiful black and white druzy agates, with shimmering crystals at their centres reminded me of a glacier - Cirque glaciers are bowl-shaped depressions on the side of or near mountains. Snow and ice accumulation in cirque glaciers often occurs as the result of avalanches from higher surrounding slopes. I have previously made a necklace from blue quartz called Glacial Fantasy inspired by a picture of a glacier, but I thought these two would benefit from simple wirework to set the stone off to it's best advantage.
As you can imagine, although these torques are 'less is more', minimalistic pieces they took a while to weave - a good excuse to keep me away from the kiln for the first half of the week.
Rolls of wire kept shoving themselves under my nose and doing a 'play with me, pleeease' dance. Pliers jumped off the shelf and landed on my toes demanding attention - what could I do but pick them up, although it meant another two days away from the kiln.
and for my next trick........ Dawn
The woman in this art nouveau brass stamping which came from Colorado, USA, looks as if she is looking out of a window at the sunrise, yawning delicately, clutching her bedclothes to her to cover her nudity. The window is surrounded by greenery with coloured crystals, gemstones and Czech glass leaves.
Equally, she might just be saying 'oops, I did it again', ruefully watching her married lover leave the premises, rushing to get back home before he is missed. She is pretty, isn't she? I put her on a pretty blue and cream necklace and I think she likes where she is.
Cookies and Cream
I very rarely design in browns and creams - these dyed jade beads arrived in a wholesale lot and I wondered what I was going to do with them - I briefly considered swapping them for other, brighter beads with ladies on a bead swap forum. And then, all of a sudden, Ms Muse came up with this three stranded necklace with one of my beautiful diamante clasps and some pewter flowers I'd been hoarding for a while. It turned out to be a sophisticated necklace in sober colours, and would suit an occasion of that ilk - perhaps a lunch with the girlfriends or an evening function in the neckline of a simple sheath dress.
And that was another evening gone, by the time I figured out the best combination of beads, how I wanted the clasp placed, and decided to add the flowers time flew by. Ms Muse was no help - she just wanted to string three different colours on the three separate strands of the necklace in a sort of ombre piece. I did as she instructed to be left with a very weird looking piece of jewellery. Mike, who was watching this go bad ways suggested I mix the beads up asymmetrically - and Cookies and Cream appeared in my hands - thank you Mike!
I sat in front of the telly one evening with a spool of sterling silver wire and made these earrings. Each earring is made with two lengths of wire, and another length of fine wire to bind the jade and amethyst beads onto the main structure. They were fun to make and will be even more fun to wear - hoops are very 'in', this year.
During this time, I had last minute tweaks to apply to my paperwork for my appraisal at the day job, spent a couple of days in London shopping and going to the theatre with one of my dearest friends who came here all the way from Boston, and even addressed a public meeting about incontinence and bladder problems in women (that, I'm afraid is my day job).
If any of you in the UK get the chance, Gypsy at the Savoy theatre is absolutely fantastic - Imelda Staunton is magnificent and deserved the standing ovation she got at the end of the performance.
I hope I will hit the kiln running this weekend, and have something to show you next week. In the meantime, have a fabulous week; catch you next week, 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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I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
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