Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, and lovers of unusual handmade statement jewellery, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog this week. It will be three years this week since I started Caprilicious Jewellery as an entity, although I had been dabbling in jewellery making before, gifting away all the pieces I made to my friends (most of whom have remained friends in spite of this). These are the first pieces I made for the website - I hope the ladies who bought them are still enjoying them.
It is because of your support, readers, that Caprilicious exists, and I thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart.
My photography skills have certainly improved since then, and my wire work has got more and more complex. I have worked tirelessly in every direction, be it making the piece, blogging, making components, improving my wire work, varying designs, and improving and promoting my website - as well as doing my day job.
People ask where I find the time - I cannot answer that question - I think if you love to do something, time magically makes itself available. Of course it helps that Mike and I live a fairly quiet life, I couldn't have dealt with the rigours of a massive social whirl as well as all that I already do.
I've always loved the peacock and usually have one or two on my books. The last one was called Scherezade and now, I present Pavo - Pavo is the Latin name for Pavo cristatus or the crested peacock.
I spent a couple of evenings weaving the torque without knowing how it would end and what it would become - but as time passed, it became clear that the piece would be my next peacock feather. I had just finished it and put it away when I saw a picture posted on Facebook on one of the jewellery groups I belong to - I almost fell off my chair! This one is a diamond, opal and pearl necklace set in platinum, from Boodles - Oh well!
The one above is mine, and I'm just as proud of it as if it were made of diamonds and platinum!
The Face that Launched a Thousand Ships (Not)
Helen of Troy was the original face that launched a thousand ships - they were launched into a bloody battle, and all because she left her husband and ran off with Paris, her handsome young boyfriend. If I were her hubby Agamemnon, I'd have let her go and found myself another woman - Helen was obviously a mental lightweight who went for a pretty face. Instead, a thousand ships and men were launched into an all out battle where everyone was the loser.
My face cane was made under instruction from Layle McDill - when I bought the tutorial I didn't realise that quite so much clay would be involved - by the time I finished the cane weighed a couple of pounds. I now have a cane that is going to last me ages and ages, unless I can find things to do with it. Here's a little peek into the making of my face cane.
First, I made the lips and eyes - a bit scary, cos it looked like a duck face when I put them together. I had to speak sternly to myself, just to soothe the anxiety away - sometimes I have to give myself a pep talk, or I wouldn't get anywhere.
I added a nose and cheeks and a sheet of clay to outline the lot, et voila! a face - but this one was scary enough to frighten little children - it certainly wouldn't have attracted Paris, or even launched one single, teeny weeny boat!
'What's done is done', I said to myself, eerily echoing Helen of Troy, so I started to reduce the cane between my work tile and a sheet of perspex - and Hey! the face that emerged in the centre of the cane ain't half bad - not a ship launcher, I'll grant you that, but good enough for the purpose I have planned for it.
The other ends of the cane look like the saying - she has a 'face like a slapped a%@e', but the bit in the middle that I am concerned with, looks just like Layle intended when she wrote the tutorial, so well done me!
At least it doesn't look like the mask out of Scream - although it might have been fitting as it is Halloween week. So now I have to go away and think of a million different things to do with the cane. You'll find it cropping up all over the place, I suspect - I am quite proud of it.
I made the cane in order to use my latest toy - a cane slicer, which I think is a fabulous tool - if I can manage not to cut off my fingertips! It works like a guillotine - I shall refrain from making the 'let them eat cake' jokes that spring so readily to mind! Penny Vingoe who sold it to me talked a good talk when she demo'ed it, so that by the second day of a two day meeting, I was convinced that I wanted it - no, make that needed it. There was even a choice of a pink or blue one, and 'if you're feeling rich', an all chrome one, for 'just a few quid more' (no, I wasn't feeling rich, thank you very much, guilty was what I was feeling). I brought it home in my hot little hands, but unfortunately it took a while to assemble, with a few bits missing from the box that needed to be sent on, and a few mystery bits in the kit that weren't required - it is now fully operational and ready for action on my new face cane! Of course, I haven't told hubby how much I spent on it - I wouldn't be able to give out to him self righteously when he wastes money on unnecessary purchases then, would I??
As it is party time, I thought I'd refill my Bling album. These trapezoid shaped crystals had been sitting in my cupboard, waiting for just such a moment and were quite pleased to be let out of confinement.
The golden yellow crystals were teamed with other gemstone beads in the same colour spectrum -and the resulting necklace is called Ambrosia - Food of the Gods - there is a lot of debate whether ambrosia and nectar are one and the same - some say nectar is the liquid, while others seem to think that ambrosia is liquid food, like soup - I have no idea what the gods eat or drink - or whether they should be doing such mundane things in the first place ( In Hindu temples, they have ceremonies where the Gods are woken up, dressed, breakfasted - conveniently leaving out inconvenient bodily functions that us mere mortals have to put up with to survive).
Another Peacock - Mayuri
Pavo flew away to a new home, so it was imperative that another peacock had to be made - this one has a peacock feather on a faceted shell pearl necklace - simple, but effective. Blue dyed jade beads and green enamelled beads give the piece added interest. I made a couple of these with a peacock feather pendant earlier, using freshwater pearls and quartz crystals - you can decide which one you like best.
And finally..drumroll........ the last piece I made - a bit at a time, over the entire week until it was finished just as I finished writing the blog............
A serene handcarved bone face was teamed with a slice of shell - it looked like a picture of someone meditating. I knew what I wanted to make and had the elements picked out - but I had no idea how I would put them together. The face was from Indonesia and probably a Buddha - it wasn't difficult to imagine that the piece of shell was a sun/ chakra. Making this piece was almost a form of meditation - I let the wire take me where it would and this is what emerged.
I was really pleased because it was picked up off G+ even before I posted it on the website - I do love it so when someone displays enthusiasm for my efforts.
That's it for this week folks. Do come back next week - it is Caprilicious' birthday week and I will be posting a giveaway on my Facebook Page. 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.
Follow me on Pinterest
I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
What's in the Store
Look for them by their names in the search box
Free Mini Tutorials