Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, how's tricks today? The sun is shining, it is warm and it is a Bank Holiday weekend - what more could one ask for! Music and dance? I'm getting some of that too this weekend - we have tickets to a production of Singin' in the Rain which ought to be good. I've even finished my marathon project and decided to call it 'Putting on the Ritz' after the song I have posted below. There are many versions of the song, originally written in the 20's by Irving Berlin. I love the one with Fred Astaire performing to it, and the one with Gene Wilder in the fabulous movie, 'Young Frankenstein'. Taco brought it back to life in 1983 and this is the song I've played for you. Putting on the RItz means to dress in a swanky manner - and I'm sure you'll agree that my necklace is deserving of the name - put it on and you'll surely be swanky indeed!
The pendant is made in the fashion of the swingin' 20's in an art deco style. I learned so many techniques in the making of this piece. I knew what I wanted to produce, but didn't know how I was going to achieve this. In today's world with the internet at our disposal and so many kind people sharing their techniques and methodology, I researched each part of the necklace is great detail and made it bit by bit, which is why it took ages. The central strip was the easiest with the 3 cabochons surrounded by black seed beads. I then had to make the four tubes of blue beads, attach them to one another and to the centrepiece, make them stiff so that they didn't flop about or get squashed on wearing them, add jade dangles, make the necklace itself around a form, and attach the pendant to it. Phew!!
Art Deco, sometimes referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France just before World War I. Living its golden years in the period between two biggest global conflicts.
Art Deco was one of the most elegant and glamorous styles in modern art history. Between 1920’s and 1940’s Art Deco was embraced by many artists regardless of the field they were working in, from architecture and interior design to painting, sculpture, ceramics, fashion and jewelry. At the interwar period, Art Deco patterns were a synonym for modernist ideas of progress, optimistic celebrations of life and a luxurious lifestyle of a generation of youth, coming of age after the war. Art Deco aesthetics and heritage continues to live today.
The stepped profile is the epitome of the art deco shape, found everywhere from uplighters to picture surrounds. Zigzags, chevrons and lightning bolts are also common elements.
Art Deco was associated with both luxury and modernity; it combined very expensive materials and exquisite craftsmanship put into modernistic forms. Nothing was cheap about Art Deco: pieces of furniture included ivory and silver inlays, and pieces of Art Deco jewelry combined diamonds with platinum, jade, and other precious materials. The style was used to decorate the first-class salons of ocean liners, deluxe trains, and skyscrapers, and still exists today - the Savoy Hotel in London is a prime example.
Art Deco objects often showcase simple, clean shapes, usually with a “streamlined” look.
Art Deco figurines embodied the new sophistication and self confidence of women after the First World war, and made the female dancer and femininity the theme. They are usually bronze and fetch hundreds of pounds when sold. I have a couple in Bohemia glass which live on my mantle-piece and people who go near my precious objet d'art are on pain of death to ensure that they remain in one piece. I carried them back in my hand luggage all the way from Prague - anyone who knows me will know that I do not do hand luggage!
Putting on the Ritz
This was one helluva project, but I loved every moment of it (except when it was at the fugly stage). If ever there was a labour of love, it is this one.
The other piece I completed over the weekend was a necklace for my friend - she didn't much care for the one I made last week with the agate beads she carried back from Italy. I remade the pendant using instructions from Nicole Hanna, and put a necklace together to her specifications. I like the original as I think it is more colourful - but what matters most is that she likes the second one, as she's the one who will wear it. I'll leave you to pick your favourite of the two.
I will reuse the pendant in another piece some day. That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place,