Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, it's nice to catch up with you again. At the end of November, Caprilicious will be four and as always, every year Mike gets me to think about where I am, and where I am going. This year is no exception and I shall share some of my thoughts with you.
When I started out on this fun journey, I learned as many techniques as I could - resin, polymer clay, wire, precious metal clay, enamelling, and beading. I steered clear of fiddly techniques that involved tiny beads and needles - although I would have loved to make soutache jewellery, the fine needles used in this technique discouraged me. Wire crochet, knitting with wire, Kumihimo, Viking Knit - I tried them too, but they didn't float my boat.
I broke so many jewellery saw blades, that I gave it up as a bad job. However, I will return to it one of these days, but not just yet, I fear - there's too much else going on just now.
I realise now that there was method to my madness - I have ended up creating jewellery where I make at least one of the components - when I look back at the pieces I have made, these are the ones I am most proud of. I'm sure it takes a discerning eye to put various colours and shapes together to make a great looking piece - but I want to be part of the essence of the jewellery I make, not merely a 'put togetherer and prettifier' of someone else's components. I embraced polymer clay enthusiastically for this reason - the possibilities with colour, shape and techniques are endless; so much fun to be had!
My design ethic is asymmetrical, quirky and hopefully joyous, fun and interesting. Caprilicious attracts similar people - the kind who are not afraid to try new things, and to stand up and be counted - shrinking violets need not apply. People who like the jewellery I make have something in common with me - a love for the bright and the beautiful, the bold and the unconventional. When my jewellery is worn, it establishes a link between me and the wearer, and we share a common ground.
Wearing the same look as everyone else is not for a Caprilicious woman, and neither is being in the same mood all day, every day.
The decorative function of jewelry has historically been to provide visual accents, colour, contrast and texture, and one cannot underestimate the power of jewellery to enhance self-image and to alter social perceptions.
I come from a culture where the word 'jewellery' is inextricably linked with precious metals and my mother mentally turns her nose up at a lot of my jewellery. Women in India sometimes wear their entire bank balance, especially at weddings.
However, in other cultures, stone, wood, glass beads, leather, animal horn, coal, feathers, beetle wings, clay, cloth, straw, lacquer, shell and human hair have all been used as adornment at one time or another. Who am I to ignore the world history of jewellery? I am not ashamed to admit that I have put all of the above except perhaps straw, and human hair to good use, and have added polymer clay and resin to the list.
Personally, I am not fussed about what the materials I use are - my intentions are to provide a rich visual experience which is fun and stimulating. Caprilicious appeals to discerning, contemporary women who are not hidebound by tradition. I would like to play to a wide audience, not just women who are lucky enough to be able to afford heirloom jewellery. So although I do have some pieces that I make in sterling and 99% silver, most of my pieces are fun and affordable, with a global feel.
I have also been thinking about what being part of the Caprilicious story has meant to me personally and I will share my thoughts with you next week. Let's take a look at this week's output from Caprilicious in the meantime.
Mini Tribal Necklaces
No, these are not for the vertically challenged of the pygmy tribe - they are smaller necklaces with a tribal feel - the tiny little pendants come from Afghanistan, and I strung them with tiny gemstone nuggets, coins, glass petals, crystals and vinyl trade beads in pretty but unconventional necklaces.
Ms Muse was in a pensive and wistful mood - a set of shiny silvery lucite flowers set her thinking about the country and Western song Wildwood Flowers - she got me to wire each one individually and then thread the loops onto beading wire. A couple of strings of shiny Aurora Borealis coated square crystals and some yellow fire agate beads and that was us done.
As this necklace is not over blingy, it can easily be worn during the daytime as my styling suggestions show - both the dresses I picked out are simple but stylish shift dresses - the checkered one is wool and the white one, leather. How would you wear it??
I know I've called this one Mayuri (2) or Peahen (2) which is a misnomer if ever there was one, but it is the 5th and last peacock feather pendant I have in my stash. The edges are fringed with gold seed beads and I've touched the tips with superglue to ensure the beads do not come off, which was a problem we found with an earlier piece, which fortunately was salvageable. Here are the other four pieces:-
And here is the latest addition to the peacock feather necklace collection.
I have recently been putting a few styling suggestions on my pages at the request of some of you. Of course, there are as many ways to wear a necklace as there are to skin a cat, and I'm sure you have loads of ideas. Do send me pictures of how you have worn Caprilicious, I would love to see them.
Have a fabulous week and I will catch you next week, same time, same place
What do you think of the new styling suggestions feature - do you have any of your own?? Do leave me a comment below, I love to hear from you.
"To provide a rich visual experience which is fun and stimulating" you have beautifully summed up what you do Neena. I believe this should be your elevator pitch. Gorgeous jewelry as usual, the highlight for me being peacock -nugget necklace. wishing you many many more years of awesomeness
31/10/2015 06:15:50 pm
Thank you very much Divya - I try :)
10/11/2015 10:46:41 pm
Really nice article Neena - you're artistic even in terms of writing style! It's great that you are so inclusive and make jewelry that is affordable. Ultimately, creativity trumps popular opinion. The joy you put into your work also shows - and that's more valuable then a designer label. I will never forget the giant box I got for my birthday. Love this Mayuri collection as well. I got some Peacock feather earrings at the Masai market. Also great that you want to make some piece as well - so many just assemble materials as you say.
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