Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, happy 2017 to you in this my first post in January. I hope you are all ready for what promises to be a challenging year. New Year's Eve for Mike and I was a long weekend in Rome, eating lentils at the stroke of midnight to bring us good luck and loadsa money while watching the fireworks. Seeing a country through the eyes of the locals is a completely different experience from being a tourist and is so much more fun. We went to the supermarket, coffee shops and trattorias, a garden centre and wandered around the shops in EUR. We went to a few places which are off the beaten track in Rome and bombed around in a white knuckle ride with our friend driving with a manic cackle, shaking her fist, papping her horn and cheerfully swearing at the truck drivers in colourful Italian.
Fifteen minutes away from the centre of Rome is the Quartiere Coppede - I'd seen pictures of it and asked if we could go there. Gino Coppede, a Florentian architect built extensively there - his motto certainly must have been 'more is more'. This area is also known as the Art Nouveau district and it begins where a massive arch connects two apartment buildings with an iron chandelier hanging from the middle of it.
Other unusual ornaments on the apartment buildings were giant bees, lions' heads and standing figures perched above windows and under balconies. Fading frescoes and Latin inscriptions added to the abundant decoration in a combination of Byzantine, medieval and classical styles, with a dash of Art Deco and a flourish of the ornamental Floreale style, from the 19th-century Liberty period. Mosaic-tiled archways, intricate brickwork, turrets, towers and loggias were juxtaposed on buildings three to six stories high. Even the chimneys were decorated and embellished to within an inch of their lives and I went berserk with my camera, clicking away happily.
And then on to Trastevere for a cappucino and a bite to eat.
Of course we did the Centro Storica and Mike had the obligatory photograph on the Spanish Steps and by the Fontana Trevi. I went to Beny, a shoe shop I discovered during my last trip and checked out all their fabulous shoes.
Shoes, glorious shoes!
It would be rude not to, wouldn't it?
It was soon time to pack up and come back home - Monarch lost our suitcase and I'm still waiting for news of it four days down the line!
I got home and went straight to my kiln where there was a little flower I made before I left home, waiting patiently for me to dig it out of the carbon I had fired it in. I cleaned it up and as I had no bags to unpack or clothes to sort out or put away, I had the time to make a little necklace with my flower which resembled a hollyhock while I caught up with the TV programmes recorded on the TIVO box.
Aren't the vapour coated druzy beads beautiful? I made the copper clasp using a design by Nicole Hanna, and the little butterfly wing dangle from polymer clay and resin. I do love making as many of my components as possible.
When I got back home, I found an email telling me that I had a tutorial published in Artisan Jewellery Times, an online digital magazine based in the USA. That was such a nice beginning to my year!
That's me for this week folks, have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, 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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