Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, I trust you have all had a good week. The flowers are a-blooming and everything looks so pretty when we walk into our garden or drive around town. The warmth of the unaccustomed summer sun in the UK has brought out the romantic in me and this mood has touched all that I have made this week.
I had a bunch of coloured baroque pearls and I strung them onto mono filament invisible nylon, using jeweller's glue to get them to stay in place. Of course, the nylon had a mind of it's own, so did the pearls, and as for the glue - let's not even go there - a few newly invented swear words later, this necklace appeared - my husband wondered whether I was developing Tourette's syndrome and I had to take time out to reassure him that it was all for real and the air around me wasn't blue due to a psychiatric disorder. I had to prise my fingers apart after soaking them in warm water to take some pictures of my latest creation.
Anyway, it was all worth it in the end, and I can present Summer Holiday...............
This is an ideal piece to carry away on holiday, light and pretty, and with so many colours, it will go with anything - Summer Holiday seemed apt.
The next piece was almost to claw back the now distant memory of our holiday in the spring, and Peter Cincotti's rendition of I Love Paris says it all. Romance was firmly back on the agenda.
Shiny heart shaped Czech glass beads, little crystals and rose quartz wired onto a torque sit around the neck in this piece like a garland of flowers. I didn't put any crystals at the back of the necklace - the stiffness of the torque would cause the wired flowers and leaves to dig the wearer in the neck - who wants that in the heat of a warm summer evening, when this piece should really float elegantly around the neck? Not me, that's who!
Peacock from the Ocean
Abalone or Paua is a snail, found in temperate waters around the world from the genus Haliotis ( no, not Halitosis - pay attention now!), meaning 'sea - ear'. It has a flattish shell, which is dull on the outside, and beautifully coloured on the inside, with a mother of pearl nacre. The snail has a strong foot, and clings to a rock surface on the ocean bed, and has to be prised off - this can be extremely difficult, and I was surprised to read that divers have perished in the attempt.
"Abalone grip so hard that unless you catch one by surprise, you are unable to pry it off the basin. Divers used to drown while collecting abalone . . . a diver would pry an abalone loose, stick his fingers under the shell to lift it and then in surprise and pain when the ab clamps down would drop his ab bar. At that point, there would be no way to get his hand loose and he would drown. (Tank diving is illegal when gathering abalone.)"
This is called the 'Abalone's Revenge'.
One question - how does one catch an abalone by surprise?? - there is no mention of this anywhere - maybe you have to leap out at it from behind a rock, all guns blazing?? Clint Eastwood, eat your heart out!
Red Abalone are harvested mainly for the Sushi restaurant trade - males and females are put into large tanks on moonlit nights ( they prefer to mate on full moon nights), with soft violin music, candlelight, and a bottle of wine (yes, joke!).
An Abalone Farm - a far cry from 'bring on the violins'!
They produce baby abalones, which are collected and given a diet of kelp smoothies and snail spaghetti, which is a slurry of bran, seaweed and other nutrients made into a dough, extruded through a pasta machine and baked, to help them grow till they are large enough to be eaten. The shells are used for jewellery, but have to be ground and polished by experts as the dust is very toxic, and causes lung diseases.
No wonder then, the shells are expensive - however, the colours are so beautiful, I am sure you will agree it is worth all that trouble. I made a polymer clay ruffle bead in abalone colours, and put a necklace together. The colours are gorgeous and I could only hope that my ruffle bead would be up to the task of complementing the abalone shell beads - what do you think??
This necklace, made with crystals and diamante encrusted spacers, has been one of Caprilicious' more successful designs. It has been reproduced in quite a few colours, and at the jewellery party at my friends place, the hostess picked it up almost immediately - when she showed it off to her friends, they fell in love with it, and I had orders for the same piece, having asked her permission first, of course. I sent off for strings of crystals and spacers and clasps, and I made the first of the necklaces on order this week. Fortunately, I have the design and the suppliers written down, and this is one of the few that can actually be remade.
That's about all I have had time for this week folks, it looks like another scorcher here in the UK over the weekend. Have fun, and I will catch up with you next week, same time, same place