Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, I hope you are well and looking forward to the onset of spring. Having spent the whole of February in warmer climes, my winter has been foreshortened and it is with delight that I find that the days are getting longer and it is no longer dark when I leave the hospital to drive back home.
When I got back home, the first thing I saw in the mountain of mail waiting for me was a copy of Bead and Jewellery magazine with a tutorial written by me in it. To my eternal surprise and possibly secret shame, I've turned into someone who loves flowers and makes them at every opportunity. I always associated a love of flowers with being rather girly and a bit soppy, neither adjective really being applicable to my persona. Who knew??
I took a short break from jewellery this week. Most of my time has been spent working at the day job and sleeping off the jet lag. However, since I've now come clean that I am a soppy girl at heart, I thought I'd show you some pictures I took in a wholesale flower market in Mysore, India.
This is the Dufferin Clock Tower, built in honour of the British Viceroy to India, Lord Dufferin who visited Mysore in 1886 at the invitation of the Maharaja. The clock tower stands in an open courtyard in front of the Devaraja market, which is a covered wholesale market for flowers and fruit.
My parents went to medical school in Mysore in the 50's. Whenever we visited Mysore as a young family, dad used to stop the car outside this market and nip out to buy my mother a jasmine flower garland to wear in her hair. I didn't really think anything of it then, but much later on realised that they were reliving the romance of their medical school years, when they were young and in love. Apparently dad used to buy her a foot long string of fragrant jasmine wrapped in a leaf to wear in her long black hair when he came a-courting. Not one to put her emotions on display, my mother used to unwrap the flowers and put them in her hair and say nothing, but I'll bet there was a lot said later on when we weren't around.
Devaraja Market was built over 100 years ago and is a wholesale market with rows of shops radiating from a central courtyard. The flowers there are sold by the bushel to make garlands for religious rituals, adornments for idols, and garlands at weddings for the bride and groom, who exchange them when they have tied the knot.
As I walked around the market, I realised that it services the 'religious industry', selling flower garlands and fruits and other items essential to the rituals practised in India.
When it is festival/ritual time, people buy flowers, fruit, joss sticks, camphor, dried coconut halves, banana leaves, coconuts, mango leaves, betel leaves and nuts as offerings to the Gods amongst other things (most of which are snaffled by the Brahmin priests who are brought in to intone the prayers deemed necessary for that particular festival - a kerching! bonanza time for them). The ladies buy new clothes, glass bangles to match, and flowers to wear in their hair.
All of these, apart from clothing are sold wholesale here. There isn't a long stemmed bloom in sight!
Here are some pictures for you to enjoy.
The main business takes place early in the morning - a siesta is essential by midday.
I hope you enjoyed my little wander around Devaraja Market. There was so much colour, and the flowers so fragrant, that I was overawed by the experience, and so were my friends Rekha and Arvind who only came along to humour me to begin with.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll 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.
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