Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello people, how are you faring this weekend? I'm on call from home, which means I am around all day, ready to spring into action if called by the hospital to help to deal with particularly knotty problems. However, it also means that if the Unit is not too busy, I get some time for my favourite occupation - playing with beads. I made this necklace yesterday and took the photographs this morning after the ward round. I love this piece so much that I couldn't wait to show it off!
It all started with an abalone shell pendant I picked up at a shop in Birmingham when I was there, browsing around. I love abalone or the Paua shell - the iridescent blues and greens, and the appearance of a colour shift is irresistible. The beautiful shell immeadiately transports you to the sea.
Abalone jewellery is a by product of the food industry as they are prized for their oyster like taste and are eaten as delicacies in China and Japan. There are large abalone farms in places like New Zealand, Californa and Mexico, and they export to these countries, having nurtured these little gastropods for between four and seven years. The meat is salty and when fried to a crisp tastes like bacon! You can reead more about it by clicking on the link.
The shimmering nacre we see in jewellery is created by the molluscs. Its formation is similar to traditional mother of pearl, and the abalone can make pearls, similar to oysters, but much more rarely. Only one in half a million abalone have pearls within and these are all natural. Abalone cannot be treated like oysters and used for pearl farming as they cannot tolerate being nucleated.
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.
I added a little starfish pendant from my stash - it is set with little micro pave cubic zirconia and it dangles over the abalone pendant, giving the appearance of a single composite piece. I searched high and low for the exact shade of blue that would go with the pendant - aquamarine, amazonite, turquoise, blue topaz, Peruvian opal - all these were considered and set aside when I saw these beautiful rough cut nuggets of blue quartz. They have been tumbled into a soft matte finish in a rock-tumbler which is like a mini washing machine, until they are smooth as a baby's bottom and have a pleasing matte finish. I grabbed them and set to work - each nugget is separated by a tiny mother of pearl bead and the effect is completely different from what it looked like when the beads were simply strung together in a row. The effect was suddenly as if the piece was frothy, like the foam at the edge of the ocean. I'm not sure if I'm being over imaginative, but here are some pictures for you.
This necklace makes me feel like I could do this!
The three strands can be twisted together to make a chunkier necklace, I'm sorry I haven't any more photographs to show you.
I was so excited with the way it looked that I only stopped to click these few pictures and ran back to the house to take a look at them. Besides, it's freezing cold out there in the conservatory where I have a little set up for my photography and I wanted to get back indoors as fast as possible.
That's me for now, folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch up with you soon.