Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
I love the imagery conjured up by Walter de la Mare in his poem 'Silver', and I made this necklace in tribute.The pale blue quartz beads have gentle facets which make them reflective, as if touched by moonlight. An aspen leaf skeleton that was wide enough to fit easily in the palm of my hand seemed like it needed a bit of elongation and movement to balance the piece, so I added a dangle of little silver electroplated glass beads and blue chalcedony, killing two birds. The bead caps were made when trying out an idea a while ago, and seemed to set the blue agate bead off, this in turn giving the necklace a pop of colour. I think Mr de la Mare would have approved, don't you?? Here's the rest of the poem, in case you don't remember it.
Moving swiftly on, I swung from lunar to solar imagery - my muse certainly keeps my brain ticking over!
Reliquary from the Sun
Solar quartz is a natural agatized quartz cut from stalactites. The centers and the edges of these stones are translucent and there are dendritic or tree like inclusions at the very centre of the stone. For believers in crystal healing, solar quartz is probably the most versatile multipurpose healing stone, quartz amplifies energy and healing, draws and sends energy, and stimulates natural crystals in the body’s tissues and fluids to resonate at new healing frequency.
I just think it is so pretty - I cannot resist it, whether it heals or not.
When I hold and look at solar quartz it immediately draws my eyes towards the center of the stone, like diving into a beautiful pool of water - it is almost hypnotic. Non-traditional elements are gaining in popularity and I embrace the use of wild & rough-cut gemstones in my designs.
These little silver amulets came from India. Amulets are meant to preserve magical contents in the form of sacred texts written on a leaf, or paper. They are usually worn close to the skin and hidden away from the eyes of onlookers who might decrease their powers.
The Romans definition of an amulet was a bit broader; they did not have to wear the object for it to be considered an amulet. A bat carried around a house three times and hung up side down in a window was considered an amulet. The gallbladder of a male black dog was used to protect the home from magic.
This, then, is the necklace I made with four little amulets or reliquaries, and the solar quartz pendant.
Many years ago, I read the story of the Alhambra by Washington Irving - this book was written by this American author who lived in the palace of the Alhambra while he wrote about it in a semi historical, semi fantasy manner. I was really keen to see the palace that inspired those fabulous stories, and on a holiday to Malaga, managed to travel to Granada on a day trip. The Alhambra was described as a 'pearl set in emeralds' and its grounds are filled with the most beautiful plants. It looks fairly forbidding, as the exterior is very plain sandstone, but once inside, it is lavishly decorated with swirling Arabic script and arabesques, fountains, courtyards, lace like carved windows, column arcades, pools - it is easy to sense the aura of romance that emanates from it.
Zayda, Zoraida and Zorohayda were the three daughters of king Mohamed IV, also known as 'Mohamed the Left handed' according to Washington Irving.
The king kept them imprisoned in the Tower of the Princesses to guard their virtue, but the two older sisters escaped with a couple of Spanish cavaliers. Zorohayda, however, was too timid to leave, and spent the rest of her life in the Alhambra, and then became the resident ghost, singing sweetly and playing a silvery lute, until she managed to get a young maiden to sprinkle her with water from one of the fountains. She bequeathed the maiden her silvery lute.
As the story goes, over the years, the lute was melted down for it's silver content, but its strings were used in Paganini's fiddle - from which of course, sprang the most beautiful music, once again.
This web edition of Washington Irving's book 'The Alhambra' is published by eBooks@Adelaide.
The pendant in this necklace reminded me of the lace work in the windows of the Alhambra palace, and teamed with green jade and brushed silver tone beads, this necklace is redolent with the romance of that beautiful palace.
I'm sure the romantics amongst you will appreciate this little tale, and the necklace that goes with it - the story is well worth reading, and the Alhambra, and Granada are most definitely worthy of a bucket list.
I hope you have enjoyed my little flights of fancy - that's it for this week, have a good one, and I will catch you later, same time, same place
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