Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, nice of you to drop by to see what I have been up to this week. Most of the week went swimmingly, apart from a disaster I had with a pendant I was attempting to make in my kiln - anyway, less said about that the better - let me show you the stuff that did turn out to my standards.....
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
These beads were made last weekend - a couple of Yin Yang beads, and the others were meant to resemble Kenyan mud cloth or batik beads. I distressed them a bit, before curing them, but in the end could not bring myself to 'antique' them - I loved the crisp effect of the white swirls on black. So now we have beads with dinks in them, but black and white with a high shine.
The Yin and the Yang, in Chinese Taoist philosophy is a description of how contrary forces are interrelated and interdependent. The interdependence is characterised by the white dot in the Yin, black side, and the black dot in the Yang, white side.
The relationship between yin and yang is often described in terms of sunlight playing over a mountain and a valley. Yin (literally the 'shady place' or 'north slope') is the dark area occluded by the mountain's bulk, while yang (literally the 'sunny place' or 'south slope') is the brightly lit portion.
In the 4th and 5th centuries Taoist principles such as Yin - Yang, astronomy, calendar making, time telling, divination and the observation of nature's way were all amalgamated into fortune telling and sorcery. The original name I picked for my necklace was 'The Fortune Teller's Apprentice'. This, I thought was an appropriate title for my Yin Yang necklace, until I remembered a piece of music by Dusak - The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Walt Disney set a cartoon featuring Mickey Mouse to this music in Fantasia, and those of you with kids will remember it well - if you don't know it, watch the piece here - it is great fun.
Masala Mango Mantra - a feature
I was really thrilled to receive an email that I had been featured on MasalaMangoMantra's blogspot - it is written by a jewellery designer from Ontario, http://masalamangomantra.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/featured-artistneena-shilvock-of.html
'Masala Mango Mantra is a blog uniting artists, designs, decor, fashion, food from around the globe and that which is Indian inspired by design'. Reshma Sandell, from Mississauga, Ontario has her own Etsy outlet, Ahkriti and has a lot of fun stuff in it. Check it out here..... http://www.etsy.com/shop/ahkriti
Her blog is read widely and followed by a number of people, and I thank her for the feature. I have made so many 'virtual' friends through Caprilicious - Maria Fernandes is the only one I have met so far, and that was really great - wouldn't it be fun to have a party with all my virtual friends and meet them face to face - I bet we'd have a blast! Reshma, you are most definitely invited when I sort it out- date and venue TBA!
Blue Poppy Reverie
I love my garden - it is only tiny, and a lot of my flowers are grown in pots. Now that it is September the season is coming to an end, but there is still enough left in it to look at when we sit out in the evening. Some of my favourite flowers are poppies - I have loads of different kinds, especially perennials - the pictures above were taken at the beginning of this year - poppies are almost the first flowers to bloom in the garden, and Mike gets so excited that they are back, he makes me rush out and take a picture, despite my protests that we seem to be taking the same pictures every year! I have Oriental poppies, Welsh poppies, Icelandic poppies and even an opium poppy.
But the one I really want to grow is the Blue Himalayan Poppy - I buy a plant every year and it just dies on me - it seems to do well enough a few miles down the road in the garden centre - I don't know what he is doing special, and he denies all - maybe it's just a conspiracy to streamline the contents of my wallet - I think he feeds it ice water when everyone has gone home!
This beautiful blue flower with it's bright orange stamens is the national flower of Bhutan. It grows well in cold climates, and apparently, apart from our garden centre, the other place in the UK it grows well is Scotland! I would so love to grow it - but in the face of so many failed attempts made a necklace called Blue Poppy Reverie - I'm afraid that's as close as I am going to get to growing one - unless I can persuade the garden centre chappie to reveal his secret - I'll make him an offer he cannot refuse - anyone got a horse's head going spare??
Aaaargh!.....Back to the Drawing Board
I thought I'd come clean - after all, we're all friends here - this is what I was attempting to make with a new type of bronze clay in my kiln - it was all going fairly well till I fired it, and then, when I tried to pick it up for it's second firing .................
So, no pendant for me! just pieces of rubbish - turns out I didn't read the instructions correctly, so serves me right. I will try again this week, as I think I have got the design right, and if it works out well this time, I will have a pendant to show for my pains. I might have to wait another week though, as I have old friends from my school days coming to stay - it is the August Bank Holiday long weekend in the UK - and of course, that usually means the party pooper gods make it rain!
Oh well, last year we huddled in the pool in the rain, under an umbrella singing the school song at the tops of our voices (the girls didn't want to get wet!) - so no doubt, we will think of something equally resourceful this time.
That's it for this week folks, catch you later, same time, same place