Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, it's great to see you here again, thanks for joining me today. The sun has finally come out to play - I'm almost afraid to say it in case the rain comes back. What am I saying - of course the rain will come back in this green and pleasant land, one can't have one without the other.
I've been out in the garden, putting in plants and weeding, getting rid of slugs and snails and various other predators. Between times, I've been playing with my beads and clay as is my wont.
This piece started with a string of nugget beads that are chunky, and funky, to my eyes. They are titanium electroplated agate nuggets that have been cut to form a gentle curve around the neck. The look of the beads is extremely masculine and I wanted to add a very feminine element in coordinating colours to soften it off.
I set out to make a pendant bead with five shades of grey and it looked so drab and dull, I added a vibrant blue to the mix. The bead is made of four separate harp shaped elements that are then sewn together, edged, backed and filled with felt to round it off into a pillow shape. My first attempt failed miserably and I couldn't think why, until I took half of the felt filling out. Hey Presto and Alakazam! that was the effect I was looking for! I added a dangle, because I can't seem to stop with the embellishments and then talked sternly to myself until I obeyed and simply left it be. As this was meant to be a bead, I passed the beading wire through the pendant and made up the necklace with cobalt blue dyed jade.
The necklace when all made up reminded me of the play Steel Magnolias, which was eventually made into a movie in the late eighties - the name suggests that women can be as soft and beautiful as the magnolia flower, yet possess a core that is tough as steel. The unexpected femininity of this necklace made with an ordinarily masculine looking string of beads brought this title to my mind.
Is it heavy? I hear you ask - yes, but not inordinately so, as I used only 60% of the beads that were on the string. The pendant of course, is as light as a feather.
I only get the time to play with clay during weekends - no matter how busy I am, a couple of hours kneading the clay and creating something, anything, however small, sets me up for the new week to come and is a major stress buster. This weekend it was about polymer clay embroidery. My friend BN gave me a couple of vintage wooden hoop earrings which I dismantled and 'embroidered' on with bright colours. Having read a tutorial by Shirley Rufener, I added some clay to a few pendants I had lying around and 'embroidered' on them, too.
And, before I sign off, and just for some fun, I thought I'd show you a video I found somewhere in the ether - it is a dance called The Frug (pronounced Froog) from the mid sixties, choreographed by Bob Fosse, who also choreographed all the numbers in the film Cabaret. This number, called The Rich Man's Frug is very stylised and great fun to watch - Bob Fosse is known for his creative use of unusual poses, gestures, and arm movements and a lot of his choreography has influenced dancers today. It is a strangely interesting and arresting number, and I'll bet that if you start to watch it, you will stay put for the whole five minutes of the clip.
Wasn't that fun? Anyway, that's me for this week folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place. Until then
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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