Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, how are you today. I'm posting this from Manchester, where I am at the moment, although I will be heading back home later today. Manchester is the city I arrived at when I first moved to the UK - we had a little one bedroom apartment in a Victorian building in Didsbury, across the road from Christie's Hospital. I was just married, and had only just passed my exams to qualify as a doctor. As I was not yet qualified to work in the UK, I was a happy little housewife, making a nest in my first home. I enjoyed taking the bus in to Arndale centre, staring open mouthed at the stuff in the windows, feeling like a little country mouse. Culture shock? I was almost paralysed by it!
Anyway, fast forward to just under 35 years and here I am, back in Manchester, training to become an examiner for the PLAB exam - the dreaded Professional and Linguistics Board Exam that all foreign medical graduates have to take to be able to work in the UK. I have now come full circle, having passed that exam myself in 1989.
I've taken a bit of a break from making jewellery, just coasting, keeping my hand in by revising and repairing pieces that seemed to need attention.
This is a necklace of black ceramic and brushed silver tone beads that I originally made in three strands, with a handsome black onyx clasp that looked really good around the neck. However, when it was worn, it was so heavy that people were bound to find it difficult to wear. I rationalised it with the thought that women hurt and deform their feet wearing impossible stiletto heels, and can be mildly masochistic in the interest of looking good. And there was no doubt that the necklace looked good!
However, painful shoes are generally de rigueur on an evening - nobody would want to add another element to their pain, especially if there was a difficult hairdo or even a hat thrown into the mix. Sticks and stones might not break bones, but a heavy necklace and stiletto heels will feel like they have.
I took the necklace to India with me, but put people off from buying it and modified it this week.
This is what the original piece looked like, and although it was sad to have to break it up, I think I was right to do so. At least now, although it will never be a lightweight piece, the necklace is wearable.
Here are a couple of other pieces I made using the ceramic beads - these are single strands and have pendants woven with tarnish resistant silver plated wire and are even lighter than the necklaces above.
I remade a necklace for one of my customers as she requested the citrine and amethyst in a necklace I had designed were swapped out with pearls. As she didn't really want the beads back, I made a simple piece with little seed pearls for an old friend who I had arranged to meet up with in Manchester - I first met her all those years ago, and she took me under her wing. She was very kind to me in those first bewildering days in a new country, so I thought I'd give her a little gift.
That's me for this week, folks. I've only just got over crippling jet lag and will probably be back at my workbench with a vengeance next week. Have a fantastic week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
25/2/2019 03:58:24 pm
Your beginnings in UK sound very interesting. I must do an oral history interview with you someday
26/2/2019 10:27:43 am
Thanks Divya, I'll be happy to do the interview with you. I spent an evening with my friend Judith and her daughter reliving the past and it all seems so distant from my reality now. Life does move on in some very strange ways, and if you told me then what was going to happen to me I would never have believed it!
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