Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, and how are you today? Everywhere around me I see frantic preparations for Christmas and I feel like I am the only calm person at the eye of a storm that rages madly around me. I have done nothing, yes, nothing towards Christmas, and what's more, am not really bothered about it!
As I type, The Last Temptation of Christ is playing on the telly on silent - there's a very good looking blonde guy in Lagenlook robes stopping a crowd of wild eyed men from stoning a beautiful woman in fabulous jewellery - perhaps they were miffed because they couldn't afford her prices? I assume it's the story of ' cast ye not the first stone - not very Christmassy, is it?
I covet her jewellery - she's wearing some fabulous silver around her neck; and his robes are quite fashionable these days - beige linen layered over a white undershirt, with strappy sandals, very modish! I'm only watching it because it is an unlikely film for Martin Scorcese to direct and all the controversy that surrounded it. Of course, watching it with the sound turned on intermittently isn't helping me much, but the bits that I watched properly haven't exactly been gripping!
The Christmas ads are getting more inventive than ever - this is the cutest one this year - and no, I'm not getting a kickback from John Lewis'.
I've been taking stock of all I've done this year - I've learned to make soutache jewellery and to solder, have made strides in my handling of metal clay although there's a long way to go, reopened my Etsy shop and had a good response and consistent five star feedback from people who shopped there. I opened an Instagram account and taught myself to use it, wrote four tutorials and have been retained by a UK magazine for jewellery makers to write four more next year, and written yet another for an online journal based in the USA to be published in the New Year.
I've continued with wire and polymer clay all year and participated in 3 little shows mainly for charity and one in India, as well as a couple of online auctions. I continue to post my blog on a weekly basis come what may, chronicling my designs. I enjoy writing it, adding music and poetry and little stories to spice the blog up.
The only technique I haven't played with is enamelling - who knows, maybe next year will be when I take it up again. Of course, I work full time, and have been crazy enough to take on the added responsibility of being the Clinical Service Lead and have been recruited to be the Principal Investigator in a national clinical trial, apart from the other daily stuff that goes on.
Before you ask, I have help with the housework, an indulgent husband and do not have any children to run around after. So yes, there's plenty of time to do all these things. I also think that if one has a passion for something, time miraculously appears in the busiest schedule to pursue it.
Making Handmade from Handmade
I'm firmly convinced that this is the way forward for Caprilicious. I love the idea of making my own pendants and clasps and even beads - if Caprilicious is to produce one of a kind jewellery, I will have to go one better than buying in components and assembling a necklace, or worse still, buying in a piece of jewellery and reselling it. Of course, both these endeavours have their merits and can be difficult. After all, loads of people can buy in the same pendant, but come up with different results with the final piece of jewellery - it's all in the way they put colours and shapes together and their own personal design ethic.
With this in mind, I've been putting out tentative feelers for people who might like to collaborate with me - with me making the basic findings and them making the jewellery. It would be a most interesting experiment to see what other people come up with using my components, against what I might make myself.
I have decided to make photo journals as I make my components, as an aide memoire so that I will remember how to remake them if needed. However, I don't really want to make too many of the same piece as then the phrase 'one of a kind' then becomes rather meaningless (and because I have a short attention span and get easily bored). Perhaps these photo journals will be the basis for other tutorials, later on.
The Octopuses Garden
Inspired by the work of Kay Bonitz, I played with my collection of Czech beads and came up with this little pendant. I used up a small collection of orphan dagger beads and eventually a credible pendant arrived on my work surface ( that's a posh term for a bead tray in my lap). I wasn't entirely happy with it as it's a bit untidy at the back, but as a first effort I thought it wasn't too bad, and I wore it to work in the morning. The blues and greens are striking together and I got loads of compliments, and that's why I have the 'cat that's got the cream' look in the photograph!
When last in Morocco we escaped from the craziness that is Marrakesh and slipped away to the beautiful and calm seaside town of Essaouira. The taxi ride there was scary and put hairs on my chest, but we were soothed by the Heure Bleue Palais hotel, which is simply fabulous. In memory of that holiday and in the hope of another in beautiful Morocco, I made this necklace with ornate Moroccan amulet beads and lapis lazuli slab nuggets.
I've been making plans for my annual show in India. My friend who previously helped out with the invitation cards is in the middle of an exciting move to China, but she showed me how to do it myself. I've had a load of fun playing with images and fonts and have come up with my own design. The room at Raintree is booked and hopefully the monetary situation in India eases by February as I am as yet unable to find a company who will provide a card reading machine to a business that isn't registered in India.
That's me for this week, folks. I will be back next Friday, as usual, have a lovely week and I'll catch you same time, same place next week.
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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I am very proud of my body of work and what people say about it, here are some of the compliments I have received -