Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
She was a lump of copper, almost discarded - a left over from my experiments with firing schedules and a new kiln. I made her from a mould (or is it mold??) I took of the ox bone cabochon I used to make The Siren - but when she was finished she was just a brown unprepossessing nugget of copper - nothing like the beautiful bone she was a replica of.
A pack rat mentality meant she didn't get thrown away, but sat in a box until I happened to get a recipe for patination of copper from a group of jewellery makers in the USA - I met them on Facebook, and they use copper and bronze which they manipulate (and torture) relentlessly to produce different surfaces with chemicals, heat treatments, paints, enamels - all sorts, really - I got a recipe using 'Kosher' salt, acetic acid and ammonia fumes and produced some fairly pretty effects last week. I found the face again, and thought I'd try some of those chemicals once more - and when she came out of the fume box - her face looked weathered and beautiful - nothing to show she was related in any way to the piece that went in, and was a lovely shade of blue - and I swear this - she spoke to me! Now I am not given to flights of fancy - but I sort of knew she was from Angkor Wat, although I have never been there - the first picture I found on the internet was the one I have posted below - I had to stop what I was doing and make her up - it was a compulsion that saw me sitting in front of the telly after work tweaking wire till she emerged, fully robed and ready for display - The Sleeping Goddess.
Cleopatra's Needles necklace
Cleopatra's needles are actually obelisks in London, New York and Paris - they are much older than Cleopatra and this is obviously a misnomer. I called my necklace by this name because of the needles of blue jasper in it and the nuggets and slabs of Lapis Lazuli, which has clear associations with Cleopatra as her favourite gem stone. She even had it ground up to use as eye paint. The pendant was a piece of copper from the kiln, with an image of gingko leaves impressed into it and patinated. I made a polymer clay surround and put the same pattern on it and then surfaced it to look like a building I had seen in Reykjavik - their council house has an outside stone wall which has water running down it and moss growing out of it - no, it isnt a burst pipe - they don't get service from Severn Trent Water - it has been designed to grow like that - a perennial hanging garden. I wonder whether it freezes over in the winter? - but with the geothermal energy they have lurking about underneath the ground, they probably give it enough warm water in the winter to allow it to flourish in spite of the cold - I must ask around!
The Poolside Pleasantry Collar
I was looking for a place to go on holiday in September when it starts to get cooler here in the UK, but is still just right in central Europe - where to go?? - I don't know about you, but for me the research is part of the fun. I am a Trip Advisor junkie, and faithfully put my reviews in when I get back off holiday - I never book into a hotel without reading up on it on Trip Advisor ( no, they are not paying me to say this !). We were watching the recent ads for Muller Lite yoghurt with the lady centaurs in Santorini - it is so pretty and I think that's where we will end up, especially as they have flights to Thira from Birmingham, our nearest airport. Mike fancies Aghios Nikolaos in Crete - we can get there easily from Brum too. From these images was born the Poolside Pleasantry Collar - a polymer clay piece, with a coating of resin to simulate ceramic - but in contrast to a ceramic piece that size, is light and easy to carry on holiday, in a turquoise blue and white. I made it up with a simple wooden and glass bead necklace with a couple of little white acrylic roses. It is a lighthearted, pretty piece, much like the place that inspired it.
The geometrical lines are softened by the pretty colours and the frills of the roses - much like Santorini, all blue and white.
I hope you have enjoyed my meanderings - have a good week and I will catch you next week xx
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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