Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello everyone, how are you today? It is getting colder and yet not so cold that the leaves have dropped from the trees - global warming, for sure! The clocks went back an hour this weekend and I am not looking forward to waking up in the dark, spending the entire day in a building under artificial light only to come out into the night all over again. No wonder we are Vit D depleted and depressed!
It's taken me over 4 weeks to make this piece and it was made originally to showcase the colourful koi fish I picked up from one of my suppliers. However, by the time I finished the piece, the lotus flowers dominated the necklace, made using the technique 'Painting with Beads'. I began by making the lotus leaves individually and attaching them and the fish to the necklace. The fish were anchored securely to the necklace underneath the leaves and the flowers
They look like they are swimming under the leaves, between the flowers and as this is how they behave in life, as they are shy creatures, it seemed to be the perfect way to attach them to the necklace.
And then the fun began!
The water in the pond is made of thousands (it felt like millions by the time I was finished) of little beads from Japan and the Czech Republic in varying shades of blue and white. I worked on it a little bit at a time - the repetitive nature of adding bead after bead after bead was strangely soothing, and even when I had the worst day at work, this necklace helped me unwind at the end of it. It was originally meant to be called 'The Koi Pond', but the flowers soon became the most visible part of the piece. The soporific effect of adding the beads one by one made me recall a poem by Alfred Tennyson called 'The Lotus Eaters'.
The Lotus eaters were a mythical race of people who lived on an island in North Africa - they sound like really chilled out people who ate the fruit of the lotus which made them forget all their woes. They obviously didn't have any killjoy doctors around, as we would have stopped that practice stone dead by adding warnings to the packaging or handing out leaflets to stop any fun that could be had, with immediate effect, thank you very much.
When I was researching the Lotus Eaters, I even found an image from a painting by Tim Lane that would be perfect for such a leaflet - a medics doom and gloom leaflet would most definitely have it prominently across the front - like the images of lung cancer on cigarette packets today.
The lotus fruits and flowers were the primary food of the island and were a narcotic, causing the inhabitants to sleep in peaceful apathy. After they ate the lotus, they would forget their home and loved ones, and long only to stay and munch on lotus with the Lotus-eaters, completely forgetful of their return. Those who ate the plant left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them.
The story goes that though they wept bitterly and begged to stay, Odysseus forced them back to the ships and chained them to the benches so they couldn't escape and set sail for home.
They don't look very happy in the picture, do they? Reminds me of a misspent youth when my mother came looking for me and found me where I shouldn't have been!! I could so easily have been a lotus eater.
The Lotus Eaters
This one will be my last embroidered piece for 2023, I think. I'm going to be in India for almost the whole of December attending weddings and engagement parties and it all sounds like it will be a lot of fun. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up at work, as well as a long stint on call which I'm not looking forward to.
That's it for me folks. I hope you've enjoyed your read and will come back for more. Have a great week and I'll catch up with you shortly.