Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Good day readers, I trust you are well today. I have some exciting news to tell you this week. Over the last year I've been trying to get Caprilicious into a bricks and mortar venue in the UK, rather than being exclusively available online. This has proved to be a lot more difficult than it sounds. For one thing, I do not live in London where I imagine all the action is, and secondly, I have a full time day job which precludes me from spending large amounts of time contacting people and visiting prospective outlets. Despite this, I have tried my best, phoning people nearby and emailing boutiques and galleries within easy driving distance of Warwickshire without much luck.
And then one day, Mike was out and about as is his wont, and met a lady who was the manager of an art gallery in Warwick. He got talking to her and told her all about my jewellery. Although they don't usually stock jewellery at the gallery, she gave him her card (either he impressed her with his impassioned plea on behalf of Caprilicious, or she was trying to get rid of him before a casual chat turned into The Rime of the Ancient Mariner). I didn't really think anything would come of it, but left it till after Christmas to shoot her an email with a photo of one of my pieces.
OMG, you could have knocked me down with a feather, she mailed back saying she loved my work! After a couple of phone calls, we drove down to Warwick with a selection of my nicest necklaces. Toni Ballard, the manager of the Mitchell Gallery is a painter herself and has had a number of successful exhibitions. She and her partner Tom Mitchell, also an artist, run the gallery with a great deal of enthusiasm. Being creatives themselves rather than simply business orientated, they understand the need to create beautiful things and the pride I take in what I produce.
We arrived dragging a suitcase behind us, like a pair of gypsies selling pegs from door to door and Toni must have wondered if we were planning to move in. I had all the necklaces boxed up and that necessitated the suitcase, although I did feel a bit awkward, turning up with it in tow.
She got me to open the case up in the front room of the gallery and settled herself on the floor on a kilim, rooting through the contents. Tom hovered over us, obviously uncomfortable that his front room had turned into a souk, but she was unrepentant, picking one, and then putting it back and picking another, with a great deal of excitement and pleasure.
She was gratifyingly enthusiastic about the jewellery and picked ten of the best necklaces. I'm sure we will do well together, her enthusiasm has to rub off on people and I know she will do her best by Caprilicious, because she loves the jewellery I make.
I had these luscious fluorite teardrops in my stash for about four years, as well as the hand carved pumpkin shaped beads. I had no idea what I was going to do with either strand until it came to me one night to combine the two with a lacy Moroccan bead. When the necklace came together, it looked like a bunch of ripening grapes and I called it Grappa after the sweet liqueur served as a dessert wine in italy.
This one never made it to the website, I took it in to the gallery and Toni pounced on it almost immediately.
As I was putting this edition of the blog together, I had an email from Toni. She has already put the necklaces out and sent me photographs of the display. I love her enthusiasm!
That's me for this week, folks. I have a couple of days left before I fly out to India. I will of course catch up with the blog while I am there, but it might be a couple of days late.
Have a lovely week and I'll catch you sometime next weekend