Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello dear readers and lovers of statement jewellery, how are you all this fine Friday in January? I am in all of a tizz, picking out my best pieces and packing them carefully so that they arrive intact for the show - have I mentioned this show before?? I'm sure I have (once or twice - at least!), but just for good measure, I've included an invitation for people who might not have been paying attention, have had an outage of their internet facilities, been living in the Outer Hebrides, meditating on one foot in the Himalayas or simply not caught up with the blog these last few weeks.
I've talked to you before about my friend who makes the most exquisite bowls out of wood. Indeed, I have a couple of them for sale on this website, right here. He brought this beauty around to ask if I would be able to make a central insert using a polymer clay mosaic. He brought along a design for a yellow mosaic flower which I faithfully reproduced. It was sanded and buffed to within an inch of it's life and then handed over to be inserted into the bowl. When it was finally finished, he brought it to me to be photographed and here it is in all it's glory.
My contribution to this beautiful work of art is but paltry in contrast to all the woodwork, but Shekhar seemed to think it 'lifted' the piece - and who am I to argue with a free compliment?? He obviously liked the way it turned out as he has brought me another bowl, and this time, I am to have a free hand in the design of the central insert.
Bead and Jewellery Magazine Project
I woke up to this - I'd been waiting for ages for this announcement, and here it was - Bead and jewellery magazine No 68 will be on the stands on the 1st of February with my very first project published in it. On the basis of the job I did with writing this tutorial, the editor has agreed for me to contribute two more projects this year, one of which is already completed and sent in. I really enjoyed writing up the project and taking step by step photographs. I hope there is good feedback from the readers as I would love to do more of them.
These are the original beads I submitted and the necklace I made with them.
I played with beads and wire to make a few pairs of earrings - it didn't feel right to sit in front of the TV without a pair of pliers and a few beads in my hands, and herein lies the makings of an addiction.
I don't really need any more stuff to carry to the show, but I just can't seem to stop myself reaching for the wire and the beads.
These little bowls were made from a tutorial by Melanie West. I made them over a wet weekend in December, but they needed sanding and buffing to bring out the colours and shine on the outside. They are great fun to make, and just over 2.5" in diameter and about 2" in height. They will hold a couple of rings or a pair of earrings - I've actually got a sample piece which didn't quite turn out perfect, and I've been using it to hold tiny seed beads on a little tray in my lap.
The BLue Lotus
A pendant set of three chrysocolla stones has been sitting in my stash, reproaching me for not showing it any love for ages. I bought it waaay back, when I was commissioned to make a rainforest necklace by one of my customers - I bought three sets of multi stone pendants and used two of them in the necklaces above. It was great fun making dragonflies and ants and other little beetles which were supposed to look as if they were supping at a pool made of these stones in a clearing in the rainforest. Obviously there's only that many bugs one can make so the third set of stones got tucked away until their piteous wailing was heard even with the lid tightly shut. Out they came, but I was completely stumped for ideas. Not wanting to make yet another rainforest necklace, I was scratting around at the bottom of the barrel for ideas. When a piece of jewellery that is so evocative is conceived, it is difficult to move away from it and make something completely different. That probably explains why jewellery designers often make variations on the same theme over and over again in a series.
I decided I was going to try and make a peacock - much like an old favourite piece I made a couple of years ago, with the stones fanning out into the peacock's tail. By the time I finished, a couple of days later, I realised it would be impossible to balance the stones in such an awkward position, so after a hurried rebranding, we now have Blue Lotus! I enjoyed making this pendant - the original inspiration was a design by Lisa Barth, but I made the whole thing more difficult by weaving the frame for all three stones with the same length of wire - did I ever tell you that I love wire work? - I thought I might have let it slip once or twice!
The necklace arrived from a vendor in Tibet and I thought it was robust enough to carry and enhance the pendant.
I had been trying not to make any more jewellery before my trip to India, but unfortunately, I cannot sit still without a pair of pliers and a bit of wire in my hands, it seems almost criminal and a terrible waste of time - oh well, C'est la Vie! If something pretty comes from it, who am I to stop myself?
That's all I have for today folks, have a lovely week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place before I board the plane to India.
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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