Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Howdy folks, how are you today? I've been crazy busy this week due to a short sojourn in London at the beginning of the week - well, it was more work than fun, although I managed to get some of the latter in as well. I only got back home late on Tuesday evening and was back at work the next day.
I decided I was going to make something that would make use of my kiln, which has been lying idle for a while now through the winter. I broke out a packet of copper clay and gave myself a repetitive strain wrist injury from kneading it into a soft dough like consistency. Of course, when there have been long periods of time gone by between using metal clay - or any other technique for that matter, mistakes are made and boy, did I make them!
The first pendant I made had to be broken up and reconstituted into clay as it looked terrible when I dried it overnight. That didn't do the pain in my wrist any good but I pressed on and created a smaller pendant, which I thought looked pretty good, so I went ahead and embellished it with little flowers and leaves, and then popped it in the kiln.
Doesn't it look pretty? I thought so too. Unfortunately, when I took it out of the kiln after the first firing, the back had deep cracks in it. I should have gone ahead and put it back in the kiln in a carbon filled container, and filled in the cracks at the end of the second firing, but I decided to repair it straight away with wet clay - stupid, forgetful me. The leaf was still so fragile, it fell apart in my hands. I rescued the little CZ's and threw the rest away. I hadn't the heart to photograph it at the time, I was so depressed, as this has happened to me before and I should have known better than to make such a monumenta boo-boo. However, I was determined to make the blooming leaf, and so I cracked out some more clay and made another one. Third time lucky, as the saying goes, and so it was that I finally ended up with a finished piece on Wednesday. Phew!
It was polished and work hardened in a tumbler with steel shot and then patinated to bring out the veins, and other hand carved embellishments on the leaf. I am so thrilled that it is entirely hand made, from drawing and cutting out a paper template, to carving out the veins with a wood micro gouge and hand making the little flowers and leaves. A couple of copper clasps also came out of the kiln, but these were cut using cookie cutters and textured with a rubber stamp.
The patina was achieved by dipping the pieces alternately in hot liver of sulfur and ice cold water and although it cannot be seen quite as well as I would like in the picture, there is a deep coppery rainbow patina on the piece, very much like an oil slick on water.
I made a necklace with frosted amethyst beads, it was commissioned by a lovely lady for her friend. I shall be posting it out shortly and hope the friend likes it as much as I do.
The beads are in three different sizes and are striated amethyst, polished to a matte effect. I particularly love the little clasp that I found in one of the shops I buy a lot of beads from and I grabbed it before it was sold out as there was only one left. The clasp can be worn at the back, or to one side depending on how the mood takes her.
I spent time at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists while in London, and we were locked away from 8am to 5pm, which was really sad as Regent's Park beckoned from across the road on a couple of lovely, sunny days. I took a couple of pictures from the first floor windows - I think the wistfulness of my mood as I took the pictures is quite obvious!
However, I was there to work and that precluded sitting out in the beautiful sunshine. In the evenings however, it was another matter. I went out to dinner on two consecutive evenings, with two Caprilicious women, on both days in Covent Garden by coincidence. The first night was an interesting vegan meal at the Redemption bar, and the second provided a steak. I enjoyed meeting the ladies and chatted away till late at night - thanks to both of you, it was so much fun meeting you.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a wonderful week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.