Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Itchy feet, that's what I have!
Hello folks, nice of you to join me. Yes, as I was saying, it's been a while since I've packed my bags and ventured out to pastures fresh. My next trip will be to India to visit my mother, but that isn't for another couple of months, so I'm having to travel vicariously through Caprilicious. Last week, I was in Rio, and this week I am in Africa, with the Tuaregs. Here are some of the necklaces I made with Tuareg/ Berber tcherot amulets, there have been quite a few of them in the last couple of weeks.
The most striking attribute of the Tuareg is the indigo veil, worn by the men from the age of twenty five, giving rise to the name 'the Blue Men of the Sahara', or 'Men of the Veil'. The women do not veil themselves, and are the boss of the family - good for them!
The Tcherot is an amulet that protects the Blue Men when they cross the desert. This one is made of tooled camel leather, with engraved silver and copper set into it. I added the most colourful beads I could find - polymer clay, coral, fire agate, shell pearl, a couple of lapis lazuli nuggets - anything colourful in my stash, and then added beaded tassels to either side of the Tcherot (just in case it wasn't colourful enough!!). Tiny African trade beads and ceramic beads from India went into the making of the tassels, and at last, I was satisfied.
Escape Arts is a charity enabling adults and young people to become involved in creative projects. They are based at the Old Slaughterhouse, The Yard, Sheep Street, Stratford Upon Avon and are running an Artisan Christmas Market on the 12th and 13th of December. For the love of Caprilicious, I decided I'd brave the cold weather and give it a go - if any of you are down there do come and say hello, I'd love to see you.
In the run up to the market and Christmas, I've made a load of little earrings - if there are any left over after Christmas, I shall upload them onto the website as I haven't photographed them as yet.
With the last little Tcherot amulet I have in my collection, I made a colourful necklace using vinyl trade beads with a splash of even more colour from a couple of polymer clay beads I made earlier. The vinyl beads are in turquoise and mango and as the amulet is small in comparison with the others on the website, I made a three stranded necklace to give it some Oomph!
The Ginkgo Angel
Oh, come on, be fair, it is Christmas! I love the shape of the gingko leaf - I had never come across it until I began to make jewellery. The ginkgo tree is originally from China and is also called the Maidenhair tree. The leaves are bilobed and pretty, and the lady who ran the jewellery school where I went for my classes had a tree growing in her backyard. When it came to making a piece of jewellery with silver clay using a leaf, I picked a ginkgo leaf that had come off the tree. As it was autumn at the time, the leaf was slightly worse for wear, and even had a hole in it - which I thought was part of it's charm.
The pendant was made by painting over the leaf over and over again with liquid clay and drying it between coats. When it was eventually put in the kiln, the leaf burned off along with the binder in the clay, and a perfect 'death mask' of the leaf was left behind. I kept the silver leaf for a couple of years and this year, I added a couple of sterling wire bilobed ginkgo leaves and lo and behold, there appeared an angel in the room ( quite unexpectedly, as is their wont - angels, I mean) - well, the rest is seasonal history! I added coral teardrops and tiny slivers of brilliant labradorite that glint in the light to make this bright and pretty Christmassy necklace.
Over the years, I have made a number of pieces of jewellery with the imagery of ginkgo leaves and I dug out the pictures and compiled a little collage for you.
This little pink crescent moon pendant is from Afghanistan. Teamed with silvery glass beads and a few pink agate beads it make a pretty necklace which can be worn in the neckline of a shirt to make a simple but effective statement.
That's it for this week folks. I intend to spend the weekend packing the pieces of jewellery for the Artisan Market in Stratford on Avon. If you happen to be in the vicinity or fancy a drive into the countryside, do come and say hello. Introduce yourselves as readers of this blog, and I will give you a 15% discount - a kick start to your Christmas shopping!
Catch you next Friday, same time, same place, have a fabulous week,