Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
People have often asked me how and why I name my jewellery, and occasionally, when short of inspiration, I have berated myself for starting this, my very own little tradition. However, mid moan, even I have to agree that it is better to have a query about a piece with a name - than have someone ask me -' how much is SC24590? '.
I have now been doing this consistently for an year, and have now got quite used to it. It gives a piece a character - sometimes, I design the piece to look like a concept I have dreamed up - and sometimes, the piece is made, and then I look at it and a name comes to me. This usually happens fairly seamlessly - and the few times I have been unable to find a name for it, I have realised it was because I was not happy with the piece for one reason or another, and have taken it apart. Ergo, if I cannot name it, it will not be allowed to exist ( insert a throat slitting movement of the right hand here).
I love tutorials - freebies are nice, but when folk take a load of time to photograph every little step, and make a living out of teaching all they know, I am happy to support them. Most times the tutorials work out and make life so much easier - who want's to waste time reinventing the wheel?? CraftArt EDU is a website that has all sorts of tutorials, and I indulge in them on and off - one such was a tutorial by Sophy Dumoulin for hollow polymer clay fossil beads. I spent an enjoyable evening making four beads - when finished they looked like dragon eggs - I imagined incubating them in a warm place only to find a baby dragon tapping it's way out of the eggshell - that's how the name Dragonseed was born.
My buffing wheel truly came into its own and the beads have a lovely soft sheen. I was dying to make them up into something, but had to wait - I had some very dear friends visiting us over the weekend to help celebrate our wedding anniversary.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the painting I bought for my (most definitely) better half, from Kalyani Ganapathy. It came back in a lovely shiny black frame and I am pleased to say that Mike loved it. We are running short of wall space, but we found a little niche for it - I have a little nook with a little pressed glass plate from Iceland which resembles a geyser, an antique Victorian plate, a silk rose and a metal frog with an emergency cigarette in its mouth on a plinth made of a single piece of oak - an eclectic collection of whimsical objects - and my pomegranate fish fitted in there as if they were painted for that little corner. Have a look at Kalyani's Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/kalyaniganapathysart?fref=ts
It is filled with grown up whimsy, and the colours are so fabulous, they send my right brain spinning with delight, my heart aching with lust to acquire more and my fingers itching to get to my credit card!
My mother, who still takes painting lessons at 85, was a bit peeved that I paid for a painting - she probably reckons ' why pay for something when she could do it at home with a smaaallll aubergine' .... a classic line from Goodness Gracious Me, one of my favourite TV series. This particular sketch is a parody of Indian mothers, every one, bless them - but my answer to that is there's aubergines, and there's AUBERGINES - and this one is an AUBERGINE!! Thank you, Kalyani Ganapathy!
I decided I would wrap the 'fossils' in wire, rather than drill holes into them and hang them as pendants ( I think I am still secretly afraid of the Dremel - but I'm not telling anyone, including me). I wrapped them in copper wire and enjoyed making the curlicues and spirals I learned from Rachel Murgatroyd at In The Studio, many moons ago - the pendants are large at 3.5 to 4.5" long, but light and pretty, and, most definitely different!
This must be the week of the dragon for Caprilicious - I found this wonderful black Hetian Jade Chinese pendant in the shape of a dragon - black jade is actually a very dark green, and comes from the depths of the earth where lava has solidified with mineral inclusions such as carbon and iron. Hetian jade is best known as 'mutton fat jade' when it is a creamy white, and can be very expensive. The black form, though less expensive, is still very beautiful, and I found this pendant in my quest for unusual shapes and colours. I teamed this pendant with green aventurine and faceted onyx beads in a two strand necklace. The name Tanita derives from Semitic roots meaning "serpent lady" - the ultimate serpent being the dragon, of course. This was also the name of the Phoenician goddess of love, fertility, the moon and the stars.
My friend's daughter whom I have known since she was knee high to a grasshopper (Omigod, I am old enough to say that - and for it to be true!) fell in love with a pair of earrings made with the wings of the Thai Jewel Beetle (or Sternocera aequisignata, when it's at home). Both my friend and I thought she might have been squeamish about the fact that the jewellery was made out of insect wings, but, no, to my surprise she even asked for a necklace to be made to go with it! The wings are weightless and rustle pleasantly in a beetlish (!) manner, and I came up with a simple but effective design for a single layer of wings around her neck. As her hair has been coloured green recently - it should look perfect on her - I hope she will send me a picture when she wears it.
That's all for this week folks, thanks for stopping by - catch you next week, same time, same place,
Have a good weekend,
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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