I don't feel fully dressed until I've hung something around my neck. When I look around at people on the street, I'm heartened to see the "naked neck" trend that celebrity stylists are trying to launch hasn't reached people in the every day world.
There are men and women who wear the same necklace every day: maybe they never take it off. Often religious medallions, rings, family heirlooms, tokens from loved ones or identification tags, they are as much a part of the person as their fingers and toes. They either define or defend the wearer.
Then there are the necklaces that we wear because they remind us of a person, place or time in our life. I just fixed a necklace for my friend Laura that she bought in the Marais in Paris when we were on an adventure there almost 10 years ago. As soon as she handed it to me I recognized it and it took me back to the day we spent window shopping (leche-vitrine) and having tea. She was thrilled to have it back in her necklace "rotation" again as it is a favourite.
Many of us get into making jewellery because it allows us to customize the materials, length, pattern and colour of a necklace to reflect our unique personality and perspective as well as complement what we're wearing that day. These necklaces can be cheap, cheerful and quick to make, and follow fads. They can end up at the bottom of your jewellery box eventually or as components in a bag for eventual upcycling and a new life. Here's something I recently made from inexpensive Tropical Punch components as part of a blog hop, and it totally defines something made for short-term fun and not as a family heirloom.
Statement pieces. These necklaces are kept for special occasions or outfits and often cost a lot to buy or make. But they are worth it because they are attention grabbers. We have come to expect statement necklaces from the rich, famous and beautiful on the Red Carpet. I do hope they return soon! Here's one I recently made that is big, bold and one of a kind, featuring gorgeous raku components by Marianne Kasparian and viking knit.
One of the most beautiful statement necklaces I have made was a crocheted wire collar to wear with her bandeau style wedding dress. It was made with sterling silver wire, freshwater pearls and clear Swarovski crystals. It enhanced her lovely smile and it is something she can wear with special outfits and maybe one of her three daughters will wear it someday when she gets married. I know it's hard to see the necklace in this photo but it's the only one I could find...
Well, I will soon be off on a new adventure, as I'm attending Bijoux Souvenirs Deux in France this October. It's a jewellery artist's retreat where we will search the flea markets for materials and inspiration to incorporate into our work. Wire, metal, resin, paper, plastic, anything and everything will find its way into multimedia creations during the week. I can't wait to go, and I can't wait to share with you my experiences and, of course, my finished necklaces. Some might be just fads to match an outfit. I suspect I'll create a statement necklace too, though, and perhaps I will make or buy keepsakes to remind me of this once in a lifetime trip.