My sisters have commented that they're envious when, shopping with me, as they scan rails of clothing or peer into clothes store windows, I constantly mutter "I could make that". Most of the time I just use it as an excuse to show off how now I can analyze how to make clothes, their patterns etc. Heck, I think my whole 'I could make that' attitude even started at an early age; I remember watching toy commercials, longing for the amazing play sets for my dolls, but instead of begging my parents to buy 'em for me, I thought 'heck, I'll make it myself '; I'd look at the catalogue and construct the toy out of blocks and paper: my Barbie Dream Ice Cream Parlor was way cooler than anything Mattel came up with!
It recently hit me that even though I've looked at these trends, just how much I'd love to try and make an exact replica of that item, something that's uniquely mine (and saves me a pretty penny while staying with the trends), that I've never actually done it.So, I'm going to find a trendy piece, research the creator's process, and repeat it, only with my own ingenious (though most likely completely amateurish) way. I really am part of the hands-on creative culture today. Anyone can buy a top from H&M, but you know how more amazing that feels is wearing something you created yourself and how great it is to show it off, knowing it's unique and unlike anything else?
While cleaning my room, I came across some flyers I'd picked up at London Fashion Week this spring. Amongst them I found the postcard from a jewellery stall entitled Little Glass Clementine.
Clementine James is unlike most jewellers today. Her approach; she takes on commissions from clients who bring in a collection of items they consider precious (lockets, antiques, stones, chains etc.) and creates amazing necklaces from them!
Looking through her website I loved her work: how each piece is so unique, and almost nostalgic that a necklace can hold so many precious memories for a wearer. It reflects my own personal styling, how I choose a certain piece then base the rest of the outfit to support and highlight it.
I'm really intrigued by this 'Frankenstein' approach, taking bits and pieces from different things and making something new out of them. So I thought I'd take a stab at it. Yes, I know, I have zero experience at any jewellery behind my elastic bands with beads on them from when I was five.I scoured my boxes of jewellery: any pendants, beads, chains, anything I genuinely always have; a locket from my best friend growing up, some interesting pendants from Portobello Market, stuff I've always said I'd wear, but haven't.
I took the thick gold chain from my 'Alice' necklace, that I love but honestly always been annoyed at how much it jangles, and used it as a basis. There's a cool charm bracelet that my sister handed down to me, that again, whenever I wear it becomes so distracting! Not very daring, attaching the bracelet at the centre on the chain, but it sure made a great jump start into the project. From then, I began binding the two chains together with framing wire. Once the charm bracelet was attached, I added the rest: lockets, a plastic crystal my grandmother used to wrap a gift once, anything that went with the color scheme. I tried using Clementine's technique of winding wire around little shells and stones, but they didn't hold.
Here's my final result-and I gotta say, for a first jewellery project, it's not half bad! I was glad to stick with a gold tone, to give it a more antique look, and the shades of the various pieces go great together! I think I may have some ideas for what I'm going to be giving my sisters for Christmas...