I don't want to hold back some of the stunning ARTIST FEATURES
that are building up on my desktop! Getting an insight into another
wire artist's way of working and a sneak peak at their handcrafted
jewellery, often inspires and ignites other creatives around them and
I'm sure you'll feel this way when you read this next feature on:
(ne - Navaneetham) of
I know you'll love reading through Neena's recent interview and delight
in her beautiful statement pieces that draw from her exotic roots of
India. An obstetrician and gynaecologist by profession, Neena has
set up her own jewellery business called CAPRILICIOUS! She had really
wanted to brand her jewellery, 'Capricious', however, a Google search
led her to find that the name had already been used ... so hence,
CAPRILICIOUS was born! Her strap line being: "Delicious jewellery for
the Capricious woman'!
* Tell us a little about your background?
I was born in the UK, but moved to India with my parents as a baby,
where I was brought up and educated. I moved back to the UK in
1983 and live and work in Warwickshire. My mother has a love for
jewellery and as children, my sister and I have been taught to love
craftsmanship. The ladies in my family have an artistic bent; my
mother and sister are both talented amateur painters and I have a lot
of their work on my walls. However, although I went to painting
classes a long time ago, I didn't think much of my abilities, I didn't
think I had a creative bone in my body ... until I started to make
jewellery! I have surprised myself and my family, by being a late bloomer.
My husband has been very encouraging and has thrown himself
into my hobby and he gives me maximum critical support in my
* Did you have any formal training in jewellery making?
It all started with me falling in love with some extremely contemporary
statement jewellery made by a very talented lady and then deciding
that I wanted to try to make my own original pieces for myself.
I went to jewellery making classes at a local college, but the class did
not catch my imagination and I dropped out. After a while, I picked
up the courage to enrol on a taster class at a semi-professional jewellery
making school nearby, it was a beading class - and I was instantly
addicted! I went back for more weekend courses over the next two
years and have taken it from there.
I love the new trend where artisans share their expertise by way of
tutorials. I buy a couple each month and try them out, as time permits,
adding my own twist to the design, thus making the jewellery entirely
my own. I always give the designer credit on my page, of course.
* Do you have a studio at home?
Yes, I work from home - wire work in a tray in front of the telly
and other stuff in my craft room. I have my kiln and enamels out
in the conservatory due to a lack of space - so I am fairly evenly
spread out through the house ... there is evidence of what I do
I started out with a tiny box of beads and findings and it is amazing
how this hobby has taken me over, as I have little heaps of jewellery
making items in every room of the house!
* What inspires your designs?
I am an intensely practical person, with a problem solving personality,
which reflects in my day job. On a daily basis, I am expected to be a
detective, examining everything in minute detail and tailoring solutions
to fit problems. I bring these skills to my jewellery making and probably
love wirework for this reason: the cut and thrust of adapting a technique
to a different size bead or cabochon. The attention to detail with what to
do with wire ends and the engineering solutions I have had to find to
make the piece of jewellery sit perfectly on the wearer. I just love
teasing out the solutions to these problems.
flowers grow abundantly all year
round and one just takes that for
granted. It was only when I moved
back to the UK and experienced the
changing seasons bringing their own
beauty to the garden, that I really
began to appreciate 'nature' in all
it's beauty. I particularly love leaves
and a lot of my designs include them:
in wire, beads and gemstones ... So much
so, that I was forced to make up a
page called 'The Leafy Glade
Collection', just to house all these
I also love fantasy, mythology, fairies, pixies, Greek myths -
I would never have thought I could be so fanciful! However,
if I had thought about it more, I might have guessed it -
The Hobbit is one of my favourite books. Jewellery making
has taught me a few things about myself ... and surprised me
in the bargain!
My designs start with a theme and then seem to grow. I like
to use cultural and aesthetic diversity with humour and elegance
and often make 'Tribal' jewellery for the contemporary woman.
Images from museums and archaeology show the evolution of
jewellery from the need to arrange objects in new personal manner -
I add a pinch of whimsy and a storyline from my imagination to
conjure up pieces that resonate with my design ethic.
I never know from one week to the next, what I am going to
make - I just pick a focal point to a necklace and add other
elements that appear to go with that focal to a tray and then,
go with the flow ... I cannot use a bead board, or design
a necklace from a drawing - when I have tried, it has always
ended in failure.
* Do you work with other materials apart from wire?
I have recently gone into a polymer clay addiction phase and also
precious metal clay and enamel work. The ability to mold colours
attracts me to polymer clay and enamels. However, wire remains
my first love and I tend to use it in most pieces I create. I like
wire as a connector of one material to another. I get a fantastic
buzz when I conjure up a whole piece out of a length of wire and
a few beads - "ABRACADABRA" - magic!
I am now extending the magic by making some of the elements
myself - clasps, pendants, focal beads - held together by wire,
with a few gemstones and crystals sprinkled into them like
fairy dust ... a pull here and tweak there ... and there appears a
necklace in my hands!
* Do you have a favourite design or technique?
I like designs that use judicious amounts of wire. In my opinion,
designs that have too much wire to connect the elements together
can make a piece look 'clunky'. Lacy, ethereal wire designs that
seem to embellish negative space, rather than fill it with a tangled
mess, are my favourite styles.
* Where do you sell and promote your jewellery?
I have my own website CAPRILICIOUS JEWELLERY
where I list all my pieces. I promote the website on my
FACEBOOK page. An Etsy shop didn't really work out
for my jewellery, but my fan base is growing slowly through
Facebook - I currently have over 4900 fans!
* What pieces are you currently working on?
I work quite quickly, so by the time this is published, it could be
anything! I never know what I am going to make in advance -
usually, when I'm rummaging through my (very untidy) bead
stash for something to go with one piece, I find the makings of
the next one ... and it goes from there. When I am lacking in
inspiration, I sometimes sort out my bead stash - some of the
pretty gemstone beads I have in it soon get the creative juices
flowing again, but alas, the tidy stash situation does not prevail
for very long!
* Have you any advice to pass on to others?
Jewellery making is great fun but can be a lonely occupation,
especially when you are starting out. Make friends - online,
if necessary with like minded people and you will find that
there are loads of kindred souls out there! They can help
with all sorts of questions - with a design, or, with sourcing
a particular material as well as with judicious, constructive
criticism. I belong to a few forums and they have inspired
and helped me immensely.
I would also add, that one should never be afraid of colour
and asymmetry - mix and match until the balance is right.
This adds interest to the piece of jewellery and makes it
different from everyone else's - truly 'one of a kind'!
* What are your future plans and aspirations?
I would like CAPRILICIOUS JEWELLERY
to be a name that is well recognised and respected by
my peers and am striving towards that. I would also
like to be able to showcase my jewellery in exclusive
outlets and to be able to design fearlessly, using precious
metals, knowing that I have a market for it. I would
however, strive to keep costs down, so that my jewellery
is within the price range of the women who want to wear it.
I am aware that my designs are a bit different from the
norm and that I will have to wait a while longer than most
to build up a clientelle, however, I am in no doubt that it
will eventually happen. I just need to keep plugging away
at the task in hand, making more and marketing what I
The best part of it all, is enjoying myself immensely
in the bargain!
Neena, I'm sure that everyone reading this
will agree, that your use of colour, your
creative individuality and sense of design
will eventually be recognised in a larger,
more artistic market. You have a very
unique style that seems to combine the
elements of the East and West and that's
what makes your jewellery designs so
appealling and beautiful!