I am an engineer through and through. Chainmaille is merely another form of engineering with practical aspects as well as decorative aspects. When I get into my chainmaille “groove”, it’s all left-brain work and my creative energy can rest and wonder how to decorate it later. It is truly a perfect union between creative and practical energy.
In today’s world, chainmaille is used for various applications with its original intent. Protection. In ancient times, chainmaille was designed to protect the wearer from being cut. So if some crazy knight came at you with a sword, chances are you’ll be bruised and beaten, but your chainmaille armor will protect you from bleeding. Today, shark divers wear chainmaille to protect themselves from shark bites. Animal control officers have also been known to wear chainmaille on the job because you’ll never know when a rabid dog starts chasing you with every intent of ripping you to shreds.
My love of chainmaille began when I was flipping through a beading magazine in the fall of 2006. A necklace pattern called for the use of a byzantine weave used throughout the necklace as well as some decorative beads here and there. It was a lovely piece and I was curious. I bought the magazine and when I brought it home, I knew that I would need further instruction to get it just right. So when my local bead store had class sign-ups, I signed up for a beginning class in chainmaille. Needless to say, I was instantly hooked and wanted to learn everything about chainmaille, learn new weaves and how to adorn it with beads.
After searching the internet, I stumbled upon a bead supplier who specializes in suppling the bead community with chainmaille supplies. Here, I could order pre-made rings instead of making them myself. As much fun as it is to play with power tools, I have found it to be much more cost effective to purchase pre-made rings. I can assure you that these are the highest quality rings out on the market and far superior to my humble ring-making skills. Aislyn (the owner) is an integral part of the chainmaille world who always inspires us to push beyond our creative limits to discover new horizons.
With every new chainmaille weave I add to my library of weaves, I analyze each and every weave to see how I can use it in a different application. Of course, they are all beautiful on their own, but I ask myself, “How do I make it unique? How do I give it my signature style?” This is my main goal when I design my jewelry. What can I do with this ancient weave and make it my own? So far my results have been excellent and well received by customers and friends. But it is a never ending process, as it should be.
And now for some pictures… 😀 😉 😀
In the order I learned them… ❤
[Nerd fact: The bracelet on the left is made from 16 gauge wire. The bracelets in the middle and on the right are made from 18 gauge wire. Notice how dense the copper bracelet is in comparison to the bracelet in the center. The copper bracelet is much heavier than the silver one. This is due to the inner diameter of the copper bracelet being 4.0mm and the inner diameter of the silver bracelet being 4.5mm. With a smaller ID, the more rings you need to use to make the same exact chain. Who would have thought what a difference 0.5mm makes?!] 😀
Full Persian Chain
Viper Chain (I need to make a new one in silver)
Turkish Roundmaille Chain
Half Persion Chain
Double Spiral Chain
GSG (Great Southern Gathering) Chain
Jens Pind Linkage Chain
Half Persian 4-in-1