Thursday, June 5, 2014

Adventures in Chain Maille: The Beginning

Chain maille has been on my to-do list for years.  No really, years.  I bought this kit at a Bead Fest several years ago and just never got around to actually doing it.
The kit is from fe Maille and includes detailed instructions on both jewelry basics and the weave pattern (byzantine variation), jump rings, seed beads and an artisan clasp.  You just need to supply your own pliers.
It only took me a few minutes to understand the basics of making the first byzantine link.  I did have a couple of "What the heck?" moments but they didn't last long.  The instructions really are that good.
I was able to get through making five more links relatively quickly with only minimal destruction to a few jump rings.  I've always suffered from plier death grip-itis.  
I left the house for a bit and when I came home I easily completed the large jump ring and seed bead connectors.  It doesn't hurt either that I have tiny baby-sized wrists so I didn't have to create as many links.
Well look at that!  I made my first chain maille piece....a Byzantine variation bracelet!
And since my wrists are so ridiculously small, I had enough jump rings left to make some earrings!  I paired them with my porcelain ammonite charms.  I think they look pretty spiffy!  Yes, I said spiffy.

I was warned that chain maille is addictive.  It's true.  I've since ordered a practice kit from The Ring Lord and plan to order higher quality saw-cut rings from C&T Designs once I'm confident I won't wreck all the good stuff.  I also purchased two books on Amazon; Chained and Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop.  

I hope you'll enjoy following along with me while I embark on this jump ring-filled adventure!

Happy Beading!

Diana P.

12 comments :

  1. You've got some great idea coming out of your latest addiction...look forward to seeing more.

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  2. Woo-hoo! I love maille :) I'm so crazy about it, I went from being a "I could NEVER do that!" grandma to a chainmaille artist interviewed for CBC!

    Yep, "Chainmaille with Toltec Jewels" is on the cover! There are two sections in the publication: my interview & video tutorials; then off to page 85 for a Chainmaille resource guide.

    I'm so excited you're excited. Maille is wonderful. Making handcrafted with handcrafted just becomes magic when you create your own chain too. Now you are a Lady of the Rings!

    Have fun :) Oh and Beautiful byzantine jewelry, Diana!!
    Rita

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    1. Here's the issue with lots of great info :)
      http://glossi.com/artisanwhimsy/28065-september-2013-bead-chat-magazine

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  3. I love the bracelet and earrings you made! It will be fun to see where this takes you!

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  4. You're a natural at chain maille. Can't wait to see what more you do with it.

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  5. Your pieces are beautiful, Diana! Welcome to the world of Maille. :) "Chained" and "Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop" are two excellent books. The Blue Buddha community is full of great folks, and Karen Karon is awesome. My favorite chainmaille learning tools were (and still are) Spider's "Weaving Silver" DVDs, Vol. 1 and 2--she is the best chainmaille teacher and can make even the trickiest weaves easy to learn. xo

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  6. Oh, and another great place to purchase great-quality rings, tutorials, and such is Chain Weavers, chainweavers.com.

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  7. great work for your first go at chain maille. I learnt the byzantine weave and really enjoyed it, I haven't ventured any further though I don't know why.

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  8. Amazing the effect you can get with just rings! I especially like the earrings. Can't wait to see what you cook up!

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  9. Great job! I need to give this a try some day!

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  10. You did a great job! I love your earrings with the ammonite dangles!

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