Thursday, April 13, 2017

Have Pliers, Will Weave Silver!

I learned my first chainmaille weave about seven or eight years ago and have been hooked ever since.  I read tutorials, experimented with different weaves, and then discovered the fabulous "Spider," a chainmaille teacher well-known and beloved in the chainmaille community.  I got her DVDs and discovered that she was a young woman with a soothing voice and a way of clearly explaining how to get those pesky rings to slide into place and weave together to make intricately patterned jewelry.  I also watched how she held her pliers and how she opened and--even more important--closed her rings (there is a very particular way to do it).  And I learned.

I love it when I get into a rhythm weaving a pattern from the rings, watching my project take shape.  It is surprisingly meditative.   I've made necklaces, lanyards, earrings (these below are antiqued copper in European 4-in-1, with spikes by Karen Totten)...

...and bracelets (this one is copper woven in half-Persian 4-in 1, with a pretty dotted heart by Kristi Bowman-Gruel):

I once even weaved a flat piece of chainmaille to use as a mesh backing on which to connect a LOT of little jasper gem dangles for the focal of a necklace.  This is the back of the focal, showing the mailled mesh:  

And the front of the necklace...

That said, I haven't been making much chainmaille recently.  There just seems to be too many other things competing for my time, creatively and otherwise.  But a few days ago, out of the blue, I got the urge to spend some time "weaving silver" (as Spider would say), so I decided to make some new earrings especially for Earrings Everyday.   They're made in one of my favorite weaves, Japanese 12-in-2, and are sterling silver from top to bottom.  I love their graceful, sinuous shape.  

These earrings can be found here.

As always, thanks so much for reading--I'll see you all again in two weeks!  



  1. Oh, you are a lady of many talents Meridy. I always found chainmaille very intimidating. Love your chainmaille jewelry, they are all fabulous. Especially the pair of earrings you made for this blog. Using only silver enhances the intricate pattern.

    1. Awww, thank you, Janine! Chainmaille can look really scary and intimidating, but if you have a good teacher (or a good tutorial and patience) and start out with the easy weaves, it isn't all that hard at all. It's like anything else, you get better and better as you do it. I appreciate your comments so much! xoxo

  2. Just gorgeous, Meridy :)

    Susan Moran

  3. Thank you so very much, Susan! xoxo

  4. Clever, and patient to boot! The furthest I ever got with chain maille was about one inch!

  5. I feel that way about the Dragonscale weave, Lindsay--LOL! I can do it, but it's a painful process. So I usually avoid it...and of course when you avoid things you never get better at them. I've come to accept the fact that I really enjoy detailed work. Knotting? Check. Chainmaille? Of course! Thread-wrapped earrings? Yep! Thanks, Lindsay. xoxo

  6. Oh Dear Meridy. . . first of all, every piece you showed is amazing! The Sterling earrings! Wow! And now here, My Friend, I have never had a single ounce of desire to create chainmaille. I haven't seen any pieces that have enticed me. . . . . until now. I don't know if my wrist is up to it, but I am going to be seriously thinking about it. The options are endless! Shown perfectly by the incredible necklace with the woven chainmaille backing. Amazing. Thank you so much for the urge to create these, and for following through. What a wonderful post. And jewelry.

  7. Gorgeous pieces, all of them! Your necklace backing (in particular) is fabulous! I've stopped doing chainmaille awhile back, it's getting too hard on my eyes and wrists, but it's one of my favorite things.

  8. I love chainmaille but I've never tried it. I love the way you've used it in all of these pieces. That necklace, just wow!! Your sterling earrings are so beautiful.

  9. Meridy these are all stunners - your new silver pair has such grace to it. I remember back in high school when I took an art metals class and we did a project with chainmaille - and you're so right, I remember it being a very soothing, meditative task. Beautiful use of technique and incorporating it into your overall style! :)

  10. This blog needs to be renamed. 'Overpriced Junk Everyday.' Seriously. All of the stuff here always looks the same and you have totally worn out that so called boho chic thing.

  11. I made one pair of chainmaille earrings once. I love the look. I just don't have the patience! I do find it fascinating and I love how versatile the look can be. Enjoy the day! Erin