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!