Labour of Love – Chainmaille

So, by now you know I love making jewellery.  Chainmaille is the one discipline of jewellery making that I just can not get enough of.  In my opinion it gives the look of a professional finish and never fails to appear elegant.  The only trouble with chinmaille is that it is very time consuming, hard work, (especially if you have bad hands like myself) and extremely fiddly.  Now, if you can get past all of that, the rewards are immense.

The set I am talking about today, came about when my friends told me they would be getting married later this year.  My first thought was, ‘What jewellery am I going to make?’  Wanting something that would cross over from day to evening, looking delicate, pretty and elegant, I decided to make this set.

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I used Silver plated copper wire to make the jump rings, of which I would say there are most likely over one thousand.  The gemstones are beautifully faceted Onyx, so when the light catches them they glisten like diamonds.  It took me over 40 hours to make.

The necklace and the bracelet both comprise of two weaves, Helm (or Parallel) Weave and Byzantine drops. The best way to think of chainmaille, is to imagine the armour of medieval knights.  Links are woven together in various ways, each orientation will produce a different pattern, different sizes, colours, metals and so, on give you an infinite amount of possibilities.

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The necklace lays just at the base of the neck and although you can feel the weight, it’s not overly heavy and feels perfectly comfortable.  It is a little over 1 cm wide, so remains delicate to the eye.  I was really surprised to see the effect it gives from a distance, (not something I have been able to photograph), as the necklace appears to sparkle as if encrusted with diamonds.

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For the toggle clasp on both pieces, I wanted to create something to accentuate, rather than just something to hold it together.

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Whist the bracelet comprises of the same two weaves, it’s construction is slightly different in that the Byzantine drops make up a central connection between two rows of Helm weave.  It again has a nice weight to it, whilst keeping the dainty and graceful appearance.

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The earrings are a simple accompaniment, I didn’t think the set needed any thing more than simplicity at this point.

Finally Hendrix, was determined to get in on the action whilst I was photographing the pieces this morning.  I shall therefore leave you with this picture and the hope that you enjoyed reading this post!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. char
    Aug 23, 2013 @ 08:48:11

    Wow, you are very talented and clearly very patient!

    Reply

    • Erika
      Aug 23, 2013 @ 10:24:50

      That is far too kind!! Thank you very much! I spread out making jewellery like this over many days. I wouldn’t be able to do it one go. I get very frustrated with it at times, the amount of jump rings that have flown across the room, ricocheting like a bullet, is ridiculous!

      Reply

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