Chain Mail Statement Pieces
These pieces were part of my resolve to try and make something a little more unique, although in saying that, they were inspired by some bridal wear I spotted while browsing etsy last year – such as this.
I’m sure you can see there’s a lot of potential for experimenting with the basic concept, and while my first two attempts aren’t quite as elaborate, I first wanted to get a feel for basic construction, where it might need support to sit the way I envision, and whether my first idea – a necklace with a “wrap” around the shoulders, was actually wearable for a decent length of time without becoming uncomfortable or continually displaced.
Obviously, I could still jazz this up quite a bit if I wanted to, but for my first attempt I wanted to keep it quite simple and used some pretty basic weaves in stainless steel. The diamond shape at the centre is Japanese 12-2, and the rest is European 4-in-1, interrupted with larger rings just for a little extra interest, and to help match the two weaves with one another.
All in all, I consider it a success, as it sits the way I wanted it to. I also wore it around the house for a little while and was pleased it didn’t get cumbersome or shift around when I moved. I also realised the chain that wraps around the shoulders can also go under the arms for a slightly different look, and used that to solve a problem I had when finishing off the next attempt.
I really didn’t have a set idea in mind when I started this, only that I wanted it to be more “interesting”. I started with making helm flowers in the purple, adapting them slightly (making the weave quite tight and firm, causing them to take on a more diamond shape). I ended up adding in the blue mobius rings after realising a chain with such a bold purple really needed something to break it up and contrast with, which the steel just doesn’t do. Ultimately, I just kind of threw ideas at it and kept what seemed to work!
What didn’t work was trying to make the lower chain sit at shoulder level – primarily because I’d used all the purple and blue rings doing what you can already see, and I couldn’t find something that would both complement them and keep it sitting higher up (the stainless steel one works, even though it only has one point of support, because it’s actually a lighter chain, and is balanced by equal weight at the back); plus, I really liked the way the lower chain zig-zags across the chest, and adding in more support would have meant it followed a rounder line like the necklace.
So, that’s a couple of the ideas I’ve been working on – I’d like to do something quite a bit more gothic with this idea…eventually!