Chain Mail Jewellery & Accessories by Angie Mack

Tutorials

Spiked Full Persian Lariat – Tutorial & Kits

 

This is a new version of a design for a piece I made a while ago, using bright aluminium with spike adornments.

The tutorial for this piece has been published in the third issue of Digital Beading magazine, and once again Aussie Maille have pre-made kits available, which contain all the materials you need to replicate it.

 

My thanks once again to Kelly (Digital Beading) and Deb (Aussie Maille), for all the work that goes into making these available.


Butterfly Bracelet & Earrings Tutorial Published

I just wanted to let everyone know that a project tutorial I put together for these pieces was recently published in Digital Beading magazine. It’s quite a simple weave to do, so suitable for beginners.

The magazine can be purchased for just AU$4.95, which is a very small price to pay for 158 pages – for the maillers, it also includes a tutorial for a gorgeous beaded European 4-in-1 bracelet by Deb from Aussie Maille. Click here to check out the mag!

Kits for these pieces are also available to purchase from Aussie Maille, with a variety of colours to choose from. Click here for the bracelet, and here for the earrings.  To check out the beaded bracelet kit, click here.

While you’re at it, check out Aussie Maille’s new blog, sure to be a great place to keep up with all things maille-related.

My thanks to Kelly Nealon, Digital Beading’s editor, for putting it all together, and to Deb from Aussie Maille for supplying the materials for the project and making the kits.


Tutorial: Not Tao 3 Chain Mail Unit

I’ve been meaning to get this done for quite a long time and finally had the chance to take the photos. They’re (mostly) a little clearer this time, so I hope that helps make the instructions easy to follow.

Not Tao units are quite versatile, and they can be made with any number of rings woven around the large, central rings (as long as the sizes fit together well) – I’ve used them as pendant bails, linked them together for a chain, and they would be great components in chandelier earrings.

For this tutorial, basic chain mail techniques (like opening and closing rings) are assumed. To make these, I’m using 18 gauge 5/16’s in red and black (1.2mm thick with a 4.75 ID), and 18 gauge stainless steel rings with an outside diameter of 9mm – that’s an AR of around 4 for the small rings, and an AR of 5.5 for the large rings.

The most important thing when selecting rings for this weave is that the small rings will be able to fit two of the larger rings and one of the smaller rings inside it when closed, after that you can experiment with how many rings can be woven around the outside of your larger rings. The colour and material combos are virtually limitless, but for the sake of the tutorial I will be referring to each ring by the colours shown.

Step One

Close three red rings and open three black rings, then connect two large silver rings to the three red rings.

Step Two

Holding the unit by one of the red rings, you now need to get the two loose red rings in the right position so that a black ring can be added.

Once you have the red rings in the right position, you need to thread a black ring  in between the two silver rings and through each red ring – it goes through the ‘top’ of the lower red ring in the picture, then through the ‘bottom of the upper red ring. As this is probably the trickiest bit, and it was a little difficult to get a photo showing how to add the black ring in,  I’ve made a very simple graphic that shows how to position the red rings and the path that the black ring needs to follow, as well as taken a few shots from different angles.

Step 3

After you close the first black ring, you add a second one that follows the same pattern and path to link the third red ring. Remember that you need to keep the black ring between the two silver ones so that it ends up being ‘sandwiched’ by them.  It’s quite easy from here, as you can just thread the black ring through the top of the second ring, then – while making sure the third red ring is positioned correctly, bring it through the two silver rings and thread the ring through the ‘bottom’ end of the red ring, as shown.

Step 4

To finish it off, the last black ring is added and follows the same path as the other two.

Close off the last ring and that’s it – one complete Not Tao 3 unit, which I’ve shown below from the top down view and the from the side, in case it helps make clear how it all comes together.

If there’s anything about this tutorial that’s confusing or isn’t explained clearly enough, feel free to leave any comments and questions and I’ll do what I can ASAP.

As you can see below, I expanded on the idea for the last necklace, adding spikes and crosses to the same basic design.

AM


Tutorial: Half Persian 3-in-1 Chain Mail Weave

This tutorial has a lot of images – please be patient if it takes a few moments to load.

Although I don’t recommend attempting a Half Persian weave for the first one you learn, I decided to make 3-in-1 my first tutorial for a few different reasons – the main one being that it was the cause of a bit of frustration for me for a little while and I thought that if I made a tutorial while I am still very conscious of each step (rather than waiting until it became second nature), it might make for an easier-to-understand tutorial for those who may be grappling with it.

I will try to keep the steps as basic and thorough as I can so that it may hopefully still be used by complete beginners, but this tutorial does assume some basic, prior chain mail experience (opening and closing rings etc). I’ve also made it quite image-heavy in the hope that being able to see the progress from different angles will help make things clearer – NB my photography is not quite up to scratch (it’s extremely difficult taking photos of things I need two hands to do), which is another reason my explanations are as detailed as I could make them.

First up, requirements.

  1. 2 pairs of flat nosed pliers (essential for any mailler – ensure they they do not have any teeth and that they are comfortable to use).
  2. A bunch of rings  – the amount you need will depend on the project you have in mind, but it’s always good to have more than you need. For this tutorial, I am using 18 gauge (1.2mm thick) 3/16s. 3/16 refers to the inner diameter, which is roughly 4.75mm. This makes the aspect ratio just under 4. I’m using aluminium rings in two different colours in order to make what I’m doing easier to see, with the new rings added into the step tinted gold. I strongly suggest using aluminium rings to learn this weave as it is soft enough to get a decent closure with one hand.
  3. Patience – it doesn’t matter how easy someone makes something look, learning something new always involves a little trial and error plus practice. (Whenever I get frustrated with a new weave I’m trying to learn, I set it down and do something else for a while).

Step One

Start with at least 6 open rings and 7 closed rings. You may wish to open/close more than that in advance, but I recommend at least that many so that you don’t have to interrupt the weave before it becomes stable.

Place two closed rings on an open ring and close it.

At this point, you need to arrange the rings the correct way. Turn the two rings to the right, so that they overlap and the ring on the left is above the ring on the right, as pictured.

Now you need to take hold of the right-most ring (fingertips is fine) and twist it downwards – basically flip it vertically 180° so that the top of the ring goes to the bottom, but ensure that it is still underneath the left-most ring.

It should look like the picture below.

You can see that each green ring faces one another with an inward slant, a bit like this / \

Step Two

Now we need to add the next set of rings.

You can see that where the two lower (green) rings overlap, there is an ‘eye’ shape. You now need to pass a new ring through that eye without passing through the silver ring.

To make this step easier, I keep hold of the start of the chain so that I do not lose the arrangement. I place one closed ring on an open ring, then pick it up with my pliers.

Ensure that you have gripped the open ring in a firm and comfortable way, and that the pliers are positioned in a spot that will allow you to manouvre the new, open ring through the set of rings you have arranged.

The open ring is attached from the right and comes up through the eye. Most importantly, you need to ensure that it does not pass through the third (silver) ring. The following two pictures show the new ring added – the first one without the closed ring attached, the second one with the closed ring attached.

Here is the same stage from a top-down view. Remember that while I am actually doing this, I hold the start of the chain so that the arrangement isn’t lost.

Step 3

The next step is to get that ring closed. Continue to hold the chain so that you keep the rings in the correct position, then using either your pliers or fingers, rotate the open ring so that the opening is in a position where you can use the pliers to grip both sides.

Position the pliers at each side and squeeze just firmly enough to get the ring closed.

This doesn’t have to be a perfect closure, just good enough to continue working on the chain – you can go back once it’s stable and neaten the closures. Also, once you have a clear idea of how this weave is formed, you’ll have a better idea of how to keep it that way and can then use materials that will have to be closed using two hands.

You should now have a set of rings that looks like the picture below.

If the new, closed ring on the end is in the incorrect position like mine is, you will need to re-position it so that it’s underneath the ring before it. You may also need to flip it 180 as you did with the first one so that it has the right slant. Once everything is in the right position, it should look like this – I’m showing it from three different angles so that you can see the arrangement as clearly as possible.

Step 4

Adding the next ring set is slightly trickier than the first ring set, as the eye that you need to pass the new ring through is a bit more condensed because it has more rings at each side.

Again, while continuing to hold the arrangement of rings so far firmly in place, pick up another 1 open / 1 closed ring pair. The process is exactly the same as the previous step, it’s just that the eye opening will be a little narrower. Again, it’s important that the open rings you add do not pass through anything except the two rings that form the eye. Once you’ve passed the new ring up through the eye, you should have something that looks like this.

And when correctly arranged with all rings in the right position, it will look like this.

I close this ring the same way I closed the previous ring, keeping hold of the chain so that the arrangement isn’t lost.

You can see the pattern quite clearly now, and at this stage I would consider the chain stable enough to be set down. If you don’t feel confident to do that just yet, another ring set or two will definitely make the chain stable enough. From this point onwards, it is simply a matter of adding ring sets until the chain reaches the required length, and you can now quite safely let the chain go and use two hands and two sets of pliers to close the newly added rings.

When your chain has reached the desired length, you finish it off by simply adding one last open ring without putting a closed ring on it.

 

I hope this tutorial has helped you learn this fantastic and very versatile weave – if you have any questions, comments or suggestions about this tutorial, please feel free to leave a comment – I’ll respond as soon as I can.

AM