So, my computer died a while back and I’m currently having to share a lap top until I can replace mine. You’d think less time on a computer would mean you have heaps more time to get other things done, but for some reason it hasn’t quite worked out that way, but I did get the chance to finish off this piece – a remake, pretty much, or something I attempted a year ago.
One of the first projects I wanted to try my hand at was a chain mail scarf – just a nice, long strip of European 4-in-1. The first time around I used 14 gauge bright aluminium rings, so it was bigger, chunkier and even longer (by about 20cm). It looked ok, but you certainly wouldn’t have been able to call it a piece of jewellery.
These are 21 gauge stainless steel rings with a 5mm OD, meaning the weave is a much finer mesh than the 14 gauge piece. I used around 1600 individual rings, which may or may not sound like a lot, but it’s probably about 5-10cm shorter than my ideal (ran short of rings, but decided it was ‘finished’ after adding the chain tassels).
The main goal was to create something that din’t look too much like a scarf or necklace in particular, but could more than easily be used as either, which was where the first one failed.
I know there’s nothing particularly special about a piece like this – it’s a pretty basic weave and, truth be told, didn’t exactly take many endless hours, but I’m still pretty pleased with it. Plus, about half-way through I had an idea for an E-6-1 version that will (hopefully) be a bit different.
This is a project I’ve been meaning to attempt for a while. I definitely didn’t want to follow or copy someone else’s design (at least not intentionally), so this was something I just let develop as I wove.
There’s nothing particularly flash or elborate about it, although at one stage the European 4-in-1 patch was beaded – which looked great except for when the piece was actually being worn.
I used three different weaves for this – Half Persian 3-in-1 for the wrist section, European 4-in-1 for the triangular patch and ring, plus a simple 2-1 chain with rings in graduating sizes to connect the ring to the bracelet.
All of the rings are stainless steel, with 4 different sizes used – 7mm OD for the Half Persian 3-in-1 and the European 4-in-1 segment attached to it. 7mm, 6mm and 5mm rings for the 2-1 chain, with 4mm connecting rings, and 5mm rings were used to make the ring (which are about 20 gauge or .8mm, so the finished ring is quite fine and comfortable to wear).
With this particular design, there’s not too much room for including adjustability so it would generally have to be custom-made.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but when I was editing the above photo I couldn’t help but think without the ring attached it would be really easy to make this design into a g-string. Not sure if there’s a market for chain mail g-strings…at least probably not in winter (stainless steel can be a bit cold – you can see it’s winter in Australia by the goosebumps on my hand in the main pic!)
Cherries and cherry blossoms have been one of my favourite motifs or themes in jewellery for quite a while, so I decided to experiment with beads and pendants this week (although, technically I think the pendant is a plum blossom branch).
The necklace above is a choker which I decided to keep simple and primarily about pink. The chain is just a 1-2 pattern made from bright aluminium plus pink anodized aluminium mobius rosettes, with green anodized aluminium links where the pendant and bead clusters are attached.
The pendant is a relatively inexpensive component that I painted with a pink enamel (from mixing red and white gloss enamels). The bead clusters have a 6mm rhodonite bead and 4mm green glass bicones in various colours.
After that was done, I decided to take the concept a little further and try for something a little more elaborate and exotic, which resulted in this necklace.
This one is made from segments of European 4-in-1 weave (5mm stainless steel rings, plus 6mm rings), connected to pink, green and silver mobius rosettes (aluminium rings). I went for a true cherry colour with the bead clusters and used the same green mix for the glass bicones. I decided to include the emerald green butterfly beads to give it a bit of a garden aesthetic, if that makes sense.
The first one I think has more of a spring flavour to it, while the second a little more suited to winter.
It’s been a while since my last post as unfortunately I recently broke my camera and had to wait a while to get a new one (then learn how to use it properly!)
This bracelet was a custom order for a client, based on a design I had made previously in gold-tone copper wire plus small glass bicone beads.
The beads for the sterling silver version were supplied by the customer and unfortunately I never asked what they were, but at a semi-educated guess I’d say they’re crystal quartz (or something).
Sterling is a great metal to work with and really looks gorgeous – I’ve used so many different materials that are silver in tone but there really is no comparison to the look of genuine sterling silver.
The bracelet is a very simple European 4-in-1 weave with triangular points at alternating lengths, which drape over the hand quite nicely. The silver bracelet was constructed with 20 gauge rings that have a 2.75mm ID (AR 3.4), so a fairly fine weave, plus sterling silver clasp and argentium silver head pins (which I noticed has a less ‘white’ tone than the sterling, but ultimately doesn’t have too much of a contrasting shade).
This is my first attempt at weaving a distinguishable pattern into chain mail, so I went with a very simple diamond shape, which works quite well as a stand-alone shape, though it became a little less recognisable as a diamond when as part of a fuller weave.
The weave is a standard European 4-in-1, made with plated copper wire rings each with a total diameter of 4mm, so it’s a fairly fine weave. The rings are slightly different gauges, though – the gold rings are 0.8mm thick and the silver are 0.7mm. Originally, I had intended to border the bracelet with silver rings (which would have made the diamond shape a bit more distinguishable), but due to the slight difference in size, they would have been a little loose and messy, so the gold rings pulled it together quite nicely in the end.
I finished it off with a 3-strand silver-tone magnetic slide clasp, but I think it would work just as well (probably better) with a gold clasp.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with the result, so will be looking to incorporate more inlays into my work in the future.
This necklace was made using a simple European 4-in-1 chain mail weave, then adorned with pink and green bead clusters.
I used 5mm vintage bronze tone rings to weave the mail (approximately 20 gauge wire, 5mm is the total diameter, so the ID is about 3.4). Each bead is on a separate head pin, with the clusters attached to lengths of chain in sets of three (2 x pink & 1 green bead for each cluster).