I really love some of the steampunk jewellery I’ve seen by some (very ) talented artists, and while I don’t quite have the skills (or components) to piece things together for a ‘real’ steampunk piece, I really wanted to try my hand and putting something together inspired by some of the more common motifs.
I also have a distinct lack of jewellery specifically for men, usually just going for chunkier materials or using square wire rings for a more masculine edge, but no genuinely original designs, so I decided to take the steampunk theme and try to create a distinctly masculine piece, and I’m fairly happy with the result.
The focal chain at the centrepiece is a mix of links – the silver gear connectors, solid faceted round silver rings, and square wire brass rings formed into mobius units, all linked with round stainless steel rings. The pendant is a simple wing stamping attached to another gear connector with plated copper wire.
The rest of the chain is just a simple 3-3 link using smaller and finer gauge stainless steel rings for a ‘rollo’ effect, which also reminds me slightly of a bike chain, so I thought it was in keeping with the theme. I would have actually preferred the two cog connectors at the side to be smaller, but beggars can’t be choosers, unfortunately.
Still, although quite often things I try to make masculine somehow inadvertently take on an obvious feminine aesthetic, and despite thinking this piece could just as easily be worn by a woman, I think I managed to achieve what I was trying to with this – and for once there’s no skulls, spikes or dragons in sight!
This weave proved to be a little difficult for me to learn, primarily due to the unstability of the ring arrangement when first started, as well as misunderstanding exactly where each newly added ring goes.
I’m really glad I finally got the hang of it, though, because it’s a great looking weave and very versatile.
The green and silver bracelet is made from 18 gauge 3/16 aluminium rings, (1.2mm thick, 4.75 inner diameter), so have an AR of 4.
The silver chain is made from stainless steel with a wire thickness of 1mm and an ID of 5mm, so this one uses an AR of 5.
I’ve decided that since this has proven to be the most difficult for me to learn thus far, it’d make the best weave for me to use for my first tutorial – hopefully that works out the way I think it will! Look out for it in a week or so.
Next up for me to learn is Half Persian 4-in-1. I’ve been putting it off as most tutorials start with lines like ‘one of the more difficult weaves‘, but it’s also a really attractive weave so fingers crossed it doesn’t take me too long to learn.
I’ve been wanting to incorporate more bead-work into my chain mail jewellery so decided to try wrapping a single bead with the Olivia Byzantine weave. Initially, I planned to make several of the beads surrounded by the chain mail and link them together for a bracelet, but as it turned out I didn’t quite have enough rings to do it, so they became the base for pendants instead.
I used 4mm plated copper wire rings and 6mm Indian agate beads, plus plated copper wire to make the pins and alloy bead caps.
The green is quite murky in both the dark and light shades (almost khaki), but I think it looks quite lovely when contrasted with silver and ultimately makes for an elegant necklace (or earrings, which I probably would have done if I had found four well-matching shades in my bead supply).
My photography isn’t the greatest, but you get the general idea.
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.