I just can’t get up! I’m glued, or “chained,” to my chair because I’m too engrossed in making chain maille. This is a technique where jump rings are opened and attached to one another in various ways. There are lots of different styles and some even call for using various sizes of jump rings in the same pattern.
I started playing with chain maille when I decided to add it to my class offering at Michaels. Beginning and Intermediate classes are on the schedule. I’m also going to teach a workshop at my mom’s handcraft group next month. So, I’ve been playing with the Orbital Ring, Byzantine, Turkish Round, Full Persian, Half Persian, Japanese 12-in-2, Helm’s Weave, and Dragonscale patterns.
And I’ve also experimented with different jump rings. I like the Artistic Wire ones because they are cut straight across. This ensures a nice, neat, and virtually seamless join.
This Byzantine necklace was worked with regular jump rings found at Michaels. Their joins are very uneven but they make perfecting testing rings. I loved working the Byzantine pattern so much that I decided to continue on – making what originally was a bracelet into a necklace! I’m going to embellish this one a bit with some Swarovski crystals.
Here is my Turkish Round bracelet. This one is more complicated than the Byzantine. As you can see, the rings fit very closely together. That makes for close quarters getting the pliers where they need to be to close the jump rings. By the way, the pliers needed are a pair of bent chain nose and a regular pair of chain nose. Or, you could use 2 pairs of bent chain nose. I use one of each. The bend at the tip of one of the pliers allows you to maneuver your hands without your knuckles bumping against each other. And the smooth surface inside the mouth of the pliers ensures that you won’t mar the surface of the jump rings. Needle nose pliers don’t work for this because they have teeth, or grooves, inside their gripping jaws.
Here’s the Japanese 12-in-2 daisy. I decided to stop at this point thinking that it makes a nice earring or pendant. This piece and the Turkish Round are made with the Artistic Wire jump rings. You can see in portions of the designs that the joins are much smoother than the joins in the Byzantine necklace.
Chain Maille supplies
So, here’s what you need to get started – 2 pairs of chain nose pliers (the bent nosed ones are on the left) and some jump rings! If you want to create a bracelet or short necklace, you’ll need a clasp too. After opening a bunch of jump rings, I line them up with the right side of the join curling up into the air. I’m right-handed, so it’s easier for me to pick up an individual ring in just the right spot to immediately place it in the chain maille weave.
So many possibilities! And so little time! Got to get back to my chain maille projects.
Hope to see you in class!