Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chain Maille Doesn't Require Postage

Although I usually do jewelry work with sterling silver or gold-filled findings, I was enticed to try the chain maille kits offered at the Ben Franklin Bead Shoppe. Because I was new to the technique of making chain maille, it seemed more prudent to practice on the less expensive silver plate and gold colored metal jump rings contained in the kits. However, I thought that the finished pieces shown on the kit box were rather plain, so as often is my habit I put my own spin on the project. I added gemstone beads to the bracelet and slider components to the necklace. (See photo. Click to enlarge.)
Basically, I followed the directions for the bracelet, adding wire-wrapped ¾” jade beads in between 1”
lengths of chain maille. For interest and to make fastening the bracelet easier, I added a ½” length of chain to the end jump ring and used a head pin to add a ¼” round jade bead to the end of the chain. To the chain maille silver plated necklace I added 4 slider flower components and one floral 7/8”slider rectangle. The connections were made by fastening the upper two loops of each slider to the smaller double jump rings on the necklace using the extra jump rings from the kit.
You can of course make the chain maille jewelry exactly as shown and have very fashionable, trendy pieces to wear. Initially, you may find the process of making chains tedious, but you will probably quickly get the hang of it and maybe create some designs of your own. Now I feel confident that I can make some chain jewelry from sterling silver and gold-filled jump rings that will have the desirable Chanel look.


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