Chainmaille FAQ

11:04 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
Today I'm posting some common questions I get asked about chainmaille, and their answers. Please feel free to comment with your own questions, I'll answer them too!

How do you do that?
Well, each weave (or pattern) has different steps, of course. For each one, though, I open some rings, close some more, and weave them together. Sometimes it's more like wrestling than weaving.

How long does it take?
Again, each weave is different. All bracelets take under an hour, most under half an hour. Necklaces take longer, of course, especially as I tend to experiment more with them. There's a lot of trial and error.

You must be really patient to do that!
Not at all! I'm very impatient with most things. But I'm a born fidgeter. I do maille while I watch TV or movies, or listen to music. If I'm allowed, I do it during classes. When I act in plays, I'll make maille on my down-time.

What is it made out of?
I prefer to work with aluminum. It is easier to bend than steel, which makes it work up faster. Aluminum is also a very light metal, making it perfect for jewelry. Steel chainmaille earrings can hurt! Steel can also leave a gray or black residue on the skin. The coloring is an anodization, which is a thin coating on top of the aluminum. I also work with rubber rings, which can only be used in some weaves. Rubber is even lighter than aluminum, and adds stretch, so I can make bracelets without clasps.

Where do you get your supplies?
I buy my rings and pliers from www.theringlord.com and I get findings (clasps, earhooks, etc.) from various places. Some from bead stores, some from sellers on www.etsy.com

Where did you learn to do this?
A friend of mine taught me how to do European 4 in 1, Spiral, and Byzantine. The rest I learned online. My favorite sites for learning new weaves are www.cgmaille.com and www.mailleartisans.org, which has a lot of other great maille resources.

What can you make?
I mostly make jewelry, but just about anything can be made out of chainmaille. I've made a purse, a basket, a belt, a skirt... the possibilities are endless!


That's all I can think of now, but like I said, feel free to ask more!
~~Jen

2 comments:

MAB Jewelry said...

Your stuff is so gorgeous. I'm still afraid of chainmaille as a jewelry artist, but I love the way it looks, and I know the work that goes into it!

Jen said...

Thank you!

It's really nothing to be afraid of, especially if you already make jewelry. You should give it a try some day.