Thursday, January 21, 2010

Non-Fiber Arts Spotlight

Welcome! Today I'll be introducing you to the non-fiber crafting of Ravenclaw second-year Silverwing26, who creates jewelry and bags out of chainmaille. How cool is that??

And now, I'll let her tell you, in her own words, all about this fascinating craft.

I’ve been working on chainmaille on and off for about 7 or 8 years. It’s only in the last two or three years that I have really gotten into it enough to learn the weaves, and most importantly, learn how to close all of those tiny rings properly!

I’ve always been a big Renaissance Festival enthusiast, and at one of the festivals there was a chainmaille jewelry vendor. I bought my first two pieces there, a necklace/circlet and a hand-flower. I was about 15 and fell in love with chain just then. It took a few years for me to try it though.


My inspiration comes from all around. I just think to myself, what would I love to have, and go from there. One of my bracelets, the shaggy loops bracelet, was inspired by these really neat looking beads I had that looked like tiny eyeballs. The roundmaille bracelet was inspired by a piece I saw at a festival, and most of the flat bracelets were inspired by the hubby, who loves those best.

Roundmaille bracelet:

There are many many weaves of chainmaille and some of my favorites are
European 4 in 1 (which is flat) 
Byzantine and the Romanov which it is based on (these are both round) 
Round maille which is actually 4 in 1 turned on itself (this is round)

The main ‘technique’ to master though, when making chainmaille, is really closing the rings properly. Once you can do that every time, no matter what you make, it will look like a million bucks!

I tend to craft mostly gifts. So most of the pieces I have made have been for the special people in my life. Hubby owns quite a few of the pieces I have made, but I’ve given most of the pieces I have made to my family.  The dice bag is for just me!

Making chainmaille is one of my favorite creative outlets. I hope to be able to get back into it in the near future! Right now though the crafting budget is tied up in yarn! ;)

For more beautiful pictures of Silverwing26's work, check out her blog!


Steph said...

That is so freaking cool.

Do you sell online?

Crystal said...

Thanks Steph. :D At the moment I have nothing for sale, but when I get a few pieces together, I'll be putting them in my Etsy Shop.

Amy said...

so pretty

Madeline said...

Wicked! That's really neat.

Lauren Strauss said...

Oh my dear girl, I knew you were talented but I didn't realize how much!

--Mama Eagle

Crystal said...

Thank you everybody, so much. You've made me really want to puck up the pliers again and make some more pieces... when will that tax return be in????