Born To Be Worn by S & T Creations

Creative Chain Mail Jewelry by Kalmbach Books

Posted on: October 1, 2011

A NEW BOOK in the mail today!  Creative Chain Mail Jewelry is a new publication from Kalmbach Books.  It consists of 29 projects from two jewelry-making magazines:  Art Jewelry"" and Bead & Button publications in the last year.

The book describes silver, gold and niobium wire – it’s interesting how niobium gets all its great colors! I was a bit disappointed that the descriptions stopped there.  A quick flip through the book and my suspicion was confirmed.  The book doesn’t discuss or include “alternate” metals, like copper or bronze, in any of the designs. 😦 Now, of course, we can all use different wire, but I do wish these were at least included in 1 or 2 designs.  So, with a note that these metals are missing, there are examples with rubber rings and artistic colored wire.  I really like the addition of color.  The contrast can produce amazing eye candy (and wrist candy, earlobe candy, etc.).

There is a great section that covers annealing, solder, tumbling and liver of sulpher patinas. Just those first few pages will take you through the basics and beyond in terms of working with wire and metal!  Once I started flipping through the projects, I must admit I loved what I saw.  A box chain using niobium wire (design by Hazel Wheaton) was stunning, as well as a piece called Hoopla (by Kimberly Berlin) with two options, one using lovely silver spirals.

One of the first I will try is a pair of Circular Chain Mail earrings, by Sandy Amazeen.  They look like round hoop earrings, with chain mail links filling the interior. By selecting colored wire, the centers can have a flower-petal look, or bolder colors for more dramatic details.  Right after that was an asymmetric necklace named Crystal Constellations my Miachelle DePiano.  It requires 4 sizes of jump rings/wire and 2 sizes of crystals, bicone or round.  I really like the asymmetry with all the metal links.  There are only 9 crystals, so they look like small drops of color in a cascade of silver. A second project by Miachelle described a new idea for me.  She demonstrates how to create a 3 dimensional look by creating a tube chain mail design.  The look is very substantial, lending a larger more dramatic design while still using smaller wire gauges that are much easier to join.

John Wik designed a chain mail bezel with a woven-in bail for a guitar-pick pendant!  I’ve seen the guitar pick earrings in many shops and stores, but this design is great!  The chain mail bezel accentuates the curves of the guitar pick.  The jump ring links seem to hug the picks and protect them, while adding an artistic frame.  If you know anyone who plays a guitar or works with a band, this is a great piece!  I’m going to have to find out more about guitar picks.  There are so many colors and designs out there—this one project could create many different pieces!


1 Response to "Creative Chain Mail Jewelry by Kalmbach Books"

Awsome site! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am bookmarking your feeds also

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