Maille and more

In amongst the clutter of ideas that is my mind, there appeared a new phrase: chain maille. Now I know where it came from – Jenny!  She became enamoured of this fascinating technique for using wire in making jewellery.  It was almost inevitable, then, that I’d become infected eventually.  It finally happened during our wire working activities at the weekend!   I had resisted but then it became necessary for me to actually get involved in order to provide a suitable chain for a pendant.  I won’t pretend that it isn’t a challenge, but the rewards are great.  In fact, it provides a huge number of possibilities for jewellery making!

My first piece uses the Helm technique:

My Heart In The Maille

My Heart In The Maille

The stone appeared earlier, in the The News on the Wire post.  It isn’t a gemstone, as far as I know, but I’ve actually had it for many years, since it was picked up on a local beach.  I should say here that it is actually illegal to remove anything except trash from beaches!  It’s a simple fact that if everybody did remove say a kilo’ of stones from a shingle beach, that beach would soon be facing a crisis unlike any natural erosion!  In this case, I had maybe six stones, ranging from very small to barely medium sized.  One or two stones, rarely removed, shouldn’t create a significant problem.

There are numerous resources on the web for wire working and chain maille.  Wire working is something I’d recommend every jewellery maker have a go at.  You’ll need a good selection of wire gauges, and colours, and a basic set of tools, to which you can add a chasing hammer (a small ball pein hammer) and a steel bench block to act as an anvil.  For chain maille, you’ll need much the same plus mandrels and other equipment for making your own jump rings (unless you intend to buy ready made jump rings in bulk), to which you can add: patience!

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For the Love of Jenny…

There is no doubt in my mind.  My jewellery making efforts originate in my fascination with gemstones and, more powerfully, my love of Jenny.  In the case of the former, it represents the fact that I would  love to become a gemologist, an ambition which is sadly unrealistic.  The latter case is something I can and will continue to demonstrate.  So, these new items are most definitely in pursuit of the second, and primary, motivation!   Oh, and you’re likely to find that amethysts feature frequently, because amethyst is Jenny’s birthstone.

First up on the ‘gemwalk’  is an earring set, which I rather lamely called the Triplets Set.  Inspired by nothing more than possession of the rather beautiful findings from the Precious Accents range by Cousin Corporation of America (indubitably my favourite accessories supplier!).  The gemstones are carnelian, smoky quartz, garnet and amethyst.

Triplets Earring Set

Triplets Earring Set

The following is the Amethyst Falls Set.  Based on a desire to make an attractive but minimalist piece, it obviously required something other than my usual stringing material.  The necklace is based on oval chain.  The drops are populated with smoky quartz nuggets, as a weight, and amethyst chips.  The two flanking drops terminate in eyes, to permit some degree of adaptation, so that the necklace may have different looks.  The earrings reflect the centre drop of the necklace, and features the same gemstones.

Amethyst Falls Set

Amethyst Falls Set

I’m happy to say that Jenny loved them!

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