Monday, 15 April 2013

Chainmaille in colour

I made these a couple of years ago and unearthed them as unfinished projects from my recent tidy up.

When I first saw chainmaille a couple of years ago as a jewellery technique I loved the idea of incorporating colour into it. I started off with Byzantine weave and a tutorial sheet from the web to make a short section in silver plate just to see if I could get the hang of it, and it seemed fairly straight forward once I 'clicked' into the pattern.

At the time chainmaille made with colour only seemed to come from real grassroots chainmaillers who made their own jump rings, which I didn't even know could be done! Then copper coated wire was fairly scarce and coloured jump rings weren't even available in bead shops but from browsing around I found the bountiful Bead Sisters website and was able to indulge my passion with lots of lovely colours. Some months later I was delighted to meet one of the Sister's at the Perth Bead Fair and get some great advice especially on ring sizes for different weaves as aspect ratios still make my eyeballs roll backwards.

This is my chainmaille collection and most are unfinished though I can't think why they've been languishing in a box for 2-3yrs! The pics are probably not too great either but to capture the colour I hung them on my work lamp. This straight edged lamp looks pretty stylish but was actually a bargain from Lidl and saved me burning the back of my hand on the halogen cone light I used to use.

 From left to right European 4-in-1, Byzantine, Byzantine with wire flowers, Byzantine, Shaggy Loops with Bells and Shaggy Loops with Miyuki Triangles.

Shaggy Loops with coloured bells. I had an idea I was going to go to a Bollywood dance class locally and made the top one for that as it tinkles beautifully but never got around to finishing this as an anklet or making it to the dance class. The second one was destined to be a bracelet.
 A bracelet length of Byzantine in which I was just playing with colour outside the silver.
 My first attempt at European 4-in-1 in my favourite pink and purple. This doesn't have a proper clasp on it and is awaiting a bit of judicious pruning to make it smaller as it can currently just be slipped on. I also think the aspect ratio is not great as it has a bit too much movement.

 This one I love because of the strong pink inside and the silver flowers. Unfortunately it is sized to fit a gorilla's wrist!  As you can see from the first picture it is as long as the Shaggy Loops anklet. I have no idea what possesses me when I am making bracelets for myself as I just seem to get so carried away. This one will be easily modified as the whole last section of weave can be removed and a jump ring will allow the clasp to attach.


  1. You are very talented and the colors are beautiful and vibrant...Hope you have a wonderful week ahead...kisses to your kitties!...J, Calle, Halle, Sukki, Mommy Cat, Daddy Cat

  2. I've never seen this chainmaille style of beading before. It's very striking and I love the way you've used colour in it. x


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