Saturday, January 9, 2010

Chainmaille isn't for Damsels in Distress!

Some number of years ago my husband gifted me a beautiful aluminum ring chainmaille bag that he had made for me. It must have been a HUGE undertaking judging by its size, and the neat twisted strap (not to mention the rabbit-fur lining which he fashioned himself). Having been a Renaissance Faire goer since I was in my teens, Chainmaille is not something new to me, but I hadn't seen it used in this way before. I was used to seeing it on knights as armor rather than as a fabulous across-the-body style bag! Needless to say, I was blown away by not only the gesture, but the workmanship.

In the last few years I have seen a resurgence of interest in chainmaille as a jewelry art form. From dainty floral motifs on earrings, to tough-looking, yet feminine bracelets, it seems that no jewelry collection is complete without a chainmaille piece or 3. The Bead&Button Show 2010 class catalog is brimming with bracelets created with chainmaille, sometimes paired with an unexpected material, like Swarovski Crystal Beads. I remember that last year or the year before my friend Michelle bought one such kit, and finished it before we left the show that week. It was lovely.

So do I create chainmaille art you ask? The answer is "no.". I tried it years ago, and it just never stuck for me. I'll leave it to much more talented designers such as Kris Bailey of Dream Bubbles, a small-time jewelry designer like myself just
trying to make it in this crazy world. You can hear about her creative musings on her blog, and see more of her work in her Etsy ShopDreamBubbles In the meantime, here's a preview of her earrings that would be PERFECT for day to evening. She has several colors available, as well as bracelets, so check her out

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