February 8, 2008

Chain maille

Posted in Custom Orders, New Jewelry, unfinished works tagged , at 8:37 am by jewelrybyleyla

Before Christmas, a local big box craft store had a whole display of kits to do various projects.  I kept looking at them, thinking about it, and then decided no, I ought to wait.  Well I waited too long.  After Christmas, the only sign that the display had ever existed was a lone beat-up sad box on the clearance rack.  I hemmed and hawed, searched high and low for a reasonable kit online.  I don’t want to make my own jump rings, I don’t want to design my pieces, I just want to open baggies and put something together to find out if this technique is something I can and want to learn.

Now, back to the kits online, I’m sure they are high quality and all that jazz, but I’m not quite interested in a $70 kit using sterling silver rings, as a *learners kit*.  I want to spend $20, and use copper or aluminum rings but no such luck.   But, I found out that my local bead store offers basically free classes (ok, I knew they offered classes for months and months).   If you buy the materials at their store, they don’t charge for the class, and you get a discount on the materials.  Woohooo.

So I found a chain maille class that didn’t require a ton of experience, and signed up.  The class was yesterday evening, and interesting.  I’m half way through my bracelet.  I’m not fond of the silver rings used.  They are a hot ‘new’ silver (Argentium) which is the .925 pure silver like Sterling, but the other .075 is something other than what is in Sterling.  They are supposed to be tarnish resistant.  But they are also stiffer, and more difficult to work with, that’s what I don’t like about them.  But I like the design for the bracelet.  I’ll post pictures when I’m done.



  1. beadinggem said,

    That’s good to know that Argentium silver is harder to work with! I’ve used copper, sterling and bright aluminium which are easy.

  2. I’ve primarily worked with sterling or base metals. The only time I’ve had as many problems opening/closing jump rings, or shaping wire, I picked up some 20G gold filled head pins, and trying to make loops with those was an exercise in frustration. Perhaps with some practice, and different pliers, the argentium would be easier…. but as far as my first experience goes… I was a bit disappointed in the metal.

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