Previously I have shared my new-found passion of making chain maille jewellery. In this post I will show you how I have expanded from the basic designs and tried different sorts of chain maille jewellery with beads. I can’t claim any credit for these as I am still trying different kitsets from Weave Got Maille to see what things are possible and which I really enjoy making and giving as gifts.
I was delighted to see a YouTube video recently in a series called World’s Greatest that show-cases Weave Got Maille: not only can they customise anything you want for anything from suits of armour, reenactment, clothing, jewellery and even decor; but they have developed systems that support the environment and the community. They have their own aluminum anodizing plant that uses only organic dyes, and their bi-product is aluminum sulfate, which is used by gardeners and farmers to adjust the pH in soil. Aluminum sulfate is also used in wastewater treatment. They recycle all of their scrap metal in-house by melting it down and forming it into wire and other usable products. So I feel good about supporting their business.
The first beaded chain maille kit I tried is called “Shaggy Loops” – there is a bracelet and matching earrings. In this design, various coloured seed beads are threaded onto the jumprings and hang off a basic chain to give a less structured informal look.
My favourite beaded chain maille design so far is called “Spine of the Centipede” that was designed by Lauren Andersen “the Chain Maille Lady”. This design uses pairs of rings twisted to form “mobius units” that are joined together alternately in a chain. A second chain that reverses the pattern is then connected to the first chain using jumprings creating a flat base with loops sticking up from it to form a spine. Then beads are strung through the spine using bead wire. The kits use Swarovski Crystals: you can make them using gold or silver rings paired with birthstone crystals for a lovely gift. My first one combined silver with blue zircon.
I then made a gold version with sapphire crystals for a 50th birthday present – which looked stunning displayed in a gift box.
And then made a variation on the theme, this time using semi-precious lapis lazuli beads.
Another kit that I tried didn’t have beads per se but rather it combined different types and colours of jumprings to create flowers and glass ring units that are connected together to form a fascinating “Inspiral Bracelet“. I loved that you can form little roses just using jumprings. I chose the “Pacific Opal” colourway – because teal blues are my favourite colour – but you could try various combinations with beautiful ‘rose’ colour schemes to make some stunning pieces of jewellery.
Chain maille jewellery – especially with beads – can make stunning original pieces that are perfect for gifts (if you can bear to part with them!). I’m looking forward to experimenting with more designs and sharing them with you.