Creative Lightning!

Aug 30, 2007

Last spring, I met a beader who who proudly proclaimed that she created peyote stitch bracelets with size 15 beads, nothing else. She had absolutely no interest in learning other techniques, other forms (Necklaces? Why?) or even using different sizes of beads. Ever.


Playing with Resin
I understand having favorites. I've been doing this long enough to know that there are certain techniques that make me weep and others that make me hum. But not even trying anything else? That's hard for me to understand, especially considering the last two beading classes I took at BeadFest.

Both classes were taught by veteran BeadFest instructors. I was especially excited by "Domed Resin Focal with Art Clay Silver Charms" taught by Sharon Driscoll and Susan Lambert. I've been wanting to learn about resin for at least a year. And when the class came, I wasn't disappointed—helpful tips, friendly classmates, knowledgeable teachers, and a nice project at the end. (Here's one tip I picked up: instead of using a blow dryer to try to remove bubbles from the resin, use an embossing heat tool.)


My version of the
Byzantine Bracelet
While the resin class was great, the other class, "Byzantine Bracelet" taught by Chad Trent, blew me away.

I confess, I signed up for this class in a "it's good for you" frame of mind. Unlike the resin class, I had no strong interest in chain maille. Frankly, I just didn't get it. Jump rings—what was the big deal? I thought I'd try it and then check it off my list—been there, done that. It didn't help that I came to the evening class exhausted and fueled by a Milky Way candy bar, instead of a normal dinner.

I want to apologize to the chain maille folks on this list: I totally get it. Meditative. Fascinating. Beautiful.

I wore my bracelet to work on Wednesday. And Thursday. And . . . (OK, so I'm wearing it again right now. It's not like jewelry needs vacation time, right?) I'm looking at photos of jump rings online and flipping through catalogs. I'm searching for projects. I'm wondering what the jump ring selection is like at my local bead shop. I'm planning a chain maille necklace for a good friend for Christmas. And maybe something for my mom. I may look like I'm quietly sitting here writing a post, but my brain is chanting: chain maille, chain maille, chain maille!

This is why I continue to take classes any time I can: you just don't know when creative lightning is going to strike. And I, for one, don't want to miss out!


A Wedding Story Update

Good news! Rebecca Campbell (A Wedding Story) agreed to write up the instructions for the bracelet that she made for her sister's wedding. I'll post the instructions on Beading Daily as soon as they are ready.

Soldered Pendants, Anyone?

I'll be talking about soldering in a future Beading Daily post and would love to feature some examples of soldered pendants by readers. Please send me links to your website, blog, or Etsy page where I can see photos of your soldered pendants. Thanks!  


 Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. She's shopping for jump rings this weekend!


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Comments

WendyM@43 wrote
on Aug 31, 2007 10:57 AM
Beware the chain maille bug! I was bit two years ago and even after making dozens of different chains and patterns, I still wear the 1st bzyantine I ever made almost everyday. The only bug that is worse is lampwork. Now I've combined the two and my work is at a level I have been striving for for years!
PhyllisE wrote
on Aug 31, 2007 12:15 PM
I made my first byzantine when I was 12 when it was called Idiot's Delight, but I did it the old fashioned way. My father handed me some sterling wire, a mandrel and jeweler's saw and taught me to first make my own jump rings.
BrendaL@37 wrote
on Aug 31, 2007 12:38 PM
I highly recommend the following for your jumprings: http://urbanmaille.com/
They are excellent quality and the kits they sell are fantastic. I've made the three bracelets from the beginner kit and love them all.
Joanna@41 wrote
on Aug 31, 2007 1:28 PM
I get my jumprings from http://www.bluebuddhaboutique.com. otherwise I make my own. They sell colored aluminum rings, they are light weight and yet strong. This company will help you in anyway you need from ordering for your project to making sure you are a happy customer. They are also very quick to send you your order. Hope this finds you well. Happy creating :)
Anonymous wrote
on Aug 31, 2007 1:31 PM
I feel the same way about learning new techniques. I just love it when I'm starting something new, you must always go to the bead or supply store and shopping in those places can be fun! I've been interested in chain maile for a long time now, I would love to take a class...Gail
SaraJ wrote
on Sep 1, 2007 3:40 AM
I recommend Spider's first DVD, on making bracelets.

www.spiderchain.com (not affiliated!)

This plus the rings and one Lindstrom white-handled pliers were the Valentine's gift from my husband, two years ago. I don't have her second DVD yet, though.

Chain maille is so beautiful! My husband got into it and has made me a bracelet, E 4-1 in teeeny tiny rings. I got HIM an anniversary gift of a chain maille coif & mantle kit.
MattieP wrote
on Sep 3, 2007 3:39 PM
I agree that chainmaille is an addiction. I would recommend the ring lord for jump rings. I especially like the aluminum rings in lots of colors. the service from the ring lord is great. mattie p
SandraD@50 wrote
on Sep 3, 2007 6:26 PM
If you want to see some beautiful pictures of chain maille patterns, including some great info on ring sizes to use, etc., try www.longcanyon.com, which is run by a local north central Illinois artisan. Her things are beautiful and the resources are excellent.
MaryF@78 wrote
on Sep 4, 2007 12:44 AM
I too, have a yearn to master the chain maille 0 but still working on major priorities will getting readyfor a show on 10/6. Great hints and tips from EVERYONG! Many thanks to all. Mary
Buyerlove wrote
on Sep 4, 2007 11:24 AM
Check out www.AnneMitchell.net
she has an excellent work book available, good for beginners and advanced. Gives step by step instructions for lots of great projects and shows how to create your own jump rings.
marpomem wrote
on Sep 4, 2007 10:14 PM
This was great. I, too, am hooked on chain maille. Don't know if I will ever tackle the Byzantine chain again, though I do wish I had made it in good metal instead of plate! It came out awesome, and everyone is shocked when I tell them I made it out of over 100 metal circles! Marilyn P.S. Try www.marilyngardiner.com (no relation to me but close on last name) for kits, classes, and jumprings
marpomem wrote
on Sep 4, 2007 10:14 PM
This was great. I, too, am hooked on chain maille. Don't know if I will ever tackle the Byzantine chain again, though I do wish I had made it in good metal instead of plate! It came out awesome, and everyone is shocked when I tell them I made it out of over 100 metal circles! Marilyn P.S. Try www.marilyngardiner.com (no relation to me but close on last name) for kits, classes, and jumprings
LeaynT wrote
on Sep 5, 2007 9:25 AM
Check out culturejewelry.com. Matthew has a great pattern e-book for sale. He also has an artists community started at https://members.culturejewelry.com. You can sign up for a free "copper" level membership or you can pay a bit more for higher levels and free monthly patterns. I have ordered sterling jump rings from urbanmaille.com and niobium jumprings from spiderchain.com. Both offer great rings and super friendly service. The Ring Lord is good too, but they are in Canada and it takes a while for shipping. Happy Chaining!
Atalanta2 wrote
on Oct 2, 2007 12:53 PM
I had the pleasure of teaching 3 maille classes at Bead Fest Philadelphia this past August. Like many others, I am fond of the anodized aluminum rings - light weight, inexpensive, and colorful (www.theringlord.com). As for tools, I swear by my CRAFTSMAN mini pliers. Yes, the brand you buy at Sears. They're comfortable, guaranteed for life, and about US$10 a pair.