TV & Chains
May 29, 2011 by bybrendaelaine
I’m the kind of person who has trouble sitting still. I almost always have to be doing something with my hands. Over the years I’ve crocheted, knitted or cross-stitched, but now I find myself working on jewelry while I’m watching tv or riding in the car for long periods of time. One style of jewelry that I is ideal for these times is chainmail. It is simply weaving open rings into different patterns to create some beautiful pieces of jewelry.
When you hear the term ‘chainmail’ you might think of chain-link armour. The roots of chainmail jewelry started sometime before the 5th century, when it was used by the ancient Celts to make armour for the warriors of the time. The name “mail” is derived from the French word “maille”, which comes from the Latin word “macula” which means, “mesh of a net”. Using heavy metal rings creates a protective mesh, but by using more delicate metals it can make very elegant and intriguing pieces of jewelry.
One particularly beautiful pattern called Byzantine is one of the most durable and elegant weaves that can be used in making jewelry. (and definitely my favorite 🙂 ) This pattern is created by folding rings in on themselves and weaving through the middle of the chain which forms a box weave pattern. There are many different patterns that can be used to create beautiful and elegant jewelry for both men and women. Various gems/beads can also be interwoven into the pieces to make truly unique looks.
For me, weaving the rings into this complex design is very relaxing and as well as fulfilling. It is so rewarding to turn a pile of rings into a beautiful piece of jewelry. I truly love coming up with unique ways to incorporate the byzantine pattern into my designs. I use various metals—silver plate, gold plate, antique silver, antique gold, antique copper and also combinations of these metals.