Sunday, April 26, 2009
Studio Time: Emelle Bracelets for young ladies
8:55 pm edit: I forgot I had scheduled this post...I wasn't quite done...here is the updated version (updated in the Chain Maille section).
These bracelets are a friend commission for her young cousins. These are designed for young ladies 6 and over. These are woven in an exquisitely fine 22-gauge chain maille Byzantine weave in Argentium silver centered with pink and purple glass beads by me. The bracelet is only 3mm wide...demure and strong.
I really love making glass beads. They are the foundation of my jewelry. There are so many colors, techniques and ideas I have in my head that glass alone gets the majority of my time. However, I also have visions of the end results with my beads. I have not gone the I-only-make-glass-beads route because I still love making finished jewelry.
In the process of expanding my repertoire of jewelry skills beyond stringing, I started making my own hand coiled and cut jump rings. This segued naturally to chain maille. After some attempts at making my own rings cut by hand, then even investing in a small jump ring maker to attempt to make my own precision cut rings, I started searching for an alternative. I began realizing I was sending myself off on a creative rabbit hole and away from glass. Chain maille by itself is a significant investment in time. Learning the weaves, the technical aspects of making rings, making the right rings for the right weaves can take up your entire jewelry energy.
While looking for a way to make better jump rings, I stumbled onto Urban Maille, a small company dedicated to teaching chain maille weaves and making chain maille rings in silver, copper, and gold. Once you start using perfection, you can never go back. I realized I wanted to invest my energies into glass. And there was no need for me to divide my time into chain maille, since Urban Maille filled this niche so absolutely perfectly.
Beyond providing perfect rings, Urban Maille also teaches the weaves. If you are a jewelry artist who has been contemplating chain maille, Aislyn makes learning weave techinques so easy, you don't even realize you are learning a difficult skill. The kit-packs and instructions Aislyn has put together at Urban Maille jump your chain maille skills forward by leaps and bounds. The chain maille silver work I do with Urban Maille's rings gets rave reviews. If you've been contemplating chain maille, try Urban Maille. You'll be glad you did.