Guest Blogger :: Lauren Andersen, The ChainMaille Lady!

Lauren AndersenLauren Andersen is affectionately known throughout the craft world as The ChainMaille Lady™ for her exquisite jewelry designs, chainmaille products and expert techniques.  Her high quality tools and tips make it easy for everyone to enjoy the resurgence of this ancient art.

Chainmaille was originally used as a type of metal armor around 400 B.C., consisting of small metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh.   Today, Lauren weaves chainmaille from many materials; for this post she incorporated Halcraft’s Bead Gallery beads, available at Michaels Stores.

You might remember her from my December post, where we met on the set of Beads, Baubles & Jewels and she showed me her amazing tatted jewelry along with her intricately crafted chainmaille jewelry. Lauren is a design powerhouse who lives in the San Gabriel Valley of sunny Southern California with her husband and ally Shan, who has earned the title Mr. Chain.  And every day her precious Chihuahua, Miss Gizmo, sits in her lap as she expertly weaves her chainmaille jewelry…one tiny jump ring at a time.

“I designed this project for Halcraft as an introduction to chainmaille.  The pattern is an ancient Japanese 2-in-2.  If you are not familiar with chainmaille it was developed around 400B.C.  Chainmail, or maille, is a type of armor consisting of small metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh.  Chainmaille has applications in sculpture and jewelry, especially when made out of precious metals or colorful anodized metals. Hundreds of weaves and patterns have been invented.”      –Lauren Andersen, The Chainmaille Lady

Lauren Andersen's Sapphire Blue Chainmaille Necklace is the perfect beginner project for using chainmaille in your jewelry design!

Lauren Andersen’s Sapphire Blue Chainmaille Necklace is the perfect beginner project for using chainmaille in your jewelry design!

Designed by Lauren Andersen 

For Halcraft USA

 

Materials:

3             14mm faceted Sapphire glass beads #55663

1             Medium light blue glass bead

3             Small light blue glass beads

102        18 gauge 1/8” (3mm) ID (inside diameter) Artistic Wire Chain Maille jump rings

50           18 gauge 11/64” (4.5mm) ID Artistic Wire Chain Maille jump rings

50           18 gauge 3/8” (9.5mm) ID Artistic Wire Chain Maille jump rings

1             Gun metal or hematite colored Lobster Clasp

3             Gun metal or antique gold colored Head Pins:  1 2” long & 2 1” long

2             2” Eye Pins

8             Gun metal Small Bead Caps

6             Gun metal Large Bead Caps

Tools:

2             Pair Snub Nose, Chain Nose, Bent Nose Pliers or any combination of two

1              Pair Round Nose Pliers

1              Pair Jewelry Cutters

Difficulty Level – Average Beginner

Time – 90 minutes

Tips:

  • It is helpful to open all your jump rings before you begin and put them in order: small, medium & large.
  • After stringing beads and bead caps, simple loops are made at the tops of each eye pin and head pin.

Making the Chain:

Add one open small jump ring onto the loop of the clasp.

Step 1

Step 1: Add one open small jump ring onto one end of the clasp.

Add two large jump rings to the small jump ring added in step 1.

Step 2

Step 2: Add two large jump rings to the small jump ring added in Step 1.

Step 3: Add two small jump rings to the two large jump rings added in step 2.

Step 3

Step 3: Add two small jump rings to the two large jump rings added in Step 2.

Step 4

Step 4

Step 4: Add two medium jump rings to the two small jump rings added in Step 3.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5:  Add two small jump rings to the two medium jump rings added in Step 4.

Step 6

Step 6

Step 6:  Repeat Steps 2-5 an additional 24 times.

Step 7

Step 7

Step 7:  With one small jump ring scoop up the last two large jump rings added and the other end of the clasp, close the jump ring.

Making the Bead Strands:

Step 8

Step 8

Step 8:  To one eye pin add:  (make 2)

  • One small bead cap
  • One sapphire glass bead
  • One small bead cap

 

Step 9

Step 9

Step 9:  To one 1” head pin add:  (make 2)

  • One small bead cap
  • One small light blue bead
  • One small bead cap
Step 10

Step 10

Step 10:  To one 2” head pin add:  (Make 1)

  • One small bead cap
  • One medium light blue bead
  • One small bead cap
  • One large bead cap
  • One large sapphire blue bead
  • One large bead cap
  • One small bead cap
  • One small light blue bead
  • One small bead cap

Attaching the Bead Strands to the Necklace:

Step 11

Step 11

Step 11:  Locate the center two large jump rings,  attach the bead strand made in Step 10 to the two large center jump rings. Or open the loop at the top of the bead strand and attach it to the two large center jump rings.

Step 12

Step 12

Step 12:  Locate the second set of medium jump rings to the left of the center, attach one sapphire blue with small light blue bead to the both jump rings.

Step 13

Step 13

Step 13:  Repeat Step 12 on the right side.

You can learn more about Lauren on her blog, The Chainmaille Lady, and you can friend her on Facebook, too! Thanks for playing along, Lauren!Happy Beading
Molly Schaller

About Molly Schaller

Molly Schaller loves beading, knitting, gardening, bookbinding, and being with her family of creative kids and her handy husband. She's always on the lookout for new ways to express her creativity and help others learn ways to tap into their creativity as well!

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