Lauren 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
Designed by Lauren Andersen
For Halcraft USA
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
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
Making the Chain:
Step 1: Add one open small jump ring onto one end of the clasp.
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 4: Add two medium jump rings to the two small jump rings added in Step 3.
Step 5: Add two small jump rings to the two medium jump rings added in Step 4.
Step 6: Repeat Steps 2-5 an additional 24 times.
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: To one eye pin add: (make 2)
Step 9: To one 1” head pin add: (make 2)
Step 10: To one 2” head pin add: (Make 1)
Attaching the Bead Strands to the Necklace:
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: 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: Repeat Step 12 on the right side.