A bit late, but here it is: the reveal for this month's Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge. Hurray!
...As a side note, I really need to stop scheduling blog reveals for the last two weeks in December. Between Christmas, my best friend's birthday, my own birthday, and New Years, I'm completely swamped. Don't get me wrong--it's a good problem to have! I just need to remember to take that into account when I'm doing my schedule.
Anyway! Onto the jewelry! To jog your memory, my challenge this month was all about chainmaille.
I had a lot of fun with this challenge. Now, I have actually tried my hand at chainmaille before, but this was the first time that I really devoted myself to it.
...And I really, really enjoyed myself.
Overall, I made six items: five necklaces and one bracelet. I went through all of the chainmaille-specific rings that I had bought, and considering how much I enjoyed this challenge, I need to buy more. (And, a quick note: the size of chainmaille rings is very specific, having to do with inner and outer diameters... I will do my absolute best to document what I used correctly, but I apologize if I make any mistakes. I am, after all, still learning.)
And now, without further ado... Here is what I made!
This one was actually a birthday present for my best friend. It features a captured bead design, made with 4mm iridescent beads and 18 gauge 3/16" aluminum rings. Oh, and silver tone chain to complete the design. :)
This necklace was a fun experiment. When I was cleaning up my craft table as part of this month's We're All Ears challenge, I found those two chandelier crystals. I thought it would be fun to make them into a chainmaille pendant... and so I did.
Again, I used 18 gauge 3/16" aluminum rings... and matching lightweight aluminum chain from my stash. As far as the design goes--I just kind of played around and came up with it. I'm sure there's an actual name for what I made, but I still haven't found it. (Maybe the box weave?) Regardless, it was really fun to just experiment. After all, that is one of the ways that I learn best. :)
The idea for this necklace actually came from one of my new beading friends, who sent me the photographed instructions via Facebook messenger. It is essentially a variation of Japanese 12-in-2 made to look like a snowflake. (The inspiration article is credited to Rebeca Mojica, so I am going to credit her with the idea.)
I made the pendant using 18 gauge 5/32" aluminum rings paired with matching tiny jump rings from my stash. I then decided to pair the pendant with clear faceted glass and chain--adding the wire-wrapped links that seem to be part of my signature style.
...I really, really like the final result.
I couldn't let this challenge go by without attempting to make a full necklace of Byzantine weave. I love the way that this weave looks, and it's considered pretty beginner-friendly.
...It would have been nice, however, if I hadn't run out of rings before I finished it. Hah!
It is made with the aforementioned 18 gauge 5/32" aluminum rings... with a few 18 gauge 1/8" aluminum rings at the end. Essentially, the smaller rings are placeholders until my next shipment of 5/32" rings comes in. If you look really closely, you can see where I switch weaves near the clasp.
All in all, though, this necklace came together like a dream--albeit a dream where I ran out of materials. :)
So, first things first: this necklace was made from a kit that I purchased some time ago from Mhai o Mhai beads (which is also, incidentally, where most of my rings were purchased). I don't know if it's available any more, so I'm super glad that I bought it when I did.
It is, essentially, a variation of the captured bead weave that I showed earlier. I really, really like how it turned out... and, again, I really like the combination of the chainmaille with the wrapped links. It's always fun taking a new skill and melding it with my signature aesthetic.
...And now, it's time for the grand finale. I did some research and chose my favorite advanced weave, and gave it a try. And I actually had success! Yay!
I present: dragonscale chainmaille.
It was made with 18 gauge 9/32" rings and 18 gauge 3/16" rings, all made from aluminum.
I love this bracelet. I like how it looks, I like that I was able to figure out how to make it. I'm sure that there are ways that I can improve... I'm still working on closing my rings perfectly, and I'm sure it would look better with smaller rings. But I was able to do it! And for a chainmaille novice, I think that's pretty cool. :)
So, there you go! Those are the pieces that I made for this month's challenge. I really did enjoy myself, and I look forward to playing around with chainmaille even more in the New Year. I like the rhythm that goes into opening and closing the rings, into building the weave one piece at a time. I don't think I'm going to switch over to the chainmaille exclusively--but there are so many possibilities in incorporating it in what I already do! :)
Thank you so much for joining me today--and for this year. I really appreciate all of my readers, and I'm so glad that you're part of my jewelry-making journey.
Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to a beautiful year to come!