|Four jump rings and two paper clips later, the beginnings of my Dubious spiral chain!|
Well, I finally did it. I finally sat down with pliers and a million little jump rings and did chain maille. And I survived!
If you’ve been reading Jewelry Making Daily for awhile, you know that I’ve resisted chain maille every time I had to, not because I don’t like it (in fact, I’m kind of in awe of it and those of you who do it), but because I simply don’t have the patience for it. Super detailed, “commitment” crafts like hand quilting, chain maille, bead weaving . . . they’re gorgeous and impressive but simply not for me. Or so I thought.
|Stage one, above, and stage two, below, of my Dubious chain-maille weave. And no, that’s not blood on my desk–my chain-maille adventure was totally painless!|
Turns out, chain-maille jewelry doesn’t have to take forever (or even days and days) to make. In fact, some chain-maille projects can be completed in minutes (as I learned from our new chain-maille eBook last Friday). Minutes, I tell you! I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes . . . and done it with my own two fidgety little hands.
But I digress. So when I saw that we had another new chain-maille DVD coming out, I knew I was going to have to actually make some this time. I didn’t want to take the “easy” way out and make a chain-maille project with just a few links, either, not with all of you watching! So I decided I’d do honest-to-goodness chain, made from a real chain-maille weave. (Here’s where you say “ohh” and “ahh.” Ha!)
I called on our Facebook friends for encouragement, and great tips rolled in. Lyenne reminded me to open the jump rings before I began so I wouldn’t have to start and stop. That simply hadn’t occurred to me and it was truly helpful advice, because my progress was so slow at first, stopping to open each jump ring one by one would have surely derailed me. Another JMD Facebook friend, Francesca, encouraged me to take my time and be sure to close all of my jump rings very well as I went along so I wouldn’t have to go back later and try to fix them. Also great advice! (Thank you ladies and everyone else who responded!)
|Scott uses large, colored jump rings to show how to link the jump rings together before showing you the steps using regular (tri-color, even) jump rings, all of which was very helpful to a beginner like me and would be, I’m sure, helpful to anyone learning a new weave for the first time or even watching for a refresher.|
In addition to smart tips and encouraging words, I was also armed with a great new instructional video, Scott David Plumlee’s second chain-maille DVD, Make Chain Maille Jewelry! Vol. 2: Flower, Dubious, and Inca Puño Chains. After watching Scott’s first chain-maille DVD, I wrote (in My Great Chain-Maille Adventure, Part One last month) about how soothing and calm his voice is–which went a long way in coaxing me into trying chain maille. The same goes for his newest DVD, Make Chain Maille Jewelry! Vol. 2, too; my frustrations and impatience were tempered by his quiet instructions. That’s not the kind of feature you’ll find listed on a DVD jacket, for sure, but it was very helpful to me!
I decided to do the Dubious chain-maille weave, since I liked the look of it and Scott mentions in the video that he named it. I was so happy to be able to pause and rewind, pause and rewind! Being completely new to chain maille jewelry making, I think I needed a little more help than most folks might have, and I was able to get that by watching parts of the DVD over and over until my little jump rings and paper clips looked like Scott’s! He turned his into earrings, but I’m going to keep going on mine to see how far I can go.
I also learned that it’s not such a painfully slow process–this particular Dubious weave wasn’t, at least, because I felt like I was making progress fairly quickly, and now I won’t be so intimidated about trying other chain-maille weaves in the future. So if you’re considering venturing into chain maille for the first time or if you’ve done it before and are ready for more projects or refresher instructions, I’d recommend Scott David Plumlee’s new chain-maille DVD, Make Chain Maille Jewelry! Vol. 2: Flower, Dubious, and Inca Puno Chains.