Monday, 20 August 2012

Chainmail Jewelry

When you are a creative person, you tend to find it runs in the family, but as far as I know I am the first in my line to make jewelry. My ancestry contains all sorts of tradesmen, but nothing so frou-frou. But my grandmother was an excellent seamstress and knitter, and she taught me both skills when I was very young. I sat on the floor beside her, and watched her work, and asked to learn. I actually learned at her knee, and I'm sure that's how the phrase began.

I then taught my children, in turn, even the boys. It came as no surprise to me then, when my eldest son became interested in chainmail. He has since become an expert, and it wasn't long before his sister followed in his footsteps. Naturally I offered her the chance to sell her creations in my store on eBay, and soon we will have our own website.

I took an interest in their work, of course, but it wasn't until recently that I studied the origins of this craft in any great depth. We all know that chainmail was used as armour many centuries ago. What I was surprised to find, pleasantly surprised I might add, was that it was also used to make jewelry. Examples exist from medieval times of the weaves still in use today. Foolishly, I had assumed this was a modern idea.

For some reason, I like it better knowing it is an old idea. Don't ask me why. I have long admired the work my kids do, but now I see it differently, not just beautiful, but solidly historical, not a fleeting trend.

This weave dates back at least 500 years, for example:

But its name is Byzantine, so it could be older!

The weave used in these earrings is called Romanov, and I can see why. When used with a gemstone it has a distinctly regal look. I can picture these on a lady wearing a tiara and sash, dancing a waltz, can't you? Exquisite.

OK. So I may get a little bit over-excited about my daughter's work, and I do think she's a creative genius. But I confess to being in love with the whole craft, the sumptuous colours....

The simple delicacy of some of the weaves

The flexible nature of the craft

Making virtually anything possible. The only limit is one's imagination, and clearly hers is limitless.

If you would like to see more of her work, you can find it here:

The site we are working on will be ready in time for Christmas: