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Book Review- Classic Chain Mail Jewelry
Sue Ripsch's Classic Chain Mail Jewelry is a lovely book that focuses on classic chain mail patterns made as jewelry pieces.
The introduction has information about the history, the supplies you'll need and good organization techniques for supplies. It also covers some basic techniques like how to make an eye pin, how to open and close jump rings and how to do a crimp.
The project information includes the size of the rings you'll need, and how many rings you'll need per inch of chain. The book is separated into chapters based on the weaves. They begin with a basic bracelet made in the weave, then go into variations which use beads, different sized rings or rings made with different kinds of wire to create new looks.
All the projects are gorgeously photographed so you can see the detail of the chains, and the steps are shown well. Wonderful slinky bracelets and bold necklaces, mostly done in sterling silver.
This book is a good resource for people who just learning how to knit chain mail, or people who know the basics but want to expand on that. The projects are inspiring and satisfying. Some of the earrings can be made in an evening. The bracelets and necklaces will take a bit more time.
There was an unexpected reaction to this book in my family. My dad, who mostly doesn't look at my jewelry making or beading books did look through this one, and really liked some of the bracelets. So they have a cross generational appeal in my family. My son also really likes it.
My favorite projects are the Rosary which creates knotted look stations with jump rings and the Romanov projects which combine Byzantine chain with crystals to make bold pieces that are wearable with anything.
Since making chain this way is a cold forming method, and you can buy jump rings already cut, chain mail is a great addition to metal working skills. Even cooler, it has appeal for young men as well. It's time consuming and takes practice but the finished result is well worth the time. The author suggests sterling rings for most of the projects in this book, but you can buy copper, steel and other less expensive metals for practicing. Blue Buddha Boutique carries jump rings in many colors, diameters, gauges and metals.
You can get this book directly from Kalmbach Publishing Co., your local bead or book store, or below from Amazon.com (affiliate link)
Affiliate links in an article provide extra income to me personally. I provide them both as a service and as a way to help fund my own book addiction.
Kalmbach Publishing Co. provided this review copy of Classic Chain Mail Jewelry to me free of charge.
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