Monday, February 15, 2010

New venture

One of my friends and I are starting a new business. Well, same business but with a different direction. Pam and I have been making jewelry for quite a while and decided to join forces to focus on Chain Maille. We both love making Chain Maille but have not had much luck with some of the ways we have tried to sell our pieces. People are very supportive. Some have already purchased many pieces. Some love what we make but can not afford more or tell us: "I'm really not a jewelry person"

Anyhow, we know there are people out there who like what we make and will buy from us but we need to find more of them. We have been putting our heads together and our first step was to join forces. It turns out that our skills and special interests seem to work together very well.

I love to work with Picasa and the above "collage" is the results of one of Picasa's features. Amazing isn't it? Not exactly sure how it will be used. Our new logo is in the middle with some of our designs around it. The logo is still a work in progress but pretty good so far.

We decided to call ourselves "Ring by Ring Designs". The phrase Chain Maille is not as well known (we found out)People think of armor. The Ring by Ring part is the way our pieces are made: ring by ring. Does it make sense to you?

Anyhow, we are off and running working on brochures, business cards, and a new web site. Our plan is also to sell to local jewelry stores. We are fortunate to live in an area that has some good ones. It will take lots of work but we are excited to get going.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Jens Pind Chain Maille Bracelet

You may have read my recent post about having trouble with the Jens Pind Chain Maille weave.

I explained that while it has a reputation of being a difficult weave, it is really just a single spiral weave. Easier said than done. However, I was determined to really learn the weave. I persevered and finished the bracelet in my previous post.

Then I wrote to Aislyn at and explained that I had lost my original tutorial and was having trouble making the weave. Aislyn, nice lady that she is, sent me a new copy.

So, without struggling, I made another one. I used some large rings (10 mm) to make a 5 ring mobius focal and call it "Five Silver Rings" At least that is what I call it now. Subject to change as time goes by.

A special thanks to Aislyn at Urban

B and
I'm always open to suggestions for names for my pieces. Anyone?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Parallel Rose Pendant with copper rings

I love to make Chain Maille. I especially like it when I make something different. This pendant is about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. It really is not new. I teach a class at Beadcache in Mansfield, MA on a similar pendant.

Both are made from the Parallel or Helm weave. It makes a nice bracelet too. By making a piece long enough and then joining the ends, you get a nice pendant.

With the new design, I added twisted copper rings for color and used the large rings I had left over from the Emerald Isle bracelet I recently made. I love to use left overs. It was a bit challenging to get the right size rings to go with the large ones and I had to add a middle size ring in the center to stabilized the whole thing with very small connecting rings.

I really have not decided on a chain to use yet. I had a nice silver chain that shows in the picture but I'm thinking about a black cord or maybe a leather cord. Somehow the thin silver chain does not seem in proportion with the large pendant. Maybe a thicker silver chain? Oh, the possibilities.

Any suggestions?

B and

Friday, February 5, 2010

Jens Pind Chain Maille Bracelet

Jens Pind has the reputation of being a challenging weave to learn. In reality it is a simple spiral with a small aspect ratio. A fancy word for a small hole in the ring. Without a small aspect ratio the weave unwinds and isn't pretty.

I had ordered a tutorial and rings for Jens Pind from Urban Maille awhile ago. I still have the beautiful bracelet I made. I decided recently to make one with smaller rings. The first one was made with 12 gauge rings. (Check out my previous post about it) Beautiful but heavy. I even had the appropriate ring sizes on hand.

I hunted for the tutorial with no luck. It is no where to be found. So, I checked out the Internet for tutorials and found a few but neither, though very clear ;-), helped me to get the weave. So, I decided to try on my own using the "just a single spiral" definition. To my surprise, with a few false starts and back ups I had made a Jens Pind bracelet. See the above picture.

I really like it. Goes with everything and is special with the little heart I had in my stash of supplies.

THEN, a friend wanted me to show her how. We worked a bit here at my house while doing other things but she said when she go home couldn't do it. Just didn't "get it". I offered to come over tomorrow to help.

I had some left over 12 gauge rings and last night I started a small chain. No problem. HOWEVER, today, I decided I'd start another piece so I'd be sure I could show her. I couldn't do it for the life of me. I looked up the online tutorials again and still no go. I tried the 16 gauge. No luck. I put it aside and this afternoon, success. I'm determined to really learn how to do this weave! ! !

I now have about 3 - inch long pieces. Starting is the hardest part so I started several pieces.

I'll soon have lots of Jens Pind earrings on hand!

It may be a mental thing. You know if you think it is hard, it is. But I don't know. The reputation may be very true.

Any of you had good luck making Jens Pind?

B and

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Emerald Isle Bracelet

I've been wanting to include some crystals with Chain Maille patterns. There are several books out there (I have them) and I'm always looking for new patterns.

I found this one with a v e r y long name. "Staggered Corduroy with Japanese overlay and crystals." Whew! It is really a combination of two patterns.
The name "Emerald Isle" is an attempt to shorten the name. Plus it does look like an Emerald Isle. Of course the bracelet can be made with many different colors and then, I guess, I'll have to come up with new names.

Here is the bracelet half way through adding on the Japanese overlay part. The pattern isn't very hard but the orientation of the rings seemed to be very important to get it right. Took me awhile to "get it".

The tutorial I used was from an old Bead and Button magazine. (Never throw those out) Actually I downloaded it from their web site (for a small fee). It is handy to have that ability. They gave an editor's suggestion of adding smaller beads on each side of the larger crystals. They show up when you look at the back of the bracelet. My bracelets never stay put so that is a good idea.

So, what other colors would you like to see in the bracelet? I've had one request for sapphire so far.

B and