Sunday, June 21, 2009

Presenting MikiCat Designs!

This week in our regular ArtFire Chainmaille Guild member feature we are meeting MikiCat Designs. I will turn you over to her and see what she has to say.

1) How long have you been a Chainmailler?
I only started designing jewelry in September 2008. Less than a year ago and almost immediately, I became enamored with Chainmaille and now I love it.

2) Why do you like Chainmaille?
I find it soothing and comforting. There’s something about connecting simple rings and creating anything from a chain to sculptures to fabric that is both fascinating and compulsive. It’s one thing I can do comfortably in my studio, on the couch or even in bed... Though you do have to make sure to check the bed for escapees before you decide to go to sleep. (ouch)

3) What is your favourite type of ring?
I don’t think I can say to have a favorite. I tend to work mostly in silver and gold-filled, but I’m becoming partial to niobium as a strong alternative. Aluminum offers so many beautiful colors and is so lightweight but also tends to mar easily.

4) What kind of items do you prefer to make?
Right now I prefer to make jewelry. It’s quick, easy and gives me almost instant gratification. But I am looking forward to trying my hand at larger chainmaille pieces and have an idea for a shawl I’d like to try.

5) Which weave would you like to learn that you don’t currently know?
Full and flat Persian. As noted, I’m a beginner and have only mastered a few weaves. Japanese weaving being the easiest. But the Persian weaves are drawing me and I plan on learning those next.

6) Which piece are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the first Japanese weave earrings I mastered. I used red and purple aluminum rings and every time I go out with my Red Hat Society friends, I wear them. They’re also the first chainmaille earrings I sold. I also did a happy dance when I finally learned Byzantine. Does that count?

7) What advice would you give to someone who was considering doing Chainmaille?
Patience, patience, patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your mastery of chainmaille weaving. Like anything, the more you practice, play, work with the rings, the better and faster you get. You learn for yourself where and how it’s most comfortable for you, the tools you prefer and exactly how much pressure to put on the rings so as not to mar them, or whether or not to wrap your pliers in tape or Tool Magic. My other advice would be to take lots of breaks. Especially when you’re first starting out. You’ll be doing things with your hands that they are not accustomed to doing. I learned the hard way that you can waste a week with sore hands if you don’t take frequent breaks. LOL

Fabulous! Thanks so much for answering the questions! Drop by MikiCat Designs on ArtFire and see more of her fabulous creations.

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