Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Introducing Venus In Chains!

In recent times the ArtFire Chainmaille Guild has had a few new members join. As we do with all our members, we asked them a whole lot of questions so we can all get to know them just a little better.
This week we are introducing Victoria from Venus In Chains. So let's go and find out more about Victoria.

1) How long have you been a Chainmailler? - About 20 years! I started when I was a kid. I got really interested in Chainmaille from going to Renaissance Festivals, and I was fortunate enough to receive some mentoring from the really talented craftsmen and women at the Faire. From there, I just practiced, practiced, practiced until I mastered some of the basic weaves and could start designing my own.

2) Why do you like Chainmaille? - I find it very relaxing. I read once that doing a repetitive task is a form of self-hypnosis, sort of akin to meditating. I really believe that to be true, because making chainmaille has always helped me to relax and focus my thoughts. Sometimes, all I need to do in order to solve a difficult problem is just lose myself in a piece of chainmaille for a few hours.

3) What is your favourite type of ring? - 4mm 22 gauge silver plated round :) It's a totally versatile ring that I can use in many different patterns. It's especially great for variations of Japanese Chainmaille, which is my favorite.

4) What kind of items do you prefer to make? - Honestly, I think there is nothing more fun than making a chainmaille bra or bikini top. Not just because the item itself is fun and different, but also because it is a complex shape. I find it is a real engineering challenge to create just the right balance of strength and flexibility necessary to construct a bra or bikini top. I spend a lot of time working out not only the pattern but exactly the right size and gauge of rings for my chainmaille bras and bikini tops.

5) Which weave would you like to learn that you dont currently know? - Byzantine. For some reason, that one has always been a mystery to me.

6) Which piece are you most proud of? - I think I am most proud of my "A Celebration Lariat Necklace." I almost feel like its a combination of Japanese Chainmaille with the base of round jumprings laid side-by-side and Plate Armor with the massive amount of Swarovski Crystalized Elements attached to it. That piece weighs a ton and feels like it could stop a bullet, but is still feminine and fashionable!

7) What advice would you give to someone who was considering doing Chainmaille? - Get some cheap, base metal rings and practice. Practice opening and closing jumprings. And find the type of pliers that feel right for you. Some people use a jumpring tool. I personally use two pairs of pliers (one flat nose, one pointed nose) but you need to find what feels comfortable in your hands.

Thank you so much for answering our questions Victoria, and welcome to the ArtFire Chainmaille Guild.


Candy said...

Your work is gorgeous Venus. I love the way you add the crystals. I have never seen montees (chatons?) added like that and I am sure that your work will inspire me to improve my own techniques.

All Blessings,

The ChainMaille Lady said...

Absolutly Gorgeous!! I love the Swarovski lariat.