Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Introducing Treasures by Merry

It is time once again to introduce you to one of the newer members of the ArtFire Chainmaille Guild. This week it is Merry from Treasures by Merry.

1) How long have you been a Chainmailler? My adventure in chainmaille actually started a few years ago. We had been to a local Renaissance Fair where my husband fell in love with a chainmaille shirt. It was wwwaaaaayyyyy more money than we could spend so I said "I can make that" (famous last words and all). I bought a chainmaille book at the book store, hubby made a wooden thing to hold spools of wire and brought me some wire from his shop. He also bought some wire cutters and made a couple of metal dowels. The problem was that the wire was a very large gauge and I had a hard time wrapping and cutting it. Disillusionment set in and I quite messing with it totally. About 6 months ago I started making wire wrapped jewelry and in finding information on that topic I was re-introduced to chainmaille! Only now I had more knowledge on gauge, wire hardness and the various tools. So I found a makeshift dowel (I think it was a large allen wrench), made up some rings and soon had some earrings!! I still have a LOT to learn about chainmaille and consider myself to be on the early side of being a newbie but I am hooked!!
2) Why do you like Chainmaille? Chainmaille appeals to me for many reasons. I think it is an absolutely beautiful and versatile art form. It is amazing to me that you can use this knowledge and these materials to make armor that protects you and beautiful jewelry that adorns you. The possibilities and the weaves seem to be endless! The more I learn the more I realize there is to learn. I love taking a bunch of loose rings and within a little while I convert them into something beautiful!
3) What is your favourite type of ring? I have used aluminum, copper and enameled copper to make rings. I think the enameled copper is my favorite right now (of course that may change tomorrow!). I am making my own rings so I love the colors I can get the enameled copper in and I find it easy to work with.
4) What kind of items do you prefer to make? I currently am enjoying making jewelry. I have made some bracelets but mostly earrings for now. Hubby has asked for a chainmaille shirt so I'll try my hand at that some time in the future.
5) Which weave would you like to learn that you don't currently know? Weaves, weaves, weaves and more weaves!! They all look so amazing and I just want to try them all! I'm looking forward to making a Dragonscale weave bracelet for my sister next.
6) Which piece are you most proud of? Why don't you just ask me to pick my favorite child!! Just joking. I do love all the pieces I've made but I think the copper earrings (listed on my Artfire page simply as chainmaille earrings in copper) are what I'm most proud of because they were my first!
7) What advice would you give to someone who was considering doing Chainmaille? I would say learn all you can but never think you've learned it all! Get some decent tools and dive in head first!! And above all....have fun with it.
Thank you for sharing with us Merry and welcome to the ArtFire Chainmaille Guild

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Masculine Maille

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Introducing Westminter Studios

It is time to introduce another of our newer Chainmaille Guild members. This week we are meeting Westminster Studios. Let's see how she tackled our questions.

1) How long have you been a Chainmailler? Not long, I fell in love with it this summer and find myself incorporating chainmaille design into my jewelry making whenever I can.  I'm new to chainmaille but am learning new techniques all the time and really enjoy it.

2) Why do you like Chainmaille? I'm an Art teacher by day and have always enjoyed methodical and meticulous types of art and craft.  In the art realm, I love techniques like stippling and in the craft world I really enjoy crochet.  Chainmaille has a similar meticulous nature that I really enjoy.  It's like knitting with metal.  I'm a very patient person (I have to be as a mother of five lovely children all close in age) and I enjoy and have high appreciation for craft that takes both skill and patience.
3) What is your favourite type of ring? 18 gauge--It's such a flexible size for creating new designs.  I like to make jewelry that has a nice weight to it without becoming overwhelming and I keep coming back to 18 gauge again and again because I love the weight of the finished pieces.

4) What kind of items do you prefer to make? Right now I'm addicted to making bracelets, although I've also got a few necklace designs that I'm in the middle of on my design board.  Because I'm a busy mom and also have a day job, bracelets are fun for me.  I can complete them in a few sittings, in between diaper changes and making dinner.
5) Which weave would you like to learn that you dont currently know? I'd love to learn some three dimensional weaves.  I've seen pictures of chainmaille spheres inside spheres and I just think that's really cool.  I like the geometry of it, but have no idea how to do it myself.

6) Which piece are you most proud of? I have a steampunk vintage bronze colored copper bracelet that I just finished in the Puno weave that I then filed to give it a distressed look and let some of the natural copper show through.  I'm a beginner, so I haven't yet tackled large and complex pieces.  I have a chainmaille flower design of my own making that I'm chaining to create a necklace, but it's only half finished at the moment.  I'm constantly learning and that's a lot of fun for me.

7) What advice would you give to someone who was considering doing Chainmaille? Find some online tutorials, get some scrap wire to practice, and just get started.  You'll learn as you go and it's an interesting challenge.
Thank you so much, and welcome to the guild.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Angles Collection