Believe it or not, I have only been making chainmaille for about 2 months. I was hooked from the first ring.
2) Why do you like Chainmaille?
I have a 2 year old heathen child and am a stay at home mom. When she goes to sleep for her nap and for the night is the only time I really have to myself, and then I have to do housework. Chainmaille is seriously my escape from life. For a couple hours each day I can sit there and concentrate on just one thing and I don't have to worry about the piece I'm working on running off and climbing into the dishwasher when I'm cleaning the kitchen. :)
3) What is your favourite type of ring?
So far, 20g 3/16" and 1/8" seem to be a major part of almost every piece I've made. One of those sizes seem to be needed for everything. But I prefer working with the smaller gauges. The heaviest gauge I've worked with is 16g AA and I got those rings to give my daughter something to play with so I could finish a piece.
I love necklace chains, though I haven't had the time or chance to make many yet. I'm not fond of earrings, but I'm sure chainmaille will start making an appearance when I make them. I like making jewelry because there are so many people out there that think of chainmaille as the E x-1 hauberks and coifs only and they don't really think of it in a jewelry setting, especially in my area.
5) Which weave would you like to learn that you dont currently know?
Viperscale. I've tried it, but as soon as I get a small patch done and set it down, I lose the pattern and it's just a jumble of rings when I come back to it. I've done tiny JPL, which is supposed to be hard, but I can't get viperscale with huge rings. Eventually I may get it, but I'm not holding my breath. LOL
At the moment, my favorite piece is a dragonscale bracelet made with 20g 3/16" and 1/8" (see, those sizes are EVERYWHERE!) copper. It's not quite finished yet since I'm waiting for the clasp to come in the mail, but I love it. I love the weave in general, but this piece in particular because I actually finished it. It's the first bracelet I've made that I cared where the clasp landed on the wrist and hunted for a week for a four-ring copper tube clasp so that it would sit at the bottom of the wrist and showcase just the weave.
7) What advice would you give to someone who was considering doing Chainmaille?
Find a good supplier of rings - one that has consistent quality in cuts and color (if you use anodized rings). If your supplier constantly sends you rings that aren't round or are broken, find another supplier or learn to make your own rings. Get pliers that are made for the material you want to work with. Don't get pansy pliers if you want to work with steel because they'll break. Then, find some great tutorials. There are awesome free ones online, and they come attached to the people who wrote them so you can ask questions to your hearts content, and these people will love to help you. Oh, and learn aspect ratio. AR is one of those necessary evils, but with it you can go far. :)
Thanks Sara, welcome to the ArtFire Chainmaille Guild. Don't forget to check out Sara's creations at Viking Jones Jewelry.