Intimidated by Chainmaille?

It has been suggested to me that people are intimidated by chainmaille, thinking it must be heavy and utilitarian, not a jewelry art. I would like to gently say ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Chainmaille (or chainmail, if you prefer) has grown far beyond the armor worn centuries ago. (Although some artisans make that kind of thing as well.) There are dozens of basic weave patterns, and hundreds of variations. Maille can be made with many materials, from gold and silver to copper and aluminum. Maille rings can be found in virtually any color you can imagine, and a skilled artist can combine colors and materials to produce unique items that will truly amaze.

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An example of the dense full Persian chain, done in pure copper. A dense chain like this is rather more masculine, although a woman can easily wear it as well.

Some women fear that maille will be too bulky or masculine, but this is simply not true. There are many maille weaves that produce a beautiful, delicate, intricate product that is just right for feminine wearers. Conversely, there are some weaves that provide a strong masculine feel, perfect for men who want to elevate their style. And there are plenty of weaves that are unisex, that is that they will complement any wearer.

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Parallel weave done with brass and green colored copper rings. Parallel weave is generally unisex.

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This tiny jens pins spiral weave in pink, with a crown charm, is obviously quite feminine.

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These half Persian bracelets are unisex as well, and their understated profile makes them perfect for the workplace.

Maille is, almost by definition, a very strong construct, and will stand up to anything you put it through. There are some delicate weaves that need special care, but even they are strong and unlikely to break.

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This variation of jens pind weave is an experiment gone right. It is chunky and fun, a bold statement piece.

I like chainmaille because it is always different. Each weave has a personality, and I am always discovering new ways to use these weaves for different effects. I love to combine colors and examine the interlocking rings as they form shapes.

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Another example of parallel weave, with a rainbow of connecting links. One of my favorite pieces ever; truly a joy to make.

Basically, whatever style or profile you are looking for, you can find it with chainmaille. Flat, round, thick, thin, delicate, or dense, your weave is out there. And available in any colors that you wish to use!

All items pictured above (along with many others) are available for purchase in my Etsy shop: merricontrari.etsy.com. Come browse and see what you have been missing.

(PS to all my loyal readers: I joined Instagram! My user name is merricontrari, of course. Come by and see what I’m up to!)

Workin like a dog

I’ve been working like crazy on my etsy shop. Learned several new weaves and made a bunch of stuff. Been working on posting them.
So far, a few looks but not much else. Feeling disheartened. Marketing is hard. Watch out, Pinterest, instagram, and twitter. Here I come…

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My favorite new item. Rainbow chainmaille in support of marriage equality. I had so much fun making these. Very satisfying.

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A special order.

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I made several of these adorable charm bracelets. And they are priced at what I consider to be “rock bottom.”

You know the drill: check it all out at my shop, merricontrari.etsy.com. SHELLS is my active coupon right now, for 15% off. :)

Look what I’m working on again

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TARDIS

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I’m so stinkin proud of this. I stitched the details on freehand. :)

A few baubles

Just dropping in to share some photos from my Faire costuming. I found these as I was sorting through a big pile of jewelry.

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Please forgive the poor lighting. Here you see a “rosary” which I am very unhappy with. The cross is broken and poorly fixed, from an old necklace.
The key is pretty simple, wrapped with a bit of wire and attached to a purchased chain. I actually wear this from time to time.
Likewise with this giant red pendant. I like the heavy chain it’s on as well.

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This was fun. I was going for a pirate look, as if I had gathered a dozen souvenirs from my adventures and strung them idly on some wire. The necklace itself is actually made with fishing tackle. The bits hanging around are a handful of random things like a pair of pretty wooden buttons, a dragonfly that broke off a hairpin, and other jewelry box detritus.
The tackle is a little uncomfortable, but I’m happy with the overall effect.

I’ve been making lots more stuff for my shop, and I’m excited to share them with you! If you’re looking for Valentines, look for a special themed shop section soon!!

Pink and Red

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Look out Valentine’s Day. Here I come.

Name Tapes

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Tonight’s sewing project.

Back to Work

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On a Secret Project!

Holiday Crafting

Happy holidays everyone!
We finally got seasonal weather up here in the North Country, and the weather today was positively delightful, so we went out and played in the snow. Missy and Charlie (the dog) had a ton of fun.

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Missy and I built this baby snowman. “The snowman” asked us to build his dad, but the snow wasn’t packing well so we will try again soon.

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We went on a quest for a sled, which were nearly sold out everywhere. We did find one though, and Missy played with it a little. Tomorrow if the weather is nice we will go to the hill.

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We did inside stuff too! I made a big batch of gingerbread, and we went to town with icings and sprinkles.

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We made a lot of them. ;)

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I also made a gingerbread house! We put tree and man cookies outside on the lawn, too. There’s also a couple pies lurking in my kitchen, and a fruitcake in the oven.

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Last but not least, check out these stockings! I made them! I’m really proud of them.

I truly hope you are all safe and happy and warm tonight, and every night. Happy holidays if you are celebrating, and joy to all the world.

Just a glimpse

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I’m about to cut into these lovely fabrics to make new stockings. We have been cleaning and organizing like craaaazy the last couple days. Its been one of those years where I have just constantly been behind schedule, so I am thankful for a chance to catch up on all the clutter and start 2013 fresh and clean.

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