Well, much as I secretly suspected, having splurged out and bought several Lindstrom pliers, the Rolls-Royce brand among pliers, I have become obsessed by making chain maille again. I could wax lyrical about my Lindstrom pliers, but that would look a little nerdy, so I won’t. But, I must say that they are very nice pliers.

Chain maille. Time-consuming. Finicky. Nerdy? You want nerdy? Then you should try chain maille. “Monnikenwerk” as the Dutch would call it (Monks’ tasks, think of them copying and illustrating those incredibly detailed bibles).

What does chain maille involve? Going from metal wire to a set of earrings involves:
– winding the wire around a mandrel to create a spiral of uncut rings
– cutting the rings. You can cut them by hand with a jeweller’s saw, or easier, using a ring/coil cutter.
– tumbling the freshly cut rings to remove any burrs
– weaving the rings into the chosen design
– tumbling the finished object until it sparkles and shines

I now have several earring designs, most of which I came up with myself, though I have to admit that I “borrowed” a couple of ideas.

I figured that if nothing else I would end up with a bunch of earrings for myself. To my delight the designs appeal to a lot of people.

Chain maille earrings - Slinky

Anyway here is my favourite, I call in “Slinky”. The weave (or pattern) is called European 4-in-1. When you think of chain maille (if indeed you actually ever thought about it), then this is the weave that you are probably familiar with. It is the weave that was used in medieval chain maille armour, at least here in Europe, hence the “European”. And the “4-in-1” comes from the fact that every inner ring is joined to four other rings.

The earrings measure about 7 cm from the top of the ear wire. The rings that I’ve used here are tiny, there are 75 rings per earring. The tiny rings and close weave mean that these earrings almost feel like metal silk. Very slinky and fine.


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