Monday, May 9, 2016

Jean reviews New Connections in Chain Mail Jewelry with Rubber and Glass Rings by Kat Wisniewski

This novel book leads the way to a new, fun direction in chain mail weaving. The author employs traditional jump rings, made of various metals, primarily anodized aluminum, and aluminum. She then weaves her projects to include closed rubber and glass rings. The results are pretty, unique, and colorful! In her introduction, she writes that her goal with New Connections in Chain Mail Jewelry  is to present chain mail, her favorite craft, as "approachable, fun, and modern, with a hint of elegance." Each project clearly reflects how well she has succeeded in accomplishing this goal.

Basics, tools, and techniques begin the book. Even such details as how to care and clean your jewelry after you have made it is included.
The projects are suited to all levels of jewelry makers, which means that you can get your rings on right off the bat, even if you have never tried chain mail before. For example, the first offering, "Looped Earrings" is very simple yet extremely pretty. It requires two sizes of glass rings, some aluminum rings and some tiny colored steel rings. You can change the colors to change the look of these earrings in a snap. It is a great way to start off the book!
If you like chic bracelets, wait until you see the "Decadent Confection Bracelet". Made of aluminum rings, Czech glass, and Muyuki seed beads, this is uber cool, with lots of movement and the deep shine of the colors of bronze and silver. It is fabulous. There is also a variation, which is a super earring design, or a pendant, for the reader to try.
If you want to go for the rubber rings, check out the "Oracle Pendant". Shaped like a flat, open flower, the largest ring in the center is rubber, surrounded by luminous Czech rings in Green Iris attached using black anodized aluminum. So pretty, and the variation shown is just as lovely. The authors suggests trying earrings in smaller sizes to go with this one. This would make a super gift for a friend. As with many of these projects, it's easy on the budget.
If you like necklaces, there is a striking scalloped shaped necklace like nothing I have ever seen before. The colors used for the project are silver, from the aluminum rings which create the scallop shape, enameled red copper rings in a smaller size, light red Czech glass rings, and small black rings. This is a gorgeous piece to be proud of if you decide to make it!

A lovely, soothing green bracelet for lovers of the wide, cuff like look is another project which appealed to me. Called the "Crosscut Bracelet", it is woven in a similar manner to the necklace just mentioned (the Japanese method), however the look ends up totally different as it is wider. It is made using Czech peridot glass rings and Miyuki seed beads in magic golden olive-lined crystal, with silver colored aluminum jump rings. It is a pour of spring-like soft green color for your wrist. The fabulous color option shown is primarily in blue glass and breathtaking.

If you would really like a fun bracelet, try the "Lock & Twist Bracelet" . You will be working with a lot of colored jump rings, which are very flexible and used to the max here. They fold, twist, and are attached together with shiny anodized aluminum, creating a clasp-less bangle you can just roll onto your wrist. The color variations the author shows are fabulous. The reader will be able to have a great time making tons of these bracelets in a rainbow of colors! They may look complicated, but as with the other projects, they aren't. The author has made each jewelry piece easy to understand and the photos are great.

There are lots more jewelry designs to explore in New Connections in Chain Mail Jewelry by
Kat Wisniewski, however I hope I have given you an idea of what awaits you if you want to try this book out. I think it is fabulous. I say, go for this one, one hundred percent!


Elemental Art Jewelry said...

Thank you for the great review Jean! I'm happy you are enjoying the book and I appreciate your thoughtful and thorough review. Please feel free to shoot me any thoughts or questions as you work your way through the projects!


Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

I totally enjoyed every single project--thank you! It was a complete pleasure to review your wonderful book!

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

How very clever - what a cool way to give a funky look to such a classic as chain maille.

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

I agree Eileen and I thoroughly recommend this book! LOVE it!