Monday, April 4, 2016

Jean reviews Play with Chain Mail: 4 Weaves = 20+ Jewelry Designs by Theresa D. Abelew

Wonderful book teaching 4 weaves of chain mail easily and very prettily!

Anyone can make chain mail jewelry using this well organized, clear, and very pretty book by Theresa D. Abelew. What's more, the author is a superstar at weaving with colored rings, as you can see from the cover, so if you love intricate patterns with beautiful color combinations, this might just be the book for you.
The author's excellent instructions, her designs which she has created from the four basic patterns she has chosen to work with, and her dedication to her readers is ever evident.
The book has an introduction by the author which explains, "this book is for the curious beginner". That may be so, but also, the projects range right up to spectacular. Therefore, playing with chain mail, with a teacher like this, is indeed a lot of fun!
The basics section has everything from setups to tools and materials, how to make jump rings, and techniques.
After this come the four main chapters. Each chapter: Rosette/Mobius, Box Chain & Byzantine, European 4-in-1, and Helm Chain, have five projects for the reader to learn.
When I first learned chain mail, it was rare to find anything but silver rings to weave with. That could get very expensive and at times the weaving became a bit boring, even if you loved chain mail as much as I did. Now that we have all these colors (see the cover again, and it only gets better with all the projects offered), the designs have great depth. The woven layers are brought to the fore and become more obvious. With a color expert like the author, the effect is delightful.
Additionally, the new "scales" which go so well with jump rings make an appearance in Play with Chain Mail.They look really dramatic and cool in the "Opposing Forces" Bracelet, for example.
At the end of the book is a very helpful Jump Ring Chart which will show the reader what size and number of rings to order for each project. Easy and super sensible.
I think the the author must be as bright and colorful as her book. This is charming, solid work. If you have never tried chain mail (or even if you have!), I recommend Play with Chain Mail: 4 Weaves = 20+ Jewelry Designs. It is great!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I wonder if I could make a whole chain mail suit...?

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

Yes, you could! "Trust me"--I used to make chain mail a lot. It is a snap and really fun!
jean :)

a lot of people make their own chain mail suits!