Chain Maille Essentials

Course Description

About this course

Chain maille is an ancient art form originally used to create garments that are worn for protection by warriors from Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia. Modern approaches use these classical patterns of cold-connected jump rings for sculpture and jewelry. For these non-traditional applications, hundreds of new patterns have been invented. Our chain maille classes and workshops teach students how to transform some of these classic patterns of connected rings into striking pieces of jewelry.

This three-week class focuses on teaching students how to create three essential chain maille weaves, Byzantine, European 4-in-1, and Half Persian 3-in-1. Numerous chain maille weave patterns are based on these weaves, as they present a foundational framework for the process. 

Designed for chain maille novices, each class will include a lecture covering basic chain maille concepts (working with jump rings – opening, closing, trouble-shooting), tool tips, aspect ratio, purchasing jump rings, and care of chain maille.  As it takes practice to develop plier grip and achieve clean closures, it is recommended that new chain maille students delay working in precious metals until they develop good form.  Therefore, anodized aluminum jump rings, in colors that resemble oxidized metal, will be used in class. However, working with precious metals will also be discussed.

Each kit will contain enough jump rings to complete the three bracelets, with plenty left over for making additional jewelry or exploring design variations demonstrated in class.  Students will receive a detailed color handout documenting each step of the process so that they can recreate these pieces at home.

This class is intended to establish a solid foundation in the art of chain maille for students with no prior chain maille experience.

Meet the Instructor

Karen Karon

Jewelry designer and author, Karen Karon, has been “connecting jump rings” since 2006. She teaches chain maille classes and workshops here at Metalwerx, at local venues, and also provides private chain maille instruction. In addition, Karen is a certified PMC (Precious Metal Clay) artisan. Karen has written articles for Art Jewelry, Bead Style and Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazines and is the author of two books on chain maille, Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop and Advanced Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop, both published by Interweave.  Her chain maille jewelry is available at Alchemy 9.2.5, a contemporary jewelry and fine craft gallery in Belmont, MA.  See Karen’s work on her website (karenkaron.com), or visit her on Facebook

Materials & Tools 

There is a $125 materials fee for this workshop that is payable upon registration. The materials kit includes over 2000 jump rings needed to make three bracelets and numerous other pieces of jewelry in 18g. The kit also contains appropriate findings needed for closures. In addition, students will receive an extensive 55 page color handout documenting each step of the process so that they can recreate these designs at home.  

Students should bring 

Metalwerx has pliers and optivisors available for use during class, but we request that students who already have them bring them to class.

  • 2 pairs of pliers with smooth jaws. NOTE: the instructors feels that flat nose pliers are best suited for chain maille, but students can use what they are most comfortable with.
  • optivisors (if needed)
  • bead mat (optional)

Tuition

$395.00 $375.25
5% discount until April 21

Materials Cost

$125.00

Instructor

Karen Karon

Dates

May 21 -June 4, 2020

Weekly on Thursday

Time

10:00 AM -4:00 PM

Length

3 weeks

Level 
Beginner
Make-up dates 
June 11
Location 
Metalwerx
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