Chain Maille: Orc Weave for Bracelets and Earrings

Course Description

About this course

Chain maille is a two thousand-year-old art form originally used to create garments worn for protection by warriors from Europe, the Middle East and the Orient. 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 workshop teaches two related weaves, Orc Weave (by Laura Hepworth) and Gridlock Orc, through the construction of an Orc Weave bracelet and a pair of Gridlock Orc earrings in sterling silver.  Each student will receive enough supplies to make one pair of heart-shaped or diamond-shaped earrings and a bracelet approximately 8” in length, as well as aluminum jump rings to practice skills. 

This class is will include some weaving with small jump rings in tight spaces, therefore it is designed for intermediate to advanced level chain maille students. It is assumed that all students who enroll are proficient weavers, know the difference between Through-the-Eye and Around-the-Eye connections, and understand gauge, inner/outer diameter, and aspect ratio. For potential students who are interested but don'tmeet the pre-requisites, please contact us so we can help!

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 (, or visit her on Facebook

Materials & Tools 

There is a $120 material fee payable upon registration.  It includes sterling silver jump rings to produce a pair of heart-shaped or diamond-shaped earrings as well as a bracelet approximately 8” in length.  The kit also contains appropriate findings and aluminum jump rings to practice skills before working in silver.  In addition, students will receive a 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. Please 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)



Materials Cost



Karen Karon


November 22, 2019


10:00 AM -5:00 PM


1 day

Intermediate and above
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