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Chain Maille Books

Updated on September 18, 2014
My own chain maille jewelry
My own chain maille jewelry | Source

Best Chainmail Books On Making Gorgeous Jewelry

Here you will find some of the best chain maille books that are teaching you how to make absolutely stunning, unique pieces of jewelry using nothing more than some wire and two pliers - literally. You can start this new hobby with very low cost involved. Some copper, brass or steel wire are enough to get you started.

If you are intrigued enough to want to learn the art of making chain maille jewelry, the books below will help you not only get started, but also expand your creativity with new waves and patterns and new techniques that can make a piece truly your own.

And let's face it, if you are good enough, you can sell your handcrafted jewelry for some nice money. There are many full time chain mail jewelry designers out there who make a full living from their craft. Talk about playing while working!

Don't forget to bookmark this resource as I am regularly adding new books as they are published. I have been making chain mail jewelry for the last 3-4 years, and I have a passion for collecting chainmail books and creating new pieces based on the gorgeous designs presented in them. Chainmail is all about learning, expanding and becoming the best there is in making handmade jewelry of the highest quality, and these books can help you achieve just that!

Some Of The Chain Maille Books I Have At Home

some of my chain mail books
some of my chain mail books | Source

I have books in eBook format to save space at home (my bookshelves are overflowing as it is), for example Chained is in ePub version, but the books shown here are all in physical paperback or hardcover format - either because I didn't find them in eBook edition or they were just too gorgeous to pass up.

My latest two additions to my collection are the books by Sue Ripsch, Classic Chain Mail Jewelry and Classic Chain Mail Jewelry With A Twist. Awesome books, well worth owning them.

The first book (with the blue cover) is the more typical one which you should get initially, and the one with the red cover has the project based on what you've learned in the first book, it basically builds up from there and the projects are a bit more fancy as well.

Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop - by Karen Karon

Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop: Techniques and Projects for Weaving with Wire is a recent book that I bought on making jewelry using this unique technique. I've never heard of this author before, so I was not quite sure what to expect. However the cover and one of the pages that showed some of the designed presented in the book simply hooked me up. I wanted this book and I got it. And boy was I in for a thrill!

Looking at the beautiful jewelry pictgures, you might be wondering if you can tackle the projects if you've never done jewelry before. I can safely say that the answer is a resounding YES. The author starts from the very basics, discussing about the jump rings that you need (the little rings made out of wire), gives ample explanation on the sizes of wire needed, and also talks about how and where to get the jump rings for your jewelry.

Of course you can also make your own jump rings, and Karen discusses the tools and techniques for it as well (btw, I do make my own jumprings, since for me it's cheaper this way), but for starters it is recommended that you buy already beautifully cut jump rings and start the projects right away.

Next the tools of the trade are discussed, the two pliers that you need, and a few othe extras (not necessary, but as time goes by and you become better and better at it, you will want to add these to your arsenal as well).

Then finally, you get to see the first few projects, which are extremely easy, btw. It starts with simple 1 in 1 rings, 2 in 1, and then 2 in 2 rings. If you've ever done daisy chains as a kid, then you already know how to do the 1 in 1 chain!

From then on, the more you practice, the more complex the weaves are, and the more gorgeous your jewelry projects become.

If you want to learn how to make chain mail jewelry, I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

Chained: Create Gorgeous Chain Mail Jewelry One Ring at a Time - by Rebeca Mojica

Chained: Create Gorgeous Chain Mail Jewelry One Ring at a Time is the book I bought just a few weeks before buying Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop. The book was written by Rebeca Mojica, and I've already heard of her several times, since she is a major part of the online store for chain mail supplies, kits and tutorials called Blue Buddha Boutique. So when I saw that Rebeca launched her new book, I had to grab it.

The main reason for getting the book is the awesome bracelet show in blue above. I haven't gotten yet the time to buy the colored jump rings, else I'd have already made this particular design.

Before going into the projects themselves, Rebeca discusses in depth about the making of jump rings, the various measurements, the used tools and even the finishing touches that make a piece unique. Then the book Chained starts with very simple projects geared towards newcommers to chainmaille jewelry. The photos are so gorgeous that you want to take the pliers in your hands and follow along right now. As the book progresses, so do the projects, to tackle a bit more difficult weaves, which build up on the previous knowledge already achieved.

The main techniques explored here are the Japanese family of weaves - and here the colored jump rings really bring out the beauty of the weaves. Then it goes into the typical byzantine weaves, which are extremely easy for newbies to learn (Japanese is very easy as well). Next it progresses to the helm weaves and it gives directions for some absolutely breathtaking necklaces and bracelets, followed by something called coiled, which I've never seen until now. It does make some interesting combinations, though.

This is one of my very favorite books, however what stops me at the moment from actually doing lots of jewelry from it is the fact that Rebeca is using colored jumprings, and right now I'm still in the pure sterling silver camp. (this is why I do prefer the Chain Mail Jewelry Workshop book at the moment). However if you do have access to a bead store or chain mail store that has rings such as niobium, enameled copper or anodized titanium, then this book is for you!

Chain Mail Used As Armor In The Middle Ages

Chain Mail Used As Armor In The Middle Ages
Chain Mail Used As Armor In The Middle Ages

Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry: Techniques for Creating Dimensional Necklaces and Bracelets - by Scott David Plumley

Handcrafting Chain and Bead Jewelry is the first book by the chain mail artist and author Scott David Plumlee. Since his first book he already published another 3 (with a new one to come in 2013).

This first book is geared towards newbies to chain mail, so if you're just starting out, it's an extremely recommended book. It basically focuses on the byzantine style mostly, a style that is very easy to learn and it has really dramatic effects when worn as a bracelet, earrings or a necklace. The byzantine style lends itself to some very intricate pieces indeed.

David's main technique is byzantine, with the addition of beads and gemstones. He really goes detailed into how to add the beads so you're not left stranded. Although I was very familiar with the byzantine weave by then, I did learn some new things from his book.

Highly recommended to any newcommer to the art of chain maille jewelry!

Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections

Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections: New Techniques for Wire-Wrapping and Bead-Setting
Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections: New Techniques for Wire-Wrapping and Bead-Setting

The second book by Scott David Plumlee is equally beautiful and instructional. In 28 projects he teaches you to make jewelry in weaves such as Byzantine, Flower and Mobius, Dubious, Japanese, Inca Puño, and European, along with the 6 sided snake chain.

If you already have the first book and want to expand on your knowledge with something new that brings your creativity to new heights, this book is a must!

 

Chain Mail Jewelry: Contemporary Designs from Classic Techniques - by Terry Taylor and Dylon Whyte

Chain Mail Jewelry: Contemporary Designs from Classic Techniques is probably the first chain mail book I bought when just starting out with this craft. I do have say though that I had troubles following it at first because in my opinion this book is not for completely newbies - unlike any of the previously mentioned books above.

The projects are simply amazing with gorgeous photography to really showcase the art of chain mail, however the actual instructions are not in the style that helped me right away to make my jewelry. I did need extra help. However once you do know the very basics, this book becomes an invaluable source of inspiration, creativity and learning, because here you can pick up the basics and truly push the envelope.

I have the hard cover version of this book and let me tell you that it's huge! You can even use it as a coffee table book so anyone visiting your home can marvel at the designs shown here.

After the usual basics about the history of chain mail, the tools, jump rings and how to get started, the authors start with the European 4 in 1 pattern, the easiest weave of all. Now the reason why I say that this book is really useful is because the European 4 in 1 weave is extremely easy to learn from any online tutorial. So once you learn the actual pattern, then you can start making the fancy chocker, earrings, bracelet and anklet projects in the book. Some with beads, some without, but all really gorgeous.

Next the book tackles the Japanese weave and it teachs how to make some adorable earrings, necklaces and bracelets which once you know the very basic weave, you can tackle without any problems. I have to tell you, some of the projects here are simply stunning, and I don't say that lightly

Chain and Bead Jewelry Geometric Connections

Chain and Bead Jewelry Geometric Connections: A New Angle on Creating Dimensional Earrings, Bracelets, and Necklaces
Chain and Bead Jewelry Geometric Connections: A New Angle on Creating Dimensional Earrings, Bracelets, and Necklaces

Here Scott David Plumlee goes in a very unique direction with chain mail on making geometric designs in jewelry. Here he shows how the beads and the jump rings can truly reach a new art form, one that hasn't been that much explored before. Perfect if you're only starting out with chain mail jewelry making or if you simply want to learn more and get the next book by David to teach you just that!

 

Beaded Chain Mail Jewelry: Timeless Techniques with a Twist - by Dylon White

Here is the other very popular book by Dylon White, called Beaded Chain Mail Jewelry. I was a bit reluctant to pick up this book after having struggled tadly with the first, but I shouldn't have been. It is an amazing book, one that has truly redeemed itself. The book goes through the basics first, and then it starts with the projects - the part that we all want to read.

You have the 2 in 2 chain variations, the European 4 in 1, the usual byzantine weave, and even an interesting persian star pattern. I think the projects are really great and as you go along doing them one by one, there are lots to learn here - even for seasoned chain mailers.

Have You Ever Made Chain Mail Jewelry?

Have You Ever Made Chain Mail Jewelry?

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Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry - by Laura Poplin

Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry is another new book on chain mail, published in 2012. Written by a well known chain mail jewelry designer, it covers the main weaves with instructions and projects on each: Euro 4-in-1, Byzantine, Unbalanced Euro 4-in-1, Chrysanthemum and Japanese 12-in-2. I like this book because it shows projects that use many other findings and jewelry elements that can make a chain mail piece unique, so different from the typical weave.

This book is a bit different from others also in how the author approaches making jewelry. For example in the intro chapters, she talks about soldering jump rings, working with leather and even coloring metals. Btw this doesn't mean that you have to use solder to make the jewelry pieces, as most of them don't make use of solder at all. So it's up to you which projects you tackle.

The main weaves covered here, followed by projects on it, are the European 4 in 1, byzantine, the Chrysanthemum weave, and of course the usual Japanese weave. Some of the pieces shown here in all these weaves are truly adorable! If you like the contemporary, urban style jewelry, this book will be a real attraction piece for you.

Classic Chain Mail Jewelry - by Sue Ripsch

Classic Chain Mail Jewelry: A treasury of weaves is a well known chain mail jewelry book by Sue Ripsch. I wouldn't say it's my absolute favorite, however if you're doing chainmail, you should get it.

Perfect for any beginner with chain maille, the book goes over the basic weaves and covers the more modern twisted and oval jump rings, which make any jewelry really stand out from the rest. There are a total of 35 projects that you can follow along to create your jewelry, and the instructions are quite easy to follow.

I really recommend you get this if you like the elegant, classic style of silver white jewelry using mostly sterling silver, argentium silver and gold.

Classic Chain Mail Jewelry With A Twist - Sue Ripsch

Classic Chain Mail Jewelry with a Twist
Classic Chain Mail Jewelry with a Twist

This is the new book by Sue Ripsch which I bought together with the one with the blue cover (shown above).

These two books are currently my latest purchase and I have lots of designs to work from these book, which will keep me occupied for quite some time. A wonderful book to add to your chain mail book collection.

 

Examples Of Chain Maille Jewelry I Made Over The Years

Chain Mail Jewelry I Made Over Time

May I delight you with a few chain maille jewelry pieces I made over the years using the techniques and weaves I've learned from these books, from kits and online tutorials.

The world of chain mail jewelry is huge and there is always something new to learn. I hope you enjoy these jewelry items and they will give you the gentle push in starting your own hobby of making jewelry using the ancient art of chain mail.

Aurelia Necklace Sterling Silver

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    • centralplexus profile image

      centralplexus 4 years ago

      I've only recently started this craft and it is truly fascinating. Your lens covers extensively the topic and may I say that your jewellery creations are very good! Chain maille is sooo addictive! Well done creating a beautiful lens on such an exciting topic!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens. the jewelry is so beautiful, but I don't think I'd have the patience for this.

    • kislanyk profile image
      Author

      Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

      @RationalHedonist: Thank you for the compliment, also thanks for the insight of how it was way back then. Fascinating!

    • kislanyk profile image
      Author

      Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

      @BestRatedStuff: My personal favorite is the book by Karen Karon, the very top one I reviewed. Now let me tell you, many people would disagree with me, saying that Chained is better. And they would be right. The reason, however, why I do prefer Karen's book is because she is working primarily in one color, while Rebeca Mojica's book is all about various colors that make the patterns.

      For a newbie to chain mail that might be a bit intimidating, plus there are additional costs involved in buying anodizied niobium and whatnot colored rings, which those projects in the book needs, whereas when working through Karen's book, all you need is simply one color rings, which can be anything: sterling silver, or bright aluminum, or copper or zinc, you name it.

      Once you are though past the basics, I highly recommend that you do get Chained as well. It brings your knowledge up to another level entirely.

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

      Enjoyed this review, its obvious that you havev read these books and enjoyed and gained from them. Like all the tid bits you have in each books review.

      I have read a bit about chain maille, and would love to take it up. So if I was to get one book, which one would be an absolute must? Leaning towards Karen Karon's and Rebeca Mojica's books, but would defer to you better knowledge. Hope you have a recommendation.

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 5 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      Excellent article! Your jewelry is beautiful!

    • RationalHedonist profile image

      RationalHedonist 5 years ago

      When I used to be involved in the Renaissance Festivals and S.C.A. (Society for Creative Anachronism) years ago, I saw the beginning experiments from people starting to make chain maille jewelry. Thanks to craft shops and people's creativity, it has evolved to beautiful jewelry. I love what you've made!

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 5 years ago from Texas

      I've always liked chain maille, but never considered making any of it myself. You've created some beautiful jewelry. Great that you can showcase it this way

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      Your jewelry is beautiful! Excellent write-up of the advantages and disadvantages on the different chain maille books.

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 5 years ago

      I'm not much of a DIY person, but I can certainly appreciate fine jewellery when I see it. Lovely work, especially your handmade pieces!

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 5 years ago

      I was not aware of this type of jewelry. Very pretty. Excellent article on it too. Blessed!

    • profile image

      BeyondRoses 5 years ago

      Lovely creative detail, in making the chain maille jewelry. Enjoyed your flawless presentation of the Chain Maille Books.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Amazing how something that was used as armor can be turned into something so beautiful. I love chain maille jewelry, although I don't have any. I don't know if I'd have the patience to make it myself, but I'd LOVE some as a gift!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      I like DIY projects. Thanks for sharing these info on chain maille books. It is totally new to me.