Liz is a chainmailler who loves color! She’s been collecting colorful glass pendants to use in gifts for her family, and she wanted to make niobium necklaces to to compliment each pendant, all the same pattern of chainmail.
- Color? Check.
- Clever idea? Check.
- Variations on a theme? Check.
This is my kind of project!
Liz planned to use the Japanese Stepping Stones pattern from Modern Chain Mail Jewelry by Marilyn Gardiner. We knew the sizes would need to be “tweaked” a bit, so I did some testing.
This is fairly close to the sizes listed in the book, with a bit of adjustment in the brass rings to allow enough ease for the weave geometry. And yes, there is enough ease – but only barely enough. This version is fairly stiff, but holds the pattern of the weave beautifully.
A slightly smaller “stepping stone” and a slightly looser overall fit.
Liz preferred the look of the larger stepping stones and also the more “crisp” weave structure. With the weave specifics sorted out, it was just a matter of choosing colors to go with each pendant. She was kind enough to ship me the actual pendants (so much easier for color matching!) and I got to play a bit, show Liz some good options…
…and then Liz made the final decisions. I shipped her rings off and then held my breath until she sent this picture:
It was a real treat to be part of the creative process for this project. Definitely (definitely!) my kind of project… *beam*
As so often happens, I got caught up in the enthusiasm of the project and decided to make a version of my own. I was intrigued by the contrast of the two variations, and decided to see what they’d look like combined. After seeing that they worked very nicely together, I was too impatient to take the complex weave all the way around the necklace, so I transitioned to a simplified chain that still has some of the same Stepping Stone feel. I had no fused glass pendants on hand, but I think this 14mm Phaedra fills in quite nicely!
Here’s a closeup of the different textures. One advantage of the simpler weave (besides being faster to make) is that it’s more flexible than either of the Stepping Stone variations, especially side-to-side. Or maybe I’m just justifying being a bit lazy! *grin*