Art in Three Dimensions

Most of my art these days is in two dimensions, flat on paper, whether through the medium of the photograph, drawing or painting, or words. But it wasn’t always that way. Way back in my teen years, I dabbled in sculpture. Cute little sheep and frogs, I don’t think I still have any so you all can laugh at them! But a few years back, I was introduced to chainmaille. 

jump rings
This is where it begins. Every ring has to be opened and closed again, carefully. It’s like knitting with metal.

I’ve never liked jewelry store jewelry. It has no heart, no soul. Why yes, ma’am, you too can wear the exact same thing a few thousand of your friends are also wearing! That has never appealed to me. Instead, as a teen and up until I had babies, I collected vintage costume jewelry. The more unique a piece, the better. I played around with beading – I still have bead looms but dear heavens, the time in that craft is beyond my means these days. So when chainmaille jewelry came up I was a bit dubious, but it was pretty. And then I discovered just how complex it can get. It’s puzzles for the brain, and then you can start inventing your own, and oh, Boy

A light and airy necklace. All the chains I’m making will be fairly simple as they will have a pendant piece when complete.

There are hundreds of weaves you can learn, and I have only mastered a handful. If you’re interested, a vast library can be found at MAIL. If you’re really, really interested, I highly recommend C & T Designs for your shiny metal needs. Their colors glow.  I’ve dabbled with a few more weaves, but after an abortive foray into selling it at craft fairs (I was between jobs and working with someone who was more enthusiastic than sensible about business, hence the short-lived aspect), I pretty much gave it up. I still have a lot of supplies on hand, and yesterday it dawned on me that making custom pieces for the people who have been brave enough to take part in my wedding party would be a nice thing to do. So… 

A light, loose weave. Doesn’t have a name, I made this one up.

So I am. Right now I’m at the stage of creating the necklaces for ladies. There are other plans for the more manly sorts that don’t care to wear their shiny metal creations. I’m having fun, and best of all, it’s a mentally unchallenging (after the initial puzzle-solving task of learning or creating a weave) task that lets my brain run on ahead with a plot. Which was badly needed, as I had underestimated the mental recovery time I would need after school, and am behind schedule. 

chain mail
This is called Half-persian 3-in-1 and I like that it’s flat on one side, but still has dimension. Very snaky!

Speaking of schedule, back to work with me! On words, not metal this time.