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Learn Chain Mail with Lauren Andersen

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One Jump Ring cover

Hello, my name is Lauren Andersen. I am also known as The ChainMaille Lady™. I am honored to be asked by Facet Jewelry to be their guest blogger for February’s tribute to Chainmaille*!

I would also like to welcome those of you who are new to chainmaille. I hope I will inspire you to try this simple technique. My latest book, One Jump Ring Endless Possibilities for Chain Mail Jewelry, has just been released. It is a great book for the beginner. All twenty-five designs are made using only one size of jump ring! Jump rings are small round circles of wire that you open and close to form patterns.

A bit of background on me: I am a member of the Beadalon® Design Team. I’ve made several appearances on Jewelry Television’s show “Jewel School," and am excited to be appearing there again on Feb. 13 and 14, 2017, debuting my new book! My designs have been published several magazines, including “Step By Step Wire Jewelry.” I have been a guest on the popular jewelry TV show “Beads, Baubles & Jewels”. I’ve written two booklets, “Basics of Chain Maille” and “Advanced Chain Maille”, and one additional book, The Absolute Beginners Guide: Chain Mail Jewelry.

I have my own line of “Snub Nose Pliers” as well as “The ChainMaille Lady Travel Kit,” both available in my Etsy store. I have taught for several years: I began teaching computer software to attorneys (way, way back in the ‘90’s!), and I was also a certified teacher for QuickBooks accounting software. Now I teach all levels of chainmaille classes at a variety of locations.

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My introduction to chainmaille happened quite by accident. One day several years ago, I was watching a jewelry-making TV show, and saw the most beautiful bracelet ever. You see, I come from a needlepoint background. I do cross stitch, some Swedish weaving, and Danish Hardanger (editor's note: a super-intricate form of whitework embroidery!) and that bracelet reminded me of a lacy effect that you get in needlepoint.

Well, I just had to learn how to make that bracelet. I purchased the DVDs and I have been hooked ever since!

Chainmaille, also referred to as maille, first appeared around 400 B.C. and is a type of armor, consisting of small metal rings linked together in a pattern to form a mesh. Somewhere along the line, people began to make jewelry using the same patterns used to make armor.

*You will find that the spelling of chainmaille has several variations; chain maille, chainmaille, and chain mail. But no matter how you spell it, you will find that it is a very inexpensive hobby. All you need to get started are two pair of pliers and some jump rings! I encourage you to give it a try. Please let me know any questions you have, and of how I can help you to become a chainmaille artist, too!

I'll be posting every Tuesday throughout Facet's Chain Mail Month (February 2017) so please check back for some tips and tricks!

FIND MORE: chain mail , wire , wirework

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