Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review of Chainmail at Pratt

"Chainmail: Strength in Numbers"
Pratt, October 15-16 2011

Like knitting or weaving (or doing sit-ups, maybe? I'm not sure), making chainmail is satisfying in a way that only something so tediously repetitive can be. Open a jump-ring, close a jump ring, and eventually a fabric appears, like a trace record of your gestures.

The principles are simple, and once I'd managed to make up some vocabulary and sound effects to describe them, my students were off and running. As in my wood jewelry classes, I was amazed to see the variety of ways in which each person used the same materials and techniques to express their own ideas, from bias earrings and a rosette chain (above)...

to stamped-link and color-block samples (left) and a twisted tube bracelet (right)...

to a necklace combining 4-in-1 tube and spiral (left) and a multicolored spiral chain (right)...

to a set of finger-puppet armor: a 6-in-1 tube with a 4-in-1 cape. If you aren't a little bit crazy at the beginning of a chainmail weekend, you will be by the end!

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