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Book Information:

Title:     Chained – Create Gorgeous Chain Mail Jewellery One Ring at a Time

Author:    Rebeca Mojica
Publisher:    North Light Books

Date of Publication:   2010

ISBN-10:    1440303088
ISBN-13:    978-1440303081
Number of pages:  144

 

 

Review Information:

Reviewer:    Annie Nowak
Date of Review:  January 2011


Overview

I come to the subject of chain mail as a complete novice. Captivated by the beauty of it, I am completely intimidated by the seeming complexity of the pieces produced. I bought this book in the hope that it would inspire me beyond procrastination into the reality of practise.  First impressions of this book are encouraging and the author’s enthusiasm for the craft is evident in the detailed tips and information she provides beyond the diagrams for the different weaves. A quick look through the pages presents you with a visual feast and before too long you are puzzling over the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of each one.


Audience

As an introduction to the craft, this book is excellent. It gives the beginner comprehensive information on metals, ring measurements, wire gauges, tools and findings – in fact everything you really need to get started and give it a go. The more experienced maker can still find things of interest in this book; the variations on the different weaves, for example, may inspire creativity. Indeed the whole book encourages you to experiment and push your skills further; she presents this book as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Content

 1. Starting Out
 This covers the history of chain mail and how jump rings are made. It then goes on to explain the  facts about the various metals, ring sizes and tools you will need. There is also a useful section on  achieving a good closure to the jump ring - the explanations show you the probable cause and the  solution, giving you the confidence to make an attempt at the projects in the book. 
The next four chapters concentrate on the weaves, progressing from simple to more complex variations. Each one is graded for complexity, given an approximate timescale for completion and a list of the supplies needed to finish the project.
 2. Japanese
 3. Byzantine
 4. Helm
 5. Coiled
The end of the book contains a short Glossary of Terms and two charts on the Inner Diameter and Aspect Ratio of rings

Illustrations

For me the wealth of this book is in the illustrations, essential for this type of subject. The use of different coloured rings in the weaves helps in understanding their formation, as well as showing beautiful variations. The author uses her pictures as the perfect teaching tool, keeping the written content around them to a minimum, and as a result they delight and inspire the reader. A word of warning though, the pictures in this book can be a serious distraction, several times during this review I found myself staring at them and once even found myself looking for a pair of pliers!

Other

Award winning artist and teacher, Rebecca Mojica is a self confessed chainmail addict. Coming across the craft by chance in 2002, she found that there was a distinct lack of quality suppliers for the budding enthusiast.  This didn’t deter Rebecca who launched the Blue Buddha Boutique from her spare bedroom in 2003 to fill the void and the company now sells chainmail supplies worldwide.


Her enthusiasm is infectious and it is obvious that a lot of thought has gone into producing a book that covers the basics as thoroughly as possible. I like the fact that she has concentrated on just four weaves allowing you to take each one from beginner, through intermediate to expert. If you are looking for a book to start you on the road to chainmail heaven you can do a lot worse than this one.


This book is available from Amazon and is priced at £12.45



 

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