Aug 4, 2009

Mailling with Crystals

Sometimes when I am doing chainmaille I like to add crystals to the chain to give it something a little extra.

As I see it, there are really three different ways in which crystals, or any other type of bead for that matter can be added or included in the chain:

The first way is probably the most obvious, that of adding crystals as dangles from the chain. One of my favourite pieces that uses crystals in this way is my Icy Viperscale. In this design Opal White Swarovski crystals alternate with Silver Swarovski crystal pearls as dangles from the base viper scale chain.

The second way is to include them as links between sections of maille. I actually do this with gemstones quite a lot too. The example I have of that uses both gemstones and crystals and is my Charoite with Parallel Flowers. Each of the charoite links include Swarovski crystals, and each link joins two sterling silver parallel flowers.

The third way to include crystals in maille, and arguably the most effective, is to incorporate the crystals as part of the weave itself. Two completely different examples I have of this are my Box Chain with Crystals, and my Hyacinth Weave chain. In the box chain bracelet, a strand of crystals runs down and through the centre of the box chain. This can look really effective. In my Hyacinth weave chain the crystals are very much part of the weave and form the 'flower' part of the Hyacinth.

As you can see, mailling with crystals can really help to create something special.

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