Sunday, May 25, 2008

Crescent Maille

Our next designer we want you to meet is Crescent Maille. She describes her business and what inspired her to start her line below:

I've drawn and painted, collaged and sculpted, sewn and photographed all my life. Early last summer I was in the middle of my "circle" phase in painting and drawing, when I was craving something more tactile, a real craft. I somehow stumbled upon photographs of chain maille jewelry on the internet and was immediately intrigued. Circles — and shiny circles to boot. I ordered some beginning bracelet kits online, and as soon as I started making my first bracelet I was totally hooked.

I taught myself traditional weaves one by one. I kept reducing the size of the rings I was using, trying to make pieces with the smallest rings I could manage. There is something really wonderful about the intricacy of a small-gauge weave and how delicate it can be. I work primarily with sterling silver rings — they're pliable but durable, luxurious, with such brilliance; it's metal, but it feels soft to the touch. When crafted to perfection, a sterling silver chain maille bracelet is an amazing thing, mesmerizing as it bends and moves and molds itself to your wrist. It almost feels alive.

As I grew more skilled, I began designing my own pieces, and my own weaves, using the traditional weaves as a starting point — for example, using the Japanese style of weave as a basis for patterns that look like lace; now there are four original patterns in the "Crescent Lace" line. Other original designs include pendants and necklaces, such as the Daisy Chain necklace, which is the Handmade Parade exclusive this month.

Chain maille is a passion and a joy. I think many people have a preconceived notion about chain maille, associating it only with knights in armor and renaissance faires. There's such potential to create jewelry that is totally modern, contemporary — different than any other metalworking technique out there. I hope to help bring about more awareness of the unique beauty of chain maille, and I strive to make jewelry that is as much a pleasure to wear as it is to behold.