Thursday, August 6, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway : Modern Chain Mail Jewelry

By on Thursday, August 06, 2015 84 Comments

Chain mail jewelry is often unisex.  But there are ways in which chain mail jewelry can be made to look distinctly feminine - the right weaves in the right combination for example. Adding color is another tactic.  This new book puts together these two approaches for modern chain mail jewelry both modern and appropriate for the professional woman.



The book Modern Chain Mail Jewelry (available through Amazon or Kalmbach) is by Marilyn Gardiner, a Canadian designer and instructor who together with her husband, Brad, makes and sells jump rings and chain mail kits. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say I know Marilyn personally - she is one of the co-founders of the Grand River Bead Society where I am a member.

While I was fully aware Marilyn was writing her book, I was not privy to the contents and only recently received the finished book from the publisher for review. The review here would be the same whether or not I knew the author. But one of the advantages of Marilyn and I knowing each other is that she has kindly offered to give a signed copy to the winner of this book giveaway!



The designer has a wonderful knack of being able to select the right weaves for really elegant chain mail jewelry. She features necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

The back of the book covers how to make the key weaves used for the projects.  Most are familiar ones - Marilyn credits the original designers when possible.  There is one exception- she calls the Pheasible weave the Chinese knot because of the resemblance to the Asian cord knotting technique.

The weave instructional section was useful especially for a clear understanding of how to do Jen's Pind Linkage, a tricky spiral 4-in-1 chain. The photographs though were on the small side.



All the jump ring measurements in the book are in metric so if you are used to Imperial sizing, you'll have to find a conversion chart - the book does not include it.  Marilyn does helpfully include many of the sources of all the beautiful components which add so much color and flair to her chain mail designs. Her notes are also helpful in letting the reader know which other metals will work for the project and if alternative ring sizes in those metals are required.

Shown here are my favorites from the book.  The first project is the pretty butterfly weave which is based on the mobius.



The Japanese stepping stones weave is also a stunning weave when teamed with the right components for this jewelry set. The author certainly encourages the readers to keep a good lookout for striking components.


Marilyn's choices of weaves for chains were striking ones.  Rather than a single spiral weave, she uses the double spiral,  Her Classic Chains necklace design below is another great example where she combines the Chinese knot (Pheasible) with Jens Pind Linkage. This, like all her designs, would not look out of place with business attire.







A lovely inspirational project book indeed for chain mail jewelry lovers with good ideas for the kind of components to use.  Chain maille - especially the all silver variety - is difficult to photograph well. I can attest from having seen Marilyn's various chain mail designs in person that they are far more elegant than any photograph could ever show.

Giveaway
If you'd like to win a signed copy of Modern Chain Mail Jewelry, please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.

Email subscribers need to scroll down the post they receive, click on Share Comment and enter your comment. Pick Name/URL. If you don't have a store or blog, leave the URL blank.

This giveaway is for US and Canada only.

Extra entries if you become or are a blog subscriber or follower etc. If you also do shout outs about this giveaway, those will count as additional entries too! Please say so in the comments.

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Thursday, August 13, 2015 . I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!

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84 comments:

  1. Gorgeous designs. Very original and beautiful. A long time newsletter subscriber.

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  2. Beautiful work! I would love to learn Chain Maille!
    Phyllis uniquelyphyllis@outlook.com

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  3. I am amazed at the intricate, delicate work. This book would make a good reference for chain mail work. The designs are so versatile that they could be worn in any situation. Truly a must have addition to anyone's library

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  4. I would love to learn chain maille! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

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  5. Wow this looks like a great book! I am always looking for ways to expand my knowledge of chainmaille and this book will certainly take me in a new direction.

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  6. I am a loyal blog subscriber!

    Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

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  7. I didn't realize the variety of styles possible with chain maille using different colored rings. The detail is beautiful. I will try my hand at it.

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  8. Liked on Facebook, Twitter, g+ as well as my business accounts. Gilly Bean's Gems.

    The projects in this book are gorgeous!! I didn't realize that there was a jump ring maker/distributor in Canada. I'll be doing business there now for sure!

    I'm so glad that I get your blog in the mail. There is always something interesting and useful in it.

    Looking forward to digging into this book!

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  9. I learned chain maille from you, Pearl, at the Farm. I still love to make chain maille jewelry. I would love to win this one

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  10. What a neat book, the creations are lovely ;-).
    geri.actor@comcast.net

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  11. I'm new to jewelry making and especially like the bracelet. I'd love to receive this book! Suziwollman@gmail.com

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  12. Glenda RutherfordAugust 6, 2015 at 9:46 AM

    Wow, amazing looking jewelry, would love to add that book to my library!!
    Glenda
    pglenda@yahoo.com

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  13. Chainmaille is on my to learn list and this looks like a great book to help get me started.

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  14. OMG!!! I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE making chainmaille jewelry!!! I wish I could post some of the pieces I have made already. I love how when I am working on it, my mind just quiets down and relaxes and I get into my happy place. I would so LOVE to win this giveaway!!! Thank you Pearl for the awesome giveaway. And the informative site that you provide us with.

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  15. I've been wanting some chain maille patterns to try! Book looks really good.

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  16. I love the look of this chainmaille. Thank you for this opportunity to win Pearl!

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  17. Marilyn Gardiner - came to Calgary, Alberta several years ago and was my first instructor of chainmail. She is responsible for my love of chainmail😃. In class we made the sterling round captive bracelet with copper beads. I bought 12-2 Japanese Weave kit to make at home and it is still my favourite weave. Marilyn's instructions are well set out, photograph samples are excellent, and anyone lucky enough to receive this book will be well-blessed to learn from one of the best. Thank you, Marilyn!

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  18. I've done small projects with chainmaile. I'm ready to move on to bigger ones. This book looks like it has many wonderful projects to help me with that, Thanks for the chance to win!

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  19. WOW ....... these jewelry pieces are amazing!! As a new jewelry designer, I would certainly learn a lot from this book!!!
    Sincerely:
    Camilla

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  20. me,me,me! ;-) I have had my eye on this book! I'd love to have a signed copy.
    Cathi
    catnpr@aol.com
    ~I am a blog subscriber~

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  21. Beautiful chainmaille jewelry. Would love to have the book.
    Jordan
    shany3913@gmail.com

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  22. Every time I see instructions on chainmaille I am instantly transported back to New Orleans and sitting in a bookstore with a woman who gushed about her joy of making it. We had books strewn all around us as we both searched for new projects. She didn't do anything but chainmaille - it had become her passion. I am positive she'll go for this book!

    I'm wondering why jewellery makers on the whole do not attempt this? I for one have never tried it but do admire it greatly. Is it because of the intricate patterns? Or is it the manual labour that goes into it? Even these ideas are easily shot down when I think of the amount of work I put into each of my designs that do not include chainmaille. I think that it would be like putting together a beautiful puzzle. These designs shown are perfect evidence of that. I think once one tries and succeeds at this then they would definitely be hooked.

    My one last concern would be carpal tunnel. Having had the surgery on both hands I often wonder what repetitious work like this would do to my wrists.

    All thoughts running through my head after looking at these gorgeous designs. Marilyn's designs are stunning! I know I'd wear those!

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  23. Ooh, a new book to add to my collection!! I teach basic chainmaille techniques at one of my local bead shops and am always looking for new ideas; these look yummy!

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  24. Would love to win this book! Gorgeous pieces!
    Donna
    datmine2009@hotmail.com

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  25. I already do chainmaille but this takes it a step beyond. I want!
    cherylgrinnell@yahoo.com

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  26. lemondollzanzibar@gmail.com Beautiful work and I would love to own the book. Thanks for your contests, so fun.

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  27. Complete gorgeousness! Marilyn's designs are divine!

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  28. Chain mail has always intrigued me, but while I am really blessed with small motor skills, chain mail has also always frustrated me. I am a subscriber to your blog. Would love to win the book.

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  29. I love the look of some of the projects and want to learn how to make my own chain maille necklaces to start. Thanks for this opportunity.

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  30. I LOVE chainmaille! It is very therapeutic and stress-reducing. I'm always looking for new instructors and resources - this book looks great. Thanks so much for showing us the table of contents-very enticing!!!

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  31. I enjoy following your blog. Would also enjoy being a winner.

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  32. Love the use of stones with chainmail

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  33. What a beautiful book! I would love to receive this book so I can make some of the designs pictured. Thank you for your consideration. I subscribe to Beading Gem.

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  34. The projects in this book are beautiful. I would love to win a copy. ekennedy0906@gmail.com

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  35. Another good book to add to my Christmas list! Love Marilyn's work too. I am a blog subscriber and follow on facebook as well.
    Alikat2004 on Ravelry . com

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  36. I love doing Chainmaille jewellery and am always looking for ideas. The pics in the review alone are inspiring so I would love to have the whole book!
    grannazee@gmail.com

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  37. Looks like another great book! Beautiful patterns!

    page13.1@netzero.net

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  38. Looks like a wonderful book. I've not tried chain mail but this might be the perfect opportunity! beadcontagion@gmail.com

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  39. Would be an honor to have Marilyn's first book. It looks like it has some great ideas.
    jemstudio@cogeco.ca

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  40. I've only tried chainmaille a couple of times, a long time ago. I know Marilyn's Book would give me a kick-start in trying again because I know she gives great direction. I would so love to have this book. Thanks Pearl, you do so much for us.
    tinaholden1 at gmail dot com

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  41. Looks so inspiring! Such beautiful and artistic designs. I'm looking to return to chainmaille and this would definitely be my inspiration and a wonderful nudge back in that direction. Thank you for your consideration. Sharon Dodson, ssharleybaby@yahoo.com

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  42. This looks like a good book.

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  43. What a wonderful looking book! I would dearly love to win it and to try my hand at chainmaille.

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  44. This book is now on my wish list! I like to do chainmaille but it is always the same old thing. I love the updated and feminine designs that can also be stepping stones to even more unique designs. judyklarson@gmail.com

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  45. looks like a fabulous book . love the cover necklace especially . oh how i would love to win this one.

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    Replies
    1. I would love to have a copy of Marilyn's first book ...and her second etc.

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  46. Really like chain maille what a inspiring book ....would love to win

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  47. I love what people are doing with chainmaille these days. This book looks like it's got some really creative uses of it, too. I'd love to own it.

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  48. Looks like a wonderful book on some interesting chain maille weaves. Would love, love, love to win this. Donna Cornell donnacorn@juno.com

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  49. love the use of color in the chain maille. Would love to win!

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  50. I discovered the fun addiction of Chain Maille after retiring & Marilyn's free tutorials helped me tremendously. I would love to have this book!
    MHersey@Q.com

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  51. How generous of Marilyn! I had the pleasure of meeting her in London a few years ago and purchased some of her chainmaille kits! Would love to win her new book :)

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  52. What beautiful creations I see in this new book. I never before thought chain mail could be so fabulous. I'd just love to take this book up to my art studio and use it as a guide to "play"!

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  53. I would love to win a copy of Marilyn's new book.
    Sandra.gilmer@sympatico.ca

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  54. I met Marilyn years ago at one of the bead shows in Calgary. Wonderful teacher and designer. I would love this book to expand my skills in chain mail.

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  55. Looks like a great book - I'd love to win it!

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  56. She does amazing work... I'm happy to call her friend. I would love to win a copy of her book!
    Janicegreer@yahoo.com

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  57. Wow what an amazing book. I am new to chain Mail and would love this book to help me learn more. carolhattenbach@msn.com

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  58. Marilyn is coming to the West Toronto Beading Guild this fall to speak to us. I'd love to have a sneak peak at the book before we meet her!
    Mary
    mary.seagrave@sympatico.ca

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  59. Having made many of Marilyn's kits I know the instructions will be excellent. It's wonderful to have all these patterns available in one book.

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  60. I would love to win this book! I have been thinking about trying to do this but thought it looked to hard. It looks like this book has great instructions to help. Thank you for this opportunity! Thanks also for all the great patterns and instruction in this newsletter.

    sylviamae@bis.midco.net

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  61. I started trying to make chainmail designs and I am new to this so I would love to win this so I can learn new things and tips on how to make them easier. Thanks for the chance to win it!
    sally0630@frontiernet.net

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  62. I am an email subscriber
    sally0630@frontiernet.net
    I follow on Facebook
    Sarah Scott Oswald
    I follow on pinterest
    pinterest.com/sally0630
    I follopw on Google+ and Youtube
    Sarah Oswald
    sally0630@frontiernet.net

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  63. Beautiful and very artistic. The chains are exquisitely donè. Would love to wear and make your patterns.

    Karen meanmomma360@comcast.net

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  64. WOW! Thank you so much for the sneak peak into her book...the designs are amazing. I love making chain maille...it can be soothing and challenging all at the same time!
    Joy
    From NS, Canada

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  65. The designs are lovely and make me want to start working on one right away! If I don't win a copy I plan to buy the book.
    Rochelleth in NY
    rochelleth@hvc.rr.com

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  66. I usually skim past chain maille because it looks like alot of work for me, but reviewing this book makes me excited about actually doing a piece since the pictures posted here made me take a long look and get inspired to do a project.

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  67. Absolutely gorgeous!!! Would love to win this! grinchswoman@hotmail.com

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  68. Never knew chain mail could be so pretty! These pieces would be perfect for the Renaissance Faires.

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  69. Chain Mail...sure has changed since I started making jewellry. I would love this book!!

    uniqueplateau@gmail.com

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  70. Your book is unique, adding a twist to such a wonderful medieval technique! I have always been interested in medieval jewelry and design, particularly chain maille, and would love to make a piece fro your book. The images look gorgeous!

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  71. I was lucky and took a couple of courses with Marilyn when she was in Halifax a couple of years ago. She is a wonderful instructor and I learned a lot from her. I definately would enjoy and use her book. cherylawdelaney@gmail.com

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  72. Not only am I a subscriber, but I have been advertising this giveaway on social media sites as well.

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  73. I am in serious need of help doing chain maill. These designs look elegant and from the above comments she sounds like a great teacher!

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  74. I have experimented with chain maille & find it very relaxing & rewarding. I would love to learn more complex designs/techniques!

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  75. Inspiring photos. Love the pictured designs in this book and glad to hear it has good instructions for Jen's Pind. Just attempting that and Dragon Scale and need serious help. Thank you for the giveaway and the wonderful tutorials on this website. I always learn something new.
    Betty Tiger
    tigers628@hotmail..com
    tiger

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  76. I would LOVE to receive a signed book on chainmaille from Marilyn Gardner whom I too must admit have had the pleasure of taking a course by her. What a Great teacher and a wonderful lady!! I know this book will continue to give me the help that I need to perfect my chainmaille pieces, I REALLY hope I win the book!!!!!! Thank you in advance.. Patti Leitman ems27@sympatico.ca

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  77. I would love to win the book. I've made a bracelet and earrings in chain mail. Great technique. Thanks!

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  78. This book looks great. Always looking for new and fresh ideas with Chain Maille. mcd1264@gmail.com to contact me. Hope I win and thank you for the opportunity in your contest. Mary Drayer

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  79. This book looks great. Always looking for new and fresh ideas with Chain Maille. mcd1264@gmail.com to contact me. Hope I win and thank you for the opportunity in your contest. Mary Drayer

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  80. Would love to win this book! The designs are sooooo pretty and unique with the embellishments she chooses!
    anotherjanie@yahoo.com

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  81. I would love a signed copy of this book.
    kathyhorback@gmail.com

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