There aren't very many chain maille or chain mail jewelry books. A mere handful compared to other titles for bead work, metal smith and especially wire work.

Perhaps it's still not that popular a technique but that might change with more books like Sue Ripsch's new Classic Chain Mail Jewelry: A treasury of weaves which Kalmbach Publishing just sent to me for review.

 Her take on classic chain mail weaves really makes the jewelry designs prettier and attractive. Her use of colored or twisted rings add that extra touch to feminize creations such as the popular Shaggy Loops or Byzantine weave shown below.

The author does cover many classic but easy weaves in the 30+ projects such as the Byzantine, Persian, European 4-in-1, box chain, helm (sometimes called Celtic) and round mail making this book ideal for very keen beginners or intermediate artisans. No Jen's Pind here! Of note is the lovely double spiral set which is far more interesting than just the plain spiral. There is also a captive weave which is much, much easier than others I have seen.

She also introduces beads - metal or glass as well as crystal rondelles in a few designs to great effect as you can see from her Roosa with Gold Balls jewelry set below.

If you like this wonderful jewelry niche and need a reference book, this one is well worth the addition to your library. Were there any parts I didn't like? No. The pictures and directions were clear enough.

However, I'd like to add learning chain maille solely through a book requires a great deal of perserverance on the part of the beginner. I can say that because I myself learned chain maille that way and it wasn't easy coming in cold like that. Videos and classes will help newbies who struggle with any chain maille reference book.

Intermediate and advance chain maille artisans will be truly inspired with this book.


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