Illinois based Melissa Banks of Rapt in Maille is an outstanding chain maille jewelry designer for a number of reasons. She hand makes contemporary and innovative chain maille jewelry which combines the ancient technique with chain. Lots and lots of chain.  The resulting designs are often sleek and utterly modern.

What is more, she creates her designs using almost always stainless steel.  It is a highly durable and non-tarnish material but it is very hard to work with.  If you've ever done chain maille using stainless steel rings, you will appreciate the difficulty. She admits she has "developed quite an impressive collection of protective callouses, namely two large ones in the palms of my hands where the pliers sit."

Melissa's route to being a full time jewelry maker is truly inspirational.  She started studying computer science but soon changed over to a Fine Arts degree specializing in crafts and metals. Her love of chain maille began then. But it took years of bar tending while developing her business before she could finally quit the evening job and soon after, move into her own studio in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago.

Her designs are refreshing and shows her talent for coming up with such distinctive pieces!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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