Chain mail has come a long way since its medieval war roots. It has become a peaceful adornment.  There are limited metal colors but artisans have found a way to add hues through beads and coated metals.  Marilyn Gardiner is a chain mail designer who has a different approach. She makes her pieces elegant with beautiful components and link connectors.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention I personally know Marilyn.  She happens to be the co-founder of the Grand River Bead Society where I am a member!  I had previously reviewed her first book, called Modern Chain Mail Jewelry.   While I knew she was writing her second book, I had no idea what was going to be in it until Kalmbach Publishing sent me her freshly published, Fabulous Chain Mail Jewelry, for review.

The 27 projects in the book are mostly necklaces with a few easy earrings and zipper pulls.  Marilyn uses beautiful components including handmade glass and wire wrapped beads and pendants by other artisans.  She prefers to use solid metals so all her chain mail projects list what kind of metal works for a particular design.  Shown here are my favorites.

The above stunning necklace showed how well the butterfly wing connectors teamed up with the European 4-in-1 weave.  Marilyn's book is worth purchasing just to learn how to use simple plastic canvas to help start some weaves like this one! That was a brilliant idea.

The Chrysanthemum Link necklace above is also very pretty. I was initially confused when I read project instructions as they did not seem to have sufficient information to make the weaves. Then I realized I had to read the last part of Marilyn's book, the Appendix of Weaves, first!  This is where she goes into detail how the jump rings are "woven" together.  The project pages like the one below are then easier to follow as they deal with assembly of the designs!

This contemporary design uses a variation of the Byzantine weave :

Some of the designs are built up with many sections of chain mail. This design below uses the Foursquare (B2G) weave :

Marilyn has a great knack for choosing just the right component for particular weaves like this Byzantine filigree design. Silver goes so well with copper, too!

This book will suit chain mail enthusiasts of all levels who want classy and stylish designs. Sticking to full metal rings rather than anodized or other plated metals, will definitely add elegance to the pieces and truly make them worthy for office and formal wear!


If you'd like to win this giveaway for a copy of  Fabulous 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.

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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. (The exception is Facebook - just like/comment on the giveaway status there!!)

It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, October 29, 2018. 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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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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