March 20, 2011

chain mail

I have been learning to make chain mail. This is a necklace made using the byzantine weave and very large rings (14ga and .5 inch diameter). The weave kind of falls apart without being stretched, but it stays in place when it is being worn.

I have also been learning how to use my metal clay kiln. The clay is really strange texture - slippery on the outside and hard and dry inside - so it is difficult to work with. I made this ring, and as it was drying, it cracked at the join, so I syringed a bit of clay over the crack and pushed in a tiger eye bead. I thought that the clay would cover the hole in the bead, but it shrank enough that the hole shows, and the bead turned red. It needs a bit of sanding, which I should have done before firing, but I didn't know what to expect, and everything I have read suggested that the dried ring would be really delicate and would crumble if I touched it. The ring shrank one size, as expected, and fits perfectly. Not bad for an experiment!