Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book review: Advanced Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop

By Karen Karon 
Interweave/F+W; $26.99

It's hard to believe that it was three years ago that Karen Karon's first book on chain maille jewelry was published by Interweave (my review at the link).  It is by far my favorite book on the subject. And now, chain maille enthusiasts, take heart!  At long last, Karen's sequel, Advanced Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop, is available!

One of the most important things for me when I'm learning a new skill or trying to improve one is that the instructional source I use is well-organized.  Just like the first book, Advanced Chain Maille is amazing in how thoughtfully it is laid out.  There is a quick review of tools, materials, and techniques in the beginning, including chain maille math.  Then Karon moves right into fabulous new weaves, each more complicated than those in the first book, and progressing in difficulty throughout each section so that you can stack your skills as you move along.



The new weaves are divided into 4 chapters: Persian weaves (7), Elf weaves (3), Hybrid weaves (4), and Scale maille weaves (2).  The Scale maille techniques and projects are completely new to me, and I've included one of Karen's pieces above.  If you'd like to read a bit more about it, Karen has an article on Jewelry Making Daily.

Each chapter culminates in a couple of projects, plus tips for moving beyond what has been included.  There is a final chapter which covers attachments, terminations, and finishing touches, all designed to make your pieces as professional as possible.  There are also charts and resource lists, the charts covering aspect ratios and conversions from imperial to metric measures.


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