FINE CHAINMAILLE AND FUSED ARGENTIUM® SILVER JEWELRY
by PAMELA LEMONS
Pamela began her jaunt into chainmaille jewelry after she came upon a beading magazine’s tutorial to make a simple chainmaille bracelet. She was captivated by the precise technique of linking small jump rings into necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and earrings. Pamela is a self-taught artist, learning primarily from online internet tutorials and magazines. She has since designed her own weaves and patterns. Using a butane torch, Pamela also fuses Argentium® silver wire and sheet metal into her own jewelry designs. She always tries to incorporate the jump rings from her chainmaille weaving into her fused jewelry.
Pamela designs her jewelry to cross fashion trend lines allowing her jewelry can be worn for years to come. It’s the jewelry you wear when you can’t decide what to wear!
DESCRIPTION OF WORK
Pamela’s chainmaille and fused silver jewelry is made with primarily Argentium® silver as well as yellow gold filled and rose gold filled metals. All the metals Pamela uses are nickel-free! Pamela’s chainmaille weaving begins with hand coiling then cutting precious metal wire into jump rings. Using a pair of flat nose pliers and a pair of bent chain nose pliers, Pamela opens and closes each jump ring into a specific pattern using the same techniques that blacksmiths used in medieval times to make chainmaille armor for soldiers going into battle. Pamela’s fused silver jewelry starts with an idea and a sketch. After laying out pieces of wire and sheet metal, she then uses a butane torch to fuse (meld) the Argentium® silver together. Pamela tries to incorporate the jump rings from her chainmaille weaving into her fused jewelry. To finish the design, she may use a hammer to add texture or shape. Jewelry created from both techniques is tumble polished to gently work harden the metals and to give the jewelry a bright shine.