Recently, I bought a book devoted to making chain-maille jewellery. I’ve dabbled before, and yearned to try some fancy patterns, but that book pushed me over the edge to actually exploring the technique. I’ll tell you all about it later, but there’s one problem with being a newbie to chain-maille. You don’t have the thousands of jump rings any of the projects need, nor are the ones you have of the right size or gauge! Luckily, the author of the book, Rebeca Mojica, realised this general problem and went and founded a store that catered to chain-maillers – the Blue Buddha Boutique. From what I understand, they started online, and then moved to a store in 2007 – in Chicago.
B3, as they call themselves, is an amazing store. They have detailed descriptions, recommendations for beginners, and all sorts of tips and tricks, and tutorials. They also have a very fun and interactive blog that I’ve recently started following. Every thing you read on their website and their blog just makes you feel at ease and comfortable.
The best part of the store, for me, is how patiently they explain the ins and outs of chain-maille to you. Whether you’re an expert or a novice, you’re sure to find something useful. The only complication with the jump rings is figuring out their codes. Each gauge and size and material has a different code, but they do have guidelines that explain it. It’s just time consuming – like the actual process of creating chain-maille!
They ship very quickly, and include a little personal note and a tiny bonus in your order. This definitely makes for a very, very satisfied customer, who is definitely going to order more jump rings soon!
Not that I feel I’m going to develop any sort of great proficiency at chain-maille, but just so you see what can be done, I’ll leave you with this piece that left me breathless. It’s called Poseidon’s Embrace, and Rebeca Mojica made it out of 14,500 very tiny jump rings, and it won third place in the Finished Jewelry category of the International Bead Dreams 2009 competition, apparently the very first time a chain-maille piece made it into the finals!
Tell me you don’t think that looks like fabric! I am in absolute awe.
Look at how perfectly stunning chain-maille can be, and go order some jump rings today!
[All opinions expressed are the author’s own. Poseidon’s Embrace image courtesy rebecamojica.com.]