Neck Lace

  • For my jewelry final, I was tasked with making a necklace, inspired by lace, out of soldered jump rings. 
    I wanted to make a piece that stayed fairly close to my inspiration of old Italian lace, and felt that chainmail could play well with the light quality lace possess. Having made chainmail last year for my first semester project, I wanted to see how I could take that technique and develop it further, both technically and in terms of composition. This piece began with a basic European 4-in-1 chainmail band, six sections of which I transitioned into dragonscale chainmail. Boxchain serves as the third type of chainmail I incorporated into my composition. I then draped simple chains to open up the form, to render it less visually dense. The large rings at the bottom serve a similar purpose. The S clasp at the back allows the necklace to be adjusted along the ten large rings, so that it can be optimized to the individual wearer as a longer or shorter piece. 
    Though I had made chainmail before, this piece posed several new challenges. ​Somewhere between 750 & 1000 rings compose this piece, the sheer number of rings serving as an obstacle. Finding the most efficient way to weave the jump rings together (each of which were wrapped and sawed out by hand) so that the greatest number could be soldered prior to assembly required some experimentation. Furthermore, soldering the tiny rings that hold together the larger ones in the dragonscale chainmail was particularly tedious, given the ability of the solder to spill out of the seam and freeze the links together. However, by soldering the smaller ones after assembly, as opposed to the larger ones, the larger ones could be pre-soldered and dapped to perfect their roundness. 
    The piece was originally made from brass, then sterling-silver plated. The extremely polished shine makes the piece difficult to optimally photograph, but overall I am pleased with how the final piece came out.