August 22nd 9am-4pm
Normally, people don’t really put a lot of thought into each metal ring that comprises a finished chain. But in this class, you are going to make every ring (individually known as “jump rings”), and loop them together to make a decorative, finished chain of your own design!
You will learn how to use “mandrels” of different diameters (usually made from common household items like nails, rods and knitting needles) to make your round links, and you will learn to make simple jigs that will allow you to make links that are not “just round” but maybe square, triangular or oval.
You will make jump rings that might be made of multiple strands of wire, twisted together to make some “more complex” appearing jump rings that are really not difficult to make!
Frequently you will find that really you won’t know what your finished chain will look like until you have experimented linking different combinations you’ve made in different arrangements.
The prime focus here, is to show how easy it is to make an unusual fancy chain. However, it should be noted that more complex chain making can lead to hand-making chainmail (a “sheet” of chain mesh as worn under a Medieval Knight’s armor as a second layer of defense).
The chains you will make, would normally have every individual link soldered with silver solder to ensure a higher quality, stronger chain. FYI: Washington College Academy does offer the class “Silver Soldering for Jewelry Making” in which you could bring the chain you made in this class, and learn how to solder every link.
This class is for Beginners or the more advanced students wishing to improve upon their skills. You may work in silver or gold wire if you bring your own, but it’s best to experiment in brass and copper until you obtain your own unique design that you know will work and that you know you will really like.
Making Chains By Hand