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Gyrogami Blog - Precious Metals, Jewelry, Artwork


Making Chain Link Jewelry
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Categories: Instruction and information; Jewelry

Word count/read time: 469 words; 2 minutes

In my shop it starts with buying scrap metal which avoids destructive new mining operations and all the human and environmental misery accompanying it. Next, it gets melted and refined. After refining, a small sample is sent for third-party assaying to ensure it is 0.999 bullion quality. Manufacturing can now begin.

If it's alloyed then other metals are precisely added to ensure the purity and composition before being melted into ingots. Then they're forged, rolled, drawn into wire, and coiled on a mandrel. Jump rings are saw-cut since other production methods - i.e., nippers and pliers - produce ugly junk, the bane of any person concerned with quality or professionalism.

Since I do not make butted maille (unwelded rings), every ring is welded or soldered and sanded smooth at the joint, most of which become invisible. Loop-in-loop designs or pieces from my Classic Series need bending, twisting, and forging. Multiple inspections throughout all stages of manufacturing weed out defective rings and substandard welds.

 
Craft and novelty chain link fashion accessories are not jewelry, certainly not.
 
There are only so many clasps that can be handmade inexpensively and consistently: toggle, hook-and-eye, and whatever proprietary designs in an artisan's arsenal. Most people resort to pre-made ones because they're easier and cheaper. Commercial clasps crush creativity and originality and the finished pieces are no longer handmade according to the law (in true chainmaille and jewelry industry practices, however, this law is ignored almost entirely so beware of the glut of impostors).

Tumbling cleans, hardens, burnishes, polishes, and reveals the innate beauty. This lengthy time is broken up into several sessions, the rings receiving additional sanding between rounds until they're brought to the quality expected of my products.

Now it's time to document, prepare the literature and paperwork, take pictures, update the website, etc. The custom presentation case for select pieces is prepared from a plain, unfinished wooden box and emerges a plush, fabric-lined vault made just for the piece. Gift ready? I have not seen its equal!

You won't find $5 earrings or $10 bracelets here. What would take 10 or 15 minutes to weave in butted maille takes five or more hours the proper way. Craft and novelty chain link fashion accessories are not jewelry, certainly not. There is no comparison. Real jewelry is a rarity and just because it's made from silver or gold doesn't mean squat. If it's not welded or soldered with uncompromising quality all around it is over-priced junk.

My precious metal jewelry is exclusively made from eco-friendly metals, too. There are no conflict minerals or unethical practices. No one is exploited during any part of the process. All of everything is done on-site. It is as handmade as it can possibly be. The money stays local, your purchases support a thriving artist, and you have a bona fide piece of heirloom jewelry literally made from the molecular level!


Posted by M: September 4, 2023


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