Another Blue Ribbon

Well, I did it again. The judging for the 2018 state fair jewelry competition just finished, and I picked up another blue ribbon. That’s 4 years in a row now. I’ll post a picture of the bracelet with its ribbon once the fair opens and I can take the picture.

The Competition Entry Piece

This year, I entered an original design that combines 2 classic weaves, plus a little bead work. Here’s the piece:

This piece features triple sets of the classic byzantine weave, tied together with helm weave. The byzantine weaves had a little space between them, so I filled those spaces with natural lapis beads. I’m very pleased with the way it turned out.

The bracelet is about 1 inch wide, so it may classify as a cuff. It’s nearly 2 ounces, which means it has substantial weight, but because it is wide, the weight is nicely distributed, and the bracelet is quite comfortable to wear. Here’s what it looks like when worn:

Why did I enter the competition this year? It’s pretty simple, actually.

First: Entering in the fair pushes me to try new designs and new techniques. For example, the bead work in this design is something I had never done. I had to work out how to weave in the beads.

Second: I want people to see that chainmaille jewelry can be classy and sophisticated, suitable for fashionable wear.

I think I accomplished the first purpose, and I hope that I accomplished the second purpose, too.

And Now My Regular, Annual Plea

Let’s get more pieces in next year’s competition. If you’re thinking about creating chainmaille jewelry, get busy! I want more competition, sure, but mostly, I would love to see more people creating jewelry in this unique and beautiful style.

Chainmaille jewelry can be stunning. Too many people ask, “What’s chainmaille jewelry?” and when I show them some pieces or pictures, they generally respond, “Wow, that really pretty!”

Yes, it is.