Chain Maille is an art of patience. To those of us hopelessly addicted, there is no greater therapy than being surrounded by thousands of little metal rings and a couple of pairs of pliers!
I “stumbled” upon the art in 2007, while at a PMC Guild meeting. We were told to bring in some rings the following week to learn a basic weave. I couldn’t wait. The next day, I started researching the byzantine pattern. I purchased square, sterling wire, knowing nothing about aspect ratio (which does not work at all for square wire), gauge, or ring diameters. I had someone wind some rings for me, guessing on the size, and sat down with a friend who knew the weave. After a couple of minutes, we realized that the rings were too tight to complete the weave, so we added some round rings made from a thinner gauge between the links. I was convinced we had invented a new weave; of course later I came across that same weave on the internet, and realized it was not unique at all, but a popular pattern referred to as “Interrupted” or “Broken” byzantine.
The only thing I knew for sure was that square wire would be the most important component of any designs I would create. When a piece is fabricated with square wire rings, the surface on each flat side of the ring reflects light, producing a brilliance I love; it is simply incomparable to round wire! I do use round copper, bronze, and niobium wire to add color and dimension, but square will always dominate!
We hope to present a modern and sophisticated interpretation of fabric made from metal! Let us know what you think….
About The Artist
Cathy Contreras is the designer behind Ring Lizard. She obtained a BA in textile/ clothing design and art, with specialized study in art history and period costume. She also owns De Novo Custom Screenprinting and Embroidery with her husband, Luis. Combined, they have over 20 years of design experience.
All of the sterling and copper rings used to fabricate the pieces on this site are hand- coiled and cut out of top quality .925 sterling wire. All raw material used is purchased from companies who supply sustainable materials and promote “Made in the USA” whenever possible. All aluminum and niobium rings are purchased already cut and anodized from trusted suppliers.