My first blog post on this website was about chainmaille. Now that I just celebrated my third anniversary on WordPress, I fell like it was time to return to the discussion. When it comes to my chainmaille supplies, I’m picky. I buy certain items from each retailer.
For the last few years, I’ve stuck with just three resources: The Ring Lord, Blue Buddha Boutique & Anne (from Etsy). For weave tutorials, CGMaille was my go-to along with M.A.I.L. Let’s do a quick overview.
I was working on a gift that required black stainless steel. Turned out, it was harder to come by that expected. Thankfully, I was introduced to The Ring Lord out of Canada. Outside of an amazing (and always growing) selection of materials, their work and/or rings have appeared in a few blockbuster films. They sell everything from jump rings to scales to ring welders. Shipping doesn’t take too long, either. The business has been around since 2000.
This is a local Chicago business another mailler shared with me when I started the craft a few years ago. I get most of my micromaille rings from them. When you use the site, make sure to go to the “ring picker”. It’s one of the most organized tools I’ve found when it comes to search for rings by size and/or material. They have great sales every so often. If you are new to the craft, try getting one of the clearance packs.
These are “Grade B” or “Grade C” rings (means minor imperfections) that are great to keep a stock of as you’re learning new weaves. Sometimes I want a test project just to make sure it’ll bend how I need it to. Scrap rings I don’t have to worry about scuffing up is great. BBB has been around since 2007.
What can I say about Anne of Nottoto? She’s an awesome woman who knows her stuff. You can ask her anything about jewelry supplies. She will give you as much information as possible. If she doesn’t sell the supply you’re looking for, she will go through her own network to get you what you need.
Anne has one of the best prices I’ve found for rubber rings. There are many wholesalers who sell these, but getting your money’s worth is hard sometimes. Also, I think every order I’ve ever made with her resulted in a 2-day turnaround (from clicking “purchase” to opening my order at home). You can get pre-cut rings or buy the wire yourself (I’ve done both). Anne’s Etsy shop has been open since 2008.
This website is now sadly gone…
It’s the first place I started the chainmaille journey. What was great about this website is that not only were weaves sorted by difficultly, there were 3D renderings of step-by-step instructions. European 4-in-1 and Half-Persian weaves were a breeze with this style of instruction. New rings were a separate color and large enough for you to study how to weave them in. You can now find the donated tutorials at the website I’ll be discussing next.
M.A.I.L. stands for “Maille Artisans International League”. It’s a great forum that’s been around since 2000. You can find out the history of the craft, weave tutorials, show off your work, etc. If you’ve ever been involved with an online forum, you know the structure I’m referring to. I’m always amazed at the new weaves people come up with. Great place to get inspired.
Thanks for reading!
So I hope this post was at least a bit helpful. Those of your unfamiliar and/or uninterested in this–there’s always tomorrow’s post. Otherwise, this is some insight to my world of chainmaille. It’s an incredibly relaxing hobby to me. One of these days, I’ll get back into commissioning pieces. Have a great rest of your day!