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Our New Business Model

By Aislyn Bryan November 27, 2018 108 Views No comments

There's been some concern about how things will be when we come back from the holidays and re-open under our new business model. Judging by some of the notes and our current order volume, it looks like people are thinking they won't be able to order from us anymore, once our business model is switched over. That isn't really true. I mean, technically, yes, but in practice, not so much. For almost everyone, maybe 95% of our current customers, it just means you'll have to login before you can see the website content. You already have to login to place an order, so it's not that much different; you'll just have to login when you arrive on the site, instead of just before placing the order.

There will be some few customers who won't see content when they login. Most are casual or one time customers who haven't ordered lately, but any are welcome to appeal our decision. We believe we can get the workload reduction we need primarily by not taking on new beginner customers. Our current crop of beginners will mature into experienced maillers and there won't be a new crop of beginners after that, so the entire workload associated with teaching beginners falls away.

So that's not so bad, right? Being behind closed doors and not accepting new customers will become, over time, a *great* competitive advantage to our customers. Just something to think about. Hope you're enjoying the beautiful holiday season. -- Aislyn

P. S. If you don't know what I'm on about, have a look at the post that explains it all ==> Changes for the New Year

November 2018

By Aislyn Bryan November 18, 2018 279 Views No comments


December 2018

By Aislyn Bryan November 18, 2018 256 Views No comments


January 2019

By Aislyn Bryan November 18, 2018 247 Views No comments


Our Summer Schedule

By Aislyn Bryan May 21, 2018 994 Views No comments

Here in the mountains, it's not quite summer yet but we're working on it. The aspens are leafing out in their lovely, lettucey shade of spring green and at least a bazillion chipmunks are in a perpetual state of joyful scurry in the forest around our house. At this altitude, flowers generally wait until June to make an appearance, but we know spring has arrived when we see a chipmunk.

This year, we're taking off the first week of June, the first week of July, and all of August... for merrymaking and whatnot. It's the best summer schedule ever, in our lazy, summer-loving opinions, but it does entail a little extra planning on your part, so here are the calendars showing our plans for every single summer day. For each and every day, you can glance at the schedule and instantly know 1) whether the website will be available for ordering, and 2) whether Gary and I will be at work in the shop, and make your plans accordingly. We're hoping this will make our time off somewhat less inconvenient.

Happy Summer!

-- Aislyn

A Little the Worse for Wear, But We're Back....

By Aislyn Bryan March 26, 2018 1075 Views 1 comment

Gary's parents are together again. That's the one good thing that goes with saying goodbye to his mom, so we're clinging to it. My eyes well up every time I look at this photo, which hangs in our living room, but I know they're happy now, and knowing that helps.

Two weeks after her surgery, Fiona is doing great. She has the strongest will of anyone I've ever known. She couldn't walk and she weighs almost 150 pounds, so we had to load her on a stretcher and carry her down the stairs and out to the truck, all while she was doing her best to get off the stretcher. It was, uh... challenging. All three of us are pretty well recovered from the ordeal now, though. Fiona's got her bandages off now and is just wearing socks. She can walk with a lift harness and she's getting stronger every day.

Thanks so much for all the good wishes, kindness and patience with the delays. It means more than there are words to describe in times like these.

-- Aislyn

Changes for the New Year

By Aislyn Bryan January 14, 2018 1672 Views 1 comment

Fifteen years ago, when we sold our very first rings, it was just Gary and me. We worked all the hours of the day, and a good many of the night ones, too, but we were having so much fun, it didn't feel like work. When our business grew so that there weren't enough hours to get it all done, we hired some nice people to come and help us everyday. That was great fun, too; busy and crowded, but so much laughter, so many good times. When the economy tanked and our business with it, one by one, we had to let all our nice people go. It was an awful time for us, we were so sad.

It took a good while, but over time we adjusted to the quiet and began enjoying our 'just us' days, like we did at the beginning. Now that the economy is bustling and our business with it, we're once again in the position of having more work than we can do. We've talked about looking for some nice people to help us, as we did before, but that conversation just made us both realize how much we like the way we work now... just us. So we've decided to go the other way. Instead of adding people to handle more business, we're going to squeeze our business down to what just the two of us can handle comfortably.

The first change is that we're going to focus all of our time and energy on what we actually do -- which is making rings -- and phase out everything that our customers can get elsewhere. That means that we won't be restocking anything but rings. As we sell off our stock of clasps, tools, etc., the items will just disappear from the website. Click CloseOut in the left menu to see everything that's going. When it's gone, it's really gone. (But we'll list resources so you'll know where to go look for it.)

Another change is that we've taken all the bronze and copper rings off our menu. Sales of those are so infrequent that our wire supplier doesn't want to make the wire for them anymore, and we can't make a case for why they should... so they're gone. We still have some wire so if you have a copper or bronze emergency, write and tell us what you need. We can probably still make it. Copper and bronze wire is still available in our store, as are copper and bronze clasps. None of those items will be restocked.

The biggest change won't happen til this time next year, but at the beginning of 2019, we plan to switch to a different business model -- business-to-business -- and stop accepting new customers, at least for awhile. The idea is that, since we can't accept all possible orders, since we have to disappoint some customers, better to disappoint casual customers who shop with us occasionally, rather than our business customers who are selling designs based on our ring sizes and who order from us all the time. If we have to prioritize, it must be in favor of those most loyal to us. So this is what we're going to do....

At the end of this year, we're going to sort our customers by their 2018 order totals. (The person who spends the most with us this year will be #1, the one who spends the next most will be #2, etc.) When the website changes to B2B in January of 2019, we'll keep open the accounts of as many of our customers as we think we can reasonably handle, beginning with #1. When we have as much as we believe we can do, we'll make a cut off point and close all the accounts after that point.

There isn't a way to keep from disappointing some people when we have to cut back our workload; disappointment is inevitable. What we can do, though, is make sure the process favors those who depend on us the most, so it's fair. Totals begin accumulating when our website reopens in January, and will be complete when we close the website for Christmas 2018.

Just think... this is our last year as the retail business we've always been... maybe our last year ever having new customers! Amazing.

It's going to be a whole new phase of the adventure. Happy New Year.

-- Aislyn

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

By Aislyn Bryan December 16, 2017 648 Views No comments

All the orders are shipped and on the way and now we're cleaning house and looking forward to decorating the tree, making cookies, and watching Christmas movies. (Especially our favorites, Die Hard and Love Actually). So much fun! So glad we gave ourselves extra time off to enjoy it all.

Happy holidays to you and yours and thank you for another wonderful year. We appreciate you all so much. ~hugs all around~

-- Aislyn and Gary

P. S. We'll be back January 15th. Meanwhile, you can reach us at if needed. <3 <3 <3

P. P. S. All of our information pages should still be accessible. (I say should because they have to be listed explicitly and I might have missed one or two. If I did, send me a note and I'll add it to the list.) Click the pages listed in the menu to the left and under the Info tab at the top right of this page. The archive links at the lower left aren't available so don't bother with those. Ok, bye.

Closed... but Still Working

By Aislyn Bryan December 9, 2017 1684 Views No comments

The deadline for ordering things we can get to you before Christmas has passed and now we're busy in the shop, getting it all done. If you have an order in the queue, our plan is to have it shipped out and on its way to you by Friday, December 15th.

If you're here wanting to place a new order, the next opportunity will be January 15th when we return from our extended holiday. It's a long time to wait but don't worry, we'll make it worth your while. ;)

You can reach us at if needed.

Merry Christmas, y'all.


January 2018

By Aislyn Bryan October 26, 2017 969 Views No comments

Our schedule for January. Note that this year, we're going to be enjoying Christmas all the way until mid-January. We have some catching up to do. :)

December 2017

By Aislyn Bryan October 26, 2017 2235 Views 2 comments

(Click News & Information, above, to see our holiday schedule through January.)

This is our December schedule. Note that the deadline to order MTOs (make to order rings) for guaranteed pre-holiday delivery passed on November 30th. MTOs include all rings made of exotic metals. all rings made of wire shapes other than round, plus all the outlying sizes of round rings. If you order MTO rings now, we'll fill the order if we have the wire to make them, but we don't have time to order and receive new wire. If we don't have the wire, we'll cancel and refund the affected MTO items and fill the remainder of the order.

All of our stock items, including most of our round wire rings in sterling, argentium and copper, are still available for guaranteed pre-holiday delivery if ordered by December 8th. The website will be closed -- as in not accepting any orders -- from December 9th until January 15th.

November 2017

By Aislyn Bryan October 26, 2017 1821 Views No comments

(Click News & Information, above, to see our holiday schedule through January.)

This is our November schedule. Note that we'll be closed for a week at Thanksgiving, but the website will remain open. And this year, the last day to order MTOs before Christmas is November 30. Remember, MTOs (make to order) rings are all rings made of exotic metals. all rings made of wire shapes other than round, plus all the outlying sizes of round rings. Anything in any of those categories that you're going to need before we return from the Christmas holidays in mid-January must be ordered in November. If you wait til December, it'll be too late. Heads up, everybody!

October 2017

By Aislyn Bryan October 1, 2017 1291 Views No comments

In a few days Urban Maille's Facebook page is going to disappear so I wanted to take a bit of space here to explain why we're wantonly deleting a page followed by more than 5000 of our favorite people. There's a bit of explanation involved, so feel free to skip down if you don't care about this sort of thing.

Gary and I are old school patriotic types who believe in old school free speech and the free market. We believe in defending to the end each and every person's right to speak their beliefs, even if we loathe what they're saying. Maybe even especially if we loathe it... because when people can speak freely, it's easy to see who they really are. That's where the free market comes in. We vote with our dollars and with our time and attention. We don't give any of it to people whose beliefs are abhorrent to us. Instead, we find like minded people and give them our business, our time, our attention, and in this way we vote for what we want to see more of and disregard the rest. It's a wildly effective system that's completely fair to everyone, suppresses no one, and allows for each and every person to reap exactly what they sow; a blissfully, perfectly, fair result that no form of censorship can ever provide.

Unfortunately, some social media platforms are trying to socially engineer us by deciding what we can see and what we can't. It's just a modern form of book burning, a concept unbearable in any form. The only power we as individuals have (or need) is that free market vote of money, time and attention, so Gary and I have made the decision to stop giving ours to platforms that choose to censor what we see instead of just giving us the tools to filter our own information as we choose. So... bye bye Facebook. It was fun while it lasted.

We've had a lot of lovely rain in the mountains this summer, so even though it's been cool since mid-August, the aspens are only just now turning from green to yellow and the ground is purple with asters well beyond the usual end of our summer flowers. It's hard to pick a favorite season when they're all beautiful but autumn is just special. I hope yours is just as lovely. Until next time....

-- Aislyn

September's the Beginning

By Aislyn Bryan August 31, 2017 1562 Views No comments

It would be difficult to overstate how great it is to have a whole month off in the summertime. It feels like sooo much time, stretching away into the future, just the way summer always felt on the last day of school as a kid. Gary and I lazed around, cooking and eating, watching movies, taking naps (some of them on lounge chairs outside), surrounded by our many critter babies, until even the dogs had had enough.

Then we started cleaning. We rearranged furniture, put up new curtains, beat the rugs, washed the decks, and slowly cleaned away all the clutter that accumulates during the eleven months of the year when we're too busy to notice. Once that was done, we did it all again downstairs in the office and the shop. It's such a nice feeling when everything's clean and shiny, oiled, upgraded, well rested and ready to bust out.

So go place your order... we've got new equipment to break in. :)

-- Aislyn

P.S. Believe it or not, this month is the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It's time to get busy making what you plan to sell and thinking about what you plan to give. I usually get too busy, wait too long and then have to rush... but not this year, because I'm starting right now.

Summer 2017

By Aislyn Bryan July 10, 2017 1465 Views No comments

Hey, everybody. Last summer was so nice that we've decided to make a tradition of closing for the entire month of August to catch up, reorganize and rest. Our website usually remains functional while we're closed, but giving our IT people the whole month to do site upgrades worked out great, as well, so we're going to do that again.

For the entire month of August, our website will be shut down with just a little closed sign on the door, not accepting orders. We'll ship all the orders that come in by midnight, July 26th, then we'll break down our equipment for cleaning and maintenance, so there will be no ring making from that time until we re-open the first week of September.

Freshly organized and without the usual backlog of orders to catch up when we return, our shipping schedule will be nice and speedy from the jump, so that'll be a good time to order. Everything you need before September, though, needs to be ordered this month (July) so we can get it to you before we close. Stock items can be ordered through the 26th but the deadline for ordering make to order (MTO) rings is Friday, July 21th. (MTO rings include all exotic metals and all wire shapes other than round.)

We're having such a beautiful summer. I hope you are, too. :)

-- Aislyn

Closed for August

By Aislyn Bryan July 12, 2016 3562 Views No comments

Hey, everybody. I can't even tell you how much we appreciate all the good wishes and kind thoughts shared with us since I posted last. ~hugs all around~ We're having such a different kind of summer this year that we've decided to close for the entire month of August to catch up, reorganize and rest. The website usually remains functional while we're closed, but this time we're closing the website to give our IT people a chance to do site upgrades.

For the entire month of August, our website will be shut down with just a little closed sign on the door, not accepting orders. We'll ship all the orders that come in by midnight, July 31st, during the first week of August, then we'll break down our equipment for cleaning and maintenance, so there will be no ring making from that time until we re-open the first week of September.

Freshly organized and without the usual backlog of orders to catch up when we return, our shipping schedule will be nice and speedy from the jump, so that'll be a good time to order. Everything you need before September, though, needs to be ordered this month (July) so we can get it to you before we close. Stock items can be ordered until the very end of the month but the deadline for ordering make to order (MTO) rings is Monday, July 18th. (MTO rings include all exotic metals and all wire shapes other than round.) And that deadline's just a week away as I write this, so think fast... and have a beautiful summer.

-- Aislyn

To EveryThing There is a Season...

By Aislyn Bryan March 18, 2016 5431 Views No comments

This is my favorite photo of Gary's parents, taken in '95. They're wonderful people, great parents and surely the best in-laws anyone's ever had. Gary's dad passed away this month and left such a big hole in our lives that none of us are quite sure how to carry on without him... least of all, his wife of 60 years. Gary's spending a lot of time with his mom right now, comforting and helping her find a way forward into the next phase of her life.

For now and throughout the summer, Gary and I will be keeping a shorter than normal work week, so our order turn around time will often be a day or two longer than usual. It's easy to keep up with email no matter where we are, though, so if you'll let us know when you have a deadline to meet, we'll do our best to get our rings in your hands by the time you need them.

Spring is coming....

-- Aislyn and Gary

Christmas 2015

By Aislyn Bryan December 8, 2015 4254 Views No comments

Update, December 23rd -- We've shipped all the pre-deadline orders, and everything we possibly could that came in later. I'm about to turn off the lights and go wrap some presents, but first I want to take a minute to thank you for another wonderful year. We just love you all so much! ~hugs all around~ We'll be back the first week of January and look forward to seeing you then.

Best wishes for every joy of the season to you and yours, from us and ours.

-- Aislyn and Gary

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

It's that magical time of year once again, that time when you don't hear a peep out of us because we're so busy filling orders. :D Actually there is always at least one peep and it's this one, when we post the last day for ordering items to ship before Christmas.

For MTOs -- that's make to order rings, including all shapes other than round and all the more exotic metals -- that date is this Friday, the 11th.

For everything else, the last day to order for pre-Christmas shipping will be the following Friday, the 18th.

Keep it merry and bright, everybody!

-- Aislyn and Gary

Precious Metals, Practical Pricing

By Aislyn Bryan August 20, 2015 6642 Views No comments

Since almost all of our rings are made of precious metals, the prices we pay for materials fluctuate with the metals markets. In the years we've been in business, we've tried out every conceivable method for accurately syncing the price we're paying for materials to the price you're paying for our rings. The reason it's tricky is because...

Shop by Weave: Ever So Dreamy <3

By Aislyn Bryan August 1, 2015 6795 Views No comments

In 12 years of business, and 6 incarnations of our website, this -- the brand new Shop by Weave -- is finally, finally, the shopping experience we've always wanted to offer. It's not easy to present a lot of options while keeping the page simple and intuitive but that's finally what we have. I hope you love it as much as we do.

Shop by Weave is for buying rings by the weave inch. Choose the weave you like, the size and the metal, and enter the number of inches you want to make, all on one page. The cart will show you the perfect ring size(s) and tell you how many per inch you'll need and you can add them to your cart with a keystroke. Rings for medallions are available the same way, but per medallion rather than per weave inch. The price for rings purchased through Shop by Weave is now exactly the same as for rings purchased by-the-ring so that you're truly free to use whichever method best suits you in the moment.

UM kits like the Graduated European 4-in-1 Collar and the Perfect Rings are available in their own section now and there's another section for Designer Ringsets. (You'll find all these sections in the main menu on the left side of our home page.)

Let us know what you think. :)

-- Aislyn and Gary

Third Week of July 2015

By Aislyn Bryan July 17, 2015 3868 Views No comments

Every order over $25 and placed by midnight Thursday night will include the gift of a pair of these beautiful 16g platinum sterling half rounds.

In addition, the largest order placed by midnight Thursday night will include the gift of this pair of cross drilled, faceted, blue mystic topaz trillions, perfect for a pair of earrings.

Second Week of July 2015

By Aislyn Bryan July 9, 2015 3550 Views No comments

Every order over $25 and placed by midnight Thursday night will include the gift of a pair of these delicious copper multistrands. The wire is 16g and there are three strands of it twisted together, so these are luxuriously weighty wee beasties.

In addition, the largest order placed by midnight Thursday night will include the gift of this pair of vertically drilled, faceted stones, dreamy blue green apatite, perfect for earrings.

Happy 4th of July!

By Aislyn Bryan July 2, 2015 3481 Views No comments

Every order over $25 and placed by midnight Thursday night will include the gift of a little scoop of these wee beauties. The wire is tiny 24g, only half a millimeter wide. The ID is large for such small wire at 3.0mm, yet the rings are surprisingly strong, due to the extra...

New on the Site, 26g Round Rings

By Aislyn Bryan July 2, 2015 3920 Views No comments

They look like glitter but the chain is small enough to fit through some beads. ~swoon~

Goodbye June, Hello July

By Aislyn Bryan June 25, 2015 4202 Views No comments

Every order over $25 and placed by midnight Thursday night will include the gift of one of these beautiful 14g diamond sterling rings.

In addition, the largest order placed by midnight Thursday night will include the gift of that big -- 18mm! -- beautiful drilled amethyst.

Vipera Berus

By Gary Bryan June 22, 2015 25292 Views No comments

When I set out to figure out the sizes for Vipera Berus, I had no idea how easy and satisfying this weave is to learn. Of course, I've seen the weave several times, but had never tried to make it before.

The weave starts out as a simple 1-in-1 chain; 2-in-2 for the kinged version....

4th Week of June

By Aislyn Bryan June 18, 2015 2645 Views No comments

Big and sexy 12g square copper rings and an equally big and sexy drilled chunk of aquamarine on the giveaway this week. ~purr~

3rd Week of June

By Aislyn Bryan June 12, 2015 2995 Views No comments

Gorgeous 16g yellow gold filled rings and a stunning pair of blue topaz faceted briolettes on the giveaway this week.

2nd Week of June

By Aislyn Bryan June 7, 2015 3411 Views No comments

Weighty 14g platinum sterling rings and a beautiful amethyst fan on the giveaway this week.

Update Friday, June 12: Congratulations, Barbara, that amethyst fan is on the way! <3

1st Week of June

By Aislyn Bryan June 3, 2015 3283 Views No comments

Tri-color goldfilled multistrand rings and monstrous yellow goldfilled multistrands on the new weekly giveaway.

Update Friday, June 5: Congratulations, Joseph, those monstrous rings are on the way! <3

Newsletter Reboot

By Aislyn Bryan March 31, 2015 3771 Views No comments

We're putting together a brand new mailing list for a brand new newsletter. Are you in? :)

Vortex Medallion, Tutorial

By Gary Bryan February 26, 2015 123853 Views 9 comments

Vortex Medallion is the name of our version of this beautiful and much loved design by Norwegian mailler, Kenth Kutschera.

Use the arrows to navigate the step-by-step tutorial, then watch the video to see how the tricky part is done. Click the link to see the kits. Happy weaving. :)

Elfweave Round

By Gary Bryan January 27, 2015 14395 Views 1 comment

I've been wanting to learn Elfweave for awhile now and I had some time over the holidays to sit down and get to know the weave. All the directions I found recommend sizes for making the sheet version of the weave, but I wanted to tighten that up a bit to make the single row, rope version.

Buying Rings by the Ozt

By Aislyn Bryan December 2, 2014 10089 Views No comments

To order a troy ounce of any ring size....

1) Navigate to the desired ring size
2) Scroll to the bottom of the page where it says Rings per Ozt
3) Enter that number as your quantity

Direct to Ring Navigation

By Aislyn Bryan December 2, 2014 7524 Views No comments

The most direct path to a given ring size is to type its name in the search box like this:

16g/4.5mm rd ss

That means 16 gauge wire, 4.5 millimeter mandrel, round wire, sterling silver

Legend - Key to Abbreviations

By Aislyn Bryan September 13, 2014 11112 Views 3 comments

We use abbreviations in our product descriptions in order to convey a lot of information in a small space. This legend spells them out.

What Can I Make with These?

By Aislyn Bryan September 11, 2014 8993 Views 2 comments

Want to know what that ring size is good for?

1. Click on Shop-by-Weave (top of page)

2. Filter your way to the mystery ring using the left column of the page.

For example, if you have 16g/7.0mm round rings, select from the filters on the left side of the page like this:

Shape: Round
Gauge: 16g
Mandrel: 7.000mm

The Perfect Ring

By Aislyn Bryan September 9, 2014 295109 Views 1 comment
What Makes This Ring So Perfect?

First, it's a ring. Years ago, a well known wire work author asked me to recommend weaves and ring sizes for her to make a series of finger rings to embellish with wire work for one of her books. My recommendation was that she just not do it because I couldn't make a single satisfying ring. By satisfying, I mean a ring that is comfortable, holds up well, and looks good. I could not work out a single unflawed ring design using chainmaille alone. It isn't easy, so it isn't common, which means most people have never even seen a chainmalle ring at all, much less a great one.

Vertebrae -- Closing the Loop

By Gary Bryan June 29, 2013 24033 Views No comments

The final step in completing your Perfect Ring is to join the ends of the Vertebrae weave together. This tutorial will show you, step by step, how to connect the weave to itself to make a continuous loop. You'll want to get good at this so you can easily resize your Perfect Ring for a perfect fit.

Tronex FAQ

By Gary Bryan October 8, 2012 4487 Views No comments

According to Tronex -- The average American worker's hand or palm is approximately four inches wide. Therefore tool handles should be four inches long at least. To allow freedom of hand placement, 4 to 5 inches would be even more desirable.

The Notebook Project

By Aislyn Bryan December 6, 2011 7406 Views No comments

We've always dreamed of a way to keep our instructions all together, something efficient to store and use, something strong and virtually impervious to damage but without sacrificing beauty or making them costly. It's taken this long but we've finally found a way to do all of that at once. It's so simple I can't believe we never thought of it before but we're thrilled to have it now. We call it....

Where are the Lindstroms?

By Aislyn Bryan December 6, 2011 9294 Views No comments

We began seeing certain quality control issues with certain models of the Lindstroms we carried after Lindstrom moved manufacturing to another facility in another country. I'm sure they'll work out their problems and be fabulous again but since we can't just do without pliers in the meantime, I decided to look around and see what had come along since the last time I did any serious tool shopping... and that's when I fell in love with Tronex.

Private Label

By Aislyn Bryan May 21, 2011 6760 Views No comments

Do you have a design of your own that would make a wonderful kit? Would you love to be able to sell kits for your own designs on your website, at shows or classes... but rather not have to become a manufacturer to do it?

We can partner with you to make it happen. We'll make up custom ring packs to your specifications, package them beautifully, labeled with your own logo, and ship them straight to you. You add your own instructions and anything else you want to include, price them as you see fit and sell them on your website, at your shows, classes or anywhere else you like. You keep all your rights, we keep all your secrets and you are the sole source of your own kits.

Why Professionals Buy Our Rings

By Aislyn Bryan May 21, 2011 18230 Views No comments

Note: The following information is meant for people who are in the business, or plan to be in the business, of making and selling jewelry that utilizes maille techniques. This article consists of very specific business advice delivered quite bluntly. Personally, I much prefer the truth to anything sugar coated and I try to treat others as I want to be treated. If you're trying to get a business off the ground in a competitive industry during a tough economic period, you don't need sunshine and rainbows, you need honest, insightful business advice from people running successful businesses. I'm giving you that, but the advice of anyone who sells what he or she is advising you to buy should always be closely scrutinized. With that in mind, I'm speaking very bluntly to make it easier for you to scrutinize my points and judge them for yourself.

Closing Rings Seamlessly

By Aislyn Bryan May 14, 2011 11020 Views No comments

When closing a ring, your goal is to create tension in the metal to push the two ends of the ring against each other, ensuring the tightest possible join.

The tension you create in the metal by pushing the ends past one another will keep them pressed tightly together when you've lined them up to meet evenly. If the ends don't line up perfectly the first time, repeat the procedure in smaller increments until they do.

Beautiful Diamond Flowers

By Aislyn Bryan May 4, 2010 4898 Views No comments

These are 3 ring flowers, made with diamond rings, In addition to the sizes shown in the photos, 14g/8.5mm diamond rings make gorgeous flowers. That's the same ring size we recommend for the diamond Half Persian 4-in-1 so you might already have them. You can make 12 flowers with 1 ozt.

Kit Works

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2009 5429 Views No comments

I've never felt comfortable with the 'learn to make a bracelet', project based way of teaching. Almost all jewelry making lessons are project based, meaning you learn to make a particular thing, say a tennis bracelet, for example. Although the techniques used to make the tennis bracelet can be applied to any number of other types of projects, some of which are nothing like tennis bracelets, many people have trouble separating the design from the technique and see them as one and the same. Hence the....

Stones... To Tumble or Not

By Aislyn Bryan December 5, 2007 4328 Views No comments

"Do you know of a resource that tells you which gems/semi-precious that can/can't be tumble polished with stainless steel? I am looking for a general resource, but specifically moonstone."

I don't know of a definitive resource and I don't really see how there could be one because a lot depends on the quality of the stone. Low quality stones that have cracks and fissures or are chalky aren't as likely to take the millions of tiny pings of tumbling as well as higher quality, more solid stones. And that's just one example of a difference...

More On Pricing

By Aislyn Bryan August 7, 2007 3845 Views No comments

Pricing is not a one size fits all proposition because it's less about inherent value than it is perceived value. In other words, an item is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it; no more, no less. So I can tell you whether the bracelet is worth $175 to me but that doesn't do you any good because I'm not the person you hope to sell it to.

More On Tumbling

By Aislyn Bryan January 15, 2007 8042 Views No comments

If you've read our Cleaning and Polishing page reference above, you've seen the bit about the mysterious darkness. Yellowing is the first stage of that darkness, just like it's the first stage of tarnishing. If you get yellow, brown, grey or black on your metal and you've followed the directions for rinsing the tumbler and shot, adding clean water and a lot more Dawn, given it another tumble and it still hasn't gone away, you need to do two things.

Good Results Aren't Born of Bad Intentions

By Aislyn Bryan August 30, 2006 3583 Views No comments

Personally, I don't think karma is a mysterious unknowable; I think it's physics. Invisible physics, unquantifiable in a laboratory setting, but physics nonetheless. Whatever energy you put into the world comes back to you and it comes back in a magnified form. It goes out, it gets big, it comes back. Emotion is a form of energy that you put out into the world all day, every day. All emotion falls under one of two headings: Love or Fear, positive or negative.

Business Minus Profit Equals Hobby

By Aislyn Bryan August 29, 2006 3957 Views No comments

Money is not evil. It's the love of money that leads to trouble. Loving money and being willing to step on anyone to get it is definitely a bad thing. But making a healthy profit from your own hard work does not make you a soulless, unfeeling corporate vampire. Until and unless you make peace with the concept of charging what your work is actually worth, you have no chance of building a solid, profitable business that will actually support you. That's blunt, but that's the way it is.

Begin As You Mean to Go On

By Aislyn Bryan August 28, 2006 3834 Views No comments

We've covered why you might find it difficult to charge a fair price for your work and why you really need to get past those issues and do it anyway. That brings us to how. How do you know what to charge? What is a fair price? There are countless formulas that say triple the price of this and add that and it all seems rather arbitrary. In truth, there's only one formula that matters: You have to cover your costs and make a profit.

Being True to Yourself & Your Vision

By Aislyn Bryan August 27, 2006 3547 Views No comments

When you begin to think about starting a business, you have a vision of what it will be. That vision evolves and deepens as you ponder the idea and begin to make plans. As the idea takes shape, your enthusiasm is boundless and the possibilities are infinite.

Discere, Creare, Florere

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 3609 Views No comments

Our beginning kits are designed to teach not only chain weaves but the technical skills required to execute those weaves at the highest level of quality. The finished products are intended to serve as examples of those chains at their very best so great care and attention to detail goes into the ring choices for each kit. The projects used to teach these skills are quite intentionally unadorned in order to keep the focus purely on the experience of learning the weave and to avoid cluttering...

The Role of Aspect Ratio in Design

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 10750 Views No comments

An aspect ratio of 3 or less indicates a fat ring with a small inner diameter (ID), like a donut. The smaller the ID, the stronger the ring; the fatter the wire, the stronger the ring... so a small aspect ratio means a very strong ring. A large aspect ratio of 5 or more indicates a....

Tumble Polishing Jewelry

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 164368 Views 5 comments

We highly recommend the use of a rock tumbler and stainless steel shot for cleaning and polishing jewelry. We favor that method so much that most of this page and all the photos are devoted to explaining in detail exactly how to do it, despite the fact that we don't sell tumblers or any supplies for them. We hope you find the information helpful and delight in the relentless shine of the finished product as much as we do.

Polishing, Other Methods

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 9813 Views No comments

If you've ever polished the family silver, you've had your introduction to cleaning sterling by means of chemical compounds. There are sprays and dips intended for use on jewelry, as well, but because we prefer to keep our chemical use to a minimum, we have no experience with them. These are the methods we've used.

Cleaning & Polishing Copper

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 32539 Views No comments

A mixture of lemon juice and salt or white vinegar and salt is a very effective solution for cleaning copper. You might have seen half a lemon salted and used to scrub copper bottom pots. For jewelry, dissolve a tablespoon of salt in a cup of lemon juice or vinegar (measurements are fairly arbitrary and can be adjusted as you see fit) and keep the mixture in a jar with a lid. Drop the jewelry in the jar, swish it around for a moment, then remove, rinse, rub it all over with baking soda to neutralize it, then rinse it again. However mild, lemon juice and vinegar are still acids and you don't want to leave acid sitting on your jewelry. If it isn't neutralized....

Pricing Your Work

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4269 Views No comments

Figuring out how to price your jewelry is one of the most difficult aspects of going into business and I often get questions about it. There are a lot of different formulas for that purpose floating around, but they tend to break down when applied to chainmaking because making chain is so much more labor intensive than some other types of jewelry work. When applying the same type of materials based formula that works well for bead stringing, a new chain maker might wonder, "How will I ever make any money at this?"

Minding Your Business

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4146 Views No comments

Just recently, while answering an email, I found those positions separating in my mind in a way they never had before. It led to a revelation in my understanding of what it really means to grow a business from an embryo to a thriving entity separate from oneself. It made me realize that you can't just wear different hats; you have to actually occupy each position separately in your mind, as well.

Waiting for the Seed to Fall

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 3602 Views No comments

If Gary hadn't been out of town all the time, if I wasn't sitting alone every night feeling sorry for myself and collecting hobbies, we'd never have been in the right place at the right time for the business idea that's making all our dreams come true. However long it takes, there's always a reason.

Flower Chain, Tutorial

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 8725 Views No comments

The flower is a three ring segment of single spiral (aka a three ring mobius unit), which is the most basic unit of spiral chain. When the flowers are joined together by connecting pairs, the result is Flower Chain. When the flowers are joined together by byzantine segments, the result is Byzantine Rose.

Flower Chain spirals gently over the length of the chain so when used for earrings, it's nice to spiral the flowers one way for one earring and the other way for the other earring, so that the earrings frame the face symmetrically.

3-in-3 Chain, Tutorial

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 7070 Views No comments

The 3-in-3 has a masculine, motorcycle chain feel that makes it a favorite with men. Like all masculine chains, it makes a woman's wrist look delicate by contrast.

3-in-3 is a simple pattern but it looks good only with perfect closures and no pringling at all. Hence, weaving 3-in-3 adds significantly and rapidly to a mailler's vital skill set.

Byzantine, Tutorial

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 12854 Views No comments

Byzantine looks so ornate and complex that people never fail to be surprised at how easy it is to weave. It's among the most versatile of all chain weaves. There are so many ways to use it and so many variations based on it that learning Byzantine really opens up a lot of options for the projects to follow.

Byzantine Rose

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 5323 Views No comments

Such a simple combination of two weaves (Byzantine and Flower) might not normally get a weave name of its own, but this one is so lovely and elegant and neverendingly useful that it warrants a name, if only for expediency in frequent reference.

Box Chain

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4762 Views No comments

Box Chain is Byzantine with a step left out. While Byzantine's pattern is 2-2-2-Fold, Box Chain is 2-2-Fold. That little tweak completely changes the way the rings fit together, though, so Box Chain requires rings of a higher aspect ratio than Byzantine.

We teach Box Chain as a variation of Byzantine, so you must already know Byzantine for our instructions to make sense.

Barrel Weave Tutorial

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 28109 Views No comments

Barrel Weave is easy enough for a beginner and uses all the same round ring sizes as Byzantine. It's my absolute favorite weave for charm bracelets and anytime I want perfectly spaced dangles.

European 4-in-1

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4162 Views No comments

Double Spiral 4-in-1

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 5108 Views No comments

Parallel Chain

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4371 Views No comments

Jens Pind's Linkage

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 7965 Views No comments

Venus Rising

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4523 Views No comments

Venus Rising is an embellished version of our Graduated European 4-in-1 Collar. The stones are aquamarine heishi and white pearls, both from MiGem. Several people have asked for some direction on how to embellish the European 4-in-1 Collar similarly, so I thought I'd write a bit about it here. It's all headpins and eyepins and tiny little rings. I'm not positive about the ring size, but they were most likely 22g/2.25mm or 2.5mm. The wire for the headpins and eyepins is 24g because pearls have tiny....


By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4503 Views No comments

Spiral 6-in-1

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 10620 Views No comments

Single Spiral is unstable, meaning it doesn't hold its shape until the ends are fixed. Weaving it with half round or half flat rings stabilizes the chain and eliminates the problem and the resulting chains are gorgeous.

Spontaneous Design

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 5533 Views No comments

These techniques are not difficult but they do require a bit of focused attention to grasp the concept and then willingness to wing it somewhat in working up your design, playing with assorted rings and seeing what looks good. This isn't a step by step sort of thing and there aren't even recommended ring sizes. That might be more freedom than a person wants early on but wonderful when your focus is on developing design skills.

Dragonscale Collar

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 14016 Views 2 comments

Graduated Double Spiral Earrings

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 6350 Views No comments

If you know how to make Double Spiral Chain, these earrings are easy to put together. Simply order the rings according to inside diameter from largest to smallest. Beginning with the largest and using two rings of each size, weave Double Spiral Chain. The smallest ring pair isn't part of the spiral pattern and is used only to connect the last set of spiraled links to the earwire.


By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 6600 Views No comments

In response to several requests, I made a real life version of my wallpaper flower so I could share the specs with you. I hope you like the name. Getting the right size balance between the center ring and its spokes turned out to be surprisingly fiddly; too loose and it was floppy and didn't hold its shape, too tight and the whole flower would torque in peculiar ways. This version, though, is just right. It's tight enough to maintain its shape perfectly even when suspended but not so tight that it torques under its own tension.


By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 62286 Views 4 comments

Vertebrae is a single row of Kingscale, which is a sheet weave, anchored by small rings along its length on both sides. It's easy enough for a beginner.

Vertebrae, Square and Diamond

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 3898 Views No comments


By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 3530 Views No comments

Half Persian 4-in-1

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4276 Views No comments

Serpentine Necklace

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4105 Views No comments

Half Persian 4-in-1, Diamond

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 3979 Views No comments

Half Persian 4-in-1, Square

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 3534 Views No comments

Half Persian 4-in-1, Round / Multistrand

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 3939 Views No comments

Jens Pinds, Square

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4173 Views No comments

Summer at Aphrodite's

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 6072 Views 2 comments

Summer at Aphrodite's is an anklet made from 20g Barrel Weave, adorned with freshwater pearls on sterling headpins. It's closed with our large capsule magnet clasp which is particularly good for anklets. Barrel Weave makes lovely charm bracelets, as well.

Seahorse Chain

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4644 Views No comments

Jewel Chain

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 3740 Views No comments

Ring Knots

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4459 Views No comments

Ring Knots are simply flowers, as in Flower Chain, made with a greater number of rings than the 3 used for flowers. This same pattern, made with as many rings as can be made to fit, is known as a mobius ball. Ring Knots, like these, are known as Love Knots, Celtic Knots, Danish Knots and probably many other knots, as well. There is conflicting information as to which is which and why, which makes the names seem to be interchangeable, but the most accurate name is really Ring Knot, since they are indisputably made of rings, origins notwithstanding.


By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 9501 Views No comments

Romanov can be made with byzantine segments of any gauge but you might have to play with it to find the right size bead to fit in the center. It's a bit easier if your chain isn't too snug. For your first try, I would recommend byzantine segments made of 18g/3.5mm rings, 16g/5.0 or 5.5mm connecting rings and 6mm round beads.

Parallel Flowers

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 3477 Views No comments

1-in-1 Chain

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4029 Views No comments

The basis of all chain patterns, this simple 1-1-1 pattern is technically a 2-in-1 chain (because each ring has 2 rings passing through it) but the picture that pops into another person's mind when you mention this chain is more likely to be accurate if you call this chain 1-in-1.

2-in-2 Chain

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 3456 Views No comments

WallFlowers, Square

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4628 Views No comments

This design is very tight and the medallions are rigid enough to stand on edge. The flowers are so stiff they feel like coins in your hand. These elements can be used as pendants, earrings, or joined together in a chain. We recommend 2 pair of flat nose pliers for closing the square rings and 2 pair of chain nose pliers for the tight spaces and especially for connecting to the center ring. if you haven't made Wallflowers before, we recommend you start with the round ring version before tackling the squares.

Roundmaille, Diamond

By Aislyn Bryan March 23, 2003 4144 Views No comments

Comparing the Metals

By FAQs March 23, 2003 24233 Views No comments

Sterling silver is an alloy of at least 92.5% pure silver with no more than 7.5% something else. Our sterling (and sterling from any reputable US supplier) is made with copper as the something else. We work primarily in sterling and make rings in a wide range of sizes....

Using the Ring Tool

By FAQs March 23, 2003 5667 Views No comments

You've seen rings opened and closed using two pairs of pliers. Some people prefer to use one pair of pliers and a ring opener or jumpring tool, especially for opening a number of rings at once. The ring opener fits over the forefinger of your non-dominant hand and one side of the ring is fitted into the appropriate sized slot. While braced in this position, the....

Preparing New Pliers & Cutters for Use

By FAQs March 23, 2003 5903 Views No comments

No matter what sort of pliers you purchase, they're likely to need a little smoothing before you use them so they don't scratch your shiny rings. Run a fingertip over the inside jaws and if you feel anything scratchy, even a little bit, use a file to smooth it out. If you don't have fine files meant for steel, an old nail file will do the job. Don't get so enthusiastic when filing....

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