January 4, 2016

Chainmaille Wrapped Coins and Mirror

Happy 2016, everyone!!

Hope the new year finds you well, and all ready for a fantastic year ahead!

Me, as the ever diehard mailler, ringed in the new year with some new chainmaille projects (of course) of my own: Chainmaille wrapped objects.

Been seeing many talented maille artists' work in using chainmaille weaves to wrap all kinds of stuff, stones, bottles, disks, wind chimes, coins, you name it, but I'd never found the right projects for me, until now...

Yup, it's a 八卦鏡!  Jean has this on a plastic channel wrap that originally came with the mirror; but that wrap finally broke from exposure to the sun for many years.  Perfect timing for me to try my hands on replacing the wrap with metal rings!

So before I start on wrapping this 6" diameter mirror (and its separate cork backing), a little proof-of-concept is needed.

That's right, this POC is not anywhere close to what's finally on the mirror, and that's because I couldn't get this Japanese 2 in 1 based wrap to stay put around the mirror, no matter what... But I had no problem in closing the wrap on these two US nickles.

My guess of the issue is because this wrap doesn't have its own "structure", it mostly forms to the shape of whatever is being wrapped.  Plus, the "channel" depth of this wrap needs to come in more over the face of the coin, somewhat like 1/7 of the coin diameter, in order to securely hold in the object being wrapped.

1/7 of the diameter is OK on small objects like a coin of a donut pendant; but it won't look right on a mirror that's over 6" across, so...  the search was back on.


Thanks to the internet, there is a huge collection of wrapped objects in pictures and in detail specs.  Almost too many to choose from :-)   In the end, I settled back on the good old Alligator Back, which is also the belly/base of all my chainmaille pet dragons :-)

The deep channel of Alligator Back can keep its shape with or without an object to hold onto.  In addition, I "cinched" the outside HP3in1 rings with the smaller rings in Euro6in1 (although in this case, it's really one ring thru 3 rings since they're on the edge.)

An extra piece of wire is also threaded thru the middle of Alligator Back, which is the center column of its Euro4in1, to give extra support to the wrap, as well as a separate and stronger point to connect the spiral chain on top.

Now it's all very secured, and very pretty :-)

All jumprings are bright aluminum, 18 gauge SWG, 1.2 mm; power-coiled on 3/16" mandrel and saw cut on my Ringinator, except the outer edge rings on the Alligator Back are 1/4".

Yup, those metal rings are going to last a whole lot longer than the old plastic loop:-)

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