Module 1 - Introduction to Chainmaille
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Joined: February 06, 2004
Posts: 1707
Submissions: 28
Location: beach park, il

Module 1 - Introduction to Chainmaille
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Posted on Wed Apr 28, 2004 9:06 pm
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nice job muzz on the Module. if i ever get a group big enough to teach, i'll definetly use it. great job again, coifs off to you! Coif LoL

Arthur: Let's go somewhere.
Trillian: Where'd you have in mind?
Ford: I know this great restaurant at the end of the universe

-The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Joined: September 28, 2003
Posts: 68
Submissions: 3

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Posted on Thu Apr 29, 2004 1:15 am
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It was my first attempt at doing an article and didn't know how to do some of the things I would have wanted to put into it (linking to the suggested arrticles)

If anyone has any comments or suggestions please let me know and i will try and edit it. Please let me know what you don't like about it as well so I can make it better.

Muzz Coif Cool Smiley

Joined: January 23, 2004
Posts: 18
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Posted on Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:21 pm
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I read your article with interest. I have been teaching maille weaves at a local bead store. I have taught 3 different weaves (open round maille, byzantine and euro 4 in1) so far and will teach another class (half persian 4 in 1) at the end of June.

I really hate to comment on someone's work, but I feel that you have left out a very inportant step. What type of group of students are you targeting? The group that you are targeting will determine the type of course that you teach.

I have a group that I teach that the ages range from 12 to late 60's. I seem to have my own cult following. They do have one thing in common, they want to weave, but there main interest is jewelry. Because that is the main interest, I couldn't very well just have small patches of the weaves to display. In order to generate interest in the class and future classes I needed to have finished pieces and then I can show smaller or half finished pieces to show different variations.

That's how I got into teaching in the first place. I had a piece on that I made and was shopping at the bead store. The owner really loved the necklace. She signed me up right there to teach a class. If I went in with the intention of selling her on me teaching a class and had small pieces of weaves, she wouldn't have been interested, because if a person doesn't really know anything about chain maille, small pieces aren't going to show the potential of weaving. You need a hook.

As for the history, I have found that the history is less important in the beginning than after the students have tried their hand at weaving. After they have made a few pieces then they really, really want to know the background of maille.

My classes start with the very basics. They name of the weave (and all the other names it could be known by), the best type of pliers to use, the wire gauge and ring size they will be using that day. I next instruct them about holding the piers, opening and closing rings. Then comes an important part, I tell them that no matter how I do it, they in time will find their own rhythm and method of doing things. I had a student tell me last Sunday that was the best advice that I had given. She said that most teachers tell them, "this is the way to do it", period.

Now that my students have done a few weaves, they are interested in knowing the different ways to wind wire, the different ways to cut wire. What type of wire to use, what gauges to use. We do the classes in sterling (which I provide in kits that I make up), but I tell them if they are trying a weave on their own, use some type of craft wire to play with. Once they understand the weave then they can graduate to sterling.

I have been approached by the head of the township night classes at the local high school about teaching a course. I have written up an outline for the 6 weeks of the course. It starts with my basics and then the 3rd class will go into winding, cutting and history.

Sorry to be so long winded about the subject, but I feel that for every focus type group, you will have different course outlines to follow. Some groups will want to know about making traditional chain maille pieces and garb and those are the students that will want to know the history first and will want to know about winding and cutting first. The cottage jewelry maker wants to know how to do a weave, what can I add to the weave to make it sell? Down the road they will want to know the other things but up front they want to know how to make something that stands out from all of the other jewelry makers.


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