Spider is a chainmail artist currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Her childhood was spent in Mendocino, a secluded community of artists on the
California coast, though eventually she followed her left-brain to Boston to
join the technology revolution, receiving a degree in Mechanical Engineering
from MIT. After several years as a computer geek she discovered that her passion
lay not in technology, but in art and today she spends her time discovering new
and beautiful ways to weave metal.
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Since its inception, metalwork as an artistic medium has captured the imagination.
The development by ancient artisans of techniques such as the drawplate for forming
wire allowed raw metal, naturally heavy and crude, to be worked into pliable and
flowing pieces. The most familiar form of such "metal weaving" is the chainmail worn
by soldiers in the Middle Ages, a practical application that continued well into 18th
century India. However, the art of "weaving metal" is actually much older. The ancient
Greeks, Egyptians, and Sumerians created highly elaborate and beautiful jewelry using
a technique called loop-in-loop as early as 3000 BC. Today, I extend that heritage
through the jewelry I make.
I was drawn to chainmail because of its incredible feel -- at once both soft and solid.
It lies on the skin with a comforting presence, moving with you but also seeming to
possess an animation of its own.
When I first learned the art of making chainmail, I used large rings and had notions
of making clothing and other sizable pieces. But I quickly discovered that the more
intimate scale of jewelry-making was what really inspired me. And over the years, I have
worked in smaller and smaller rings, making more and more intricate pieces, striving for
the impression of metal lace. I discovered loop-in-loop jewelry after I had been making
chainmail for a few years and instantly fell in love with its tight, sinuous feel and
incredible visual complexity. The two styles of metalwork complement each other and afford
me a wider range of artistic expression.
I make all of my pieces by hand, just me, one ring at a time. I am a one-woman business and
I take great pride in the quality of my work. My designs employ a wide range of metals --
stainless steel, silver, niobium, and gold -- always of the highest grade. I enjoy exploring
the possibilities of "metal weaving," and I am always willing to modify a piece or custom
craft something to your specifications. It is immensely satisfying to me to know that I've
made exactly what you want and that it fits perfectly.