rapt, adj. – deeply engrossed or absorbed
in, prep. – to express inclusion or involvement
maille, n. – a mesh made of interlinked metal rings
ABOUT MY JEWELRY:
I combine both new and traditional patterns of chainmaille with contemporary decorative elements and a modern, edgy design sensibility. A significant focus of my work lies in the contrast, and then the blending together of the masculine and feminine. I love to create jewelry that is elegant while also being strong, bold, and empowering.
At an early age, I was inspired by the tribal cultures I would see in my parents’ National Geographic magazines. I would page through the issues and seek out photos of tattoos, body modification, and exotic jewelry. I am also inspired by the punk and glam rock movements, the Art Deco style of the 20s-40s, and the Victorian era.
I patiently build each piece link by link. The chainmaille is created by opening and closing individual links while weaving them together in a specific pattern. If a piece has any length of chain in the design, each chain is painstakingly measured and cut so that the design lays properly on the wearer, with placement, weight, and gravity playing major roles. The end result is a piece of jewelry that is fluid, tactile, soft, and comfortable, as it conforms to the curves of your body.
I also create form and structure in some pieces with a micro-pulse-arc welder, which essentially fuses the metal. Incorporating solid structures with the fluid chainmaille has been an exciting recent addition to my process.
The predominant material of my work is stainless steel. Due to its strength, stainless is a very difficult metal to work with, and I am one of few chainmaille artists who creates exclusively with this material. It has taken years and years for me to develop the skill to easily manipulate the rings, and I take pride in the quality of the ring closures and overall craftsmanship. I love stainless steel because of its unique luster, its strength & boldness, its affordability, and its resistance to corrosion. Maintenance is minimal because stainless steel will not tarnish, and can be cleaned with simple soap and water.
I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Crafts/Metals in 1996. After several years of designing and experimentation, I officially launched Rapt in Maille in August of 2000. I have been exhibiting my work at art fairs around the Midwest for nearly 20 years, while developing a very loyal fan base, winning many awards, and making dear friends.