Rapt in Maille jewelry combines traditional patterns of chainmaille with contemporary decorative elements and a modern, urban design sensibility. A significant focus of the work lies in the provocative integration of masculine vs. feminine. This is apparent throughout the jewelry collections in the juxtaposition of the masculine component of chainmaille with feminine design quality, use of materials, and its application for adornment. It is often surprising to wearers of the jewelry to see how such a typically masculine material can be made to look so elegant and beautiful.
Another significant aspect of Rapt in Maille jewelry is the tactility. The chainmaille, often mixed with other various strands of draping chain, can create a very pleasing feel when worn against the skin. It is typically much lighter than it looks, feels luxurious and slinky, and therefore extremely comfortable to wear.
Each piece is designed from an idea that brings about experimentation of process and materials. Unlike many other designers, a sketch is always made after, rather than before. Inspiration often comes from new discoveries on how to link rings together, how to incorporate a newly found material, or from an interesting structure that Melissa believes can be replicated with chainmaille.
Rapt in Maille jewelry is patiently handmade link by link. The chainmaille is built 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 a major role.