Hello, I am Karen, owner, designer and creator here at Sanctuary Studio, making jewellery is my business and my passion.
Sanctuary Studio specialises in chainmaille jewellery made from Stainless Steel, Titanium, Bronze, Brass, Copper and Anodised and Bright Aluminium
occasionally adding artisan crafted cabochons and lamp-work beads and natural semi-precious stones to some designs.
I also branch out and add cold forged and wire wrapped pieces to my collections.
I have been making jewellery from the age of 12, I started out helping my mother who was a lapidary. She tumbled rough stones and made them into pretty things to wear.
I studied art and design at college and have been creating ever since. I am self taught and am constantly learning and developing my skill set, there is always more to learn.
Where I can all jump rings I use are hand coiled on various sized mandrels and cut with precision by myself, each weave is created one ring at a time with a great deal of time and patience. The finished piece is then tumbled clean and given a polished finish.
Chainmaille is one of the earliest forms of metal armour. The oldest piece of maille armour that can be accurately dated is more than 2,700 years old. It was discovered in the graves of Celtic warriors. Earlier evidence of chainmaille has been found in graves from the 5th century BC in Scythia (an area between Europe and Asia). Although most historical chainmaille is armour, jewellery techniques were also used by cultures as diverse as the Vikings and the ancient Egyptians.
Chainmaille can be made from virtually any material that can be formed into a circle. This includes most metals as well non-traditional jewellery materials such as rubber.
The number of known patterns is impressive: More than 1,000 weaves are documented on M.A.I.L. (Maille Artisans International League). Most of these modify basic patterns, but each weave is distinct. Today's weavers still create new patterns, from simple chains to intricate, fabric-like sheets.
Handcrafted Jewellery as Unique as you are Individual