Chain...the stuff that links us to our own fashionable attitude. Let's explore the world of chain a little, shall we? These days, when we think of chain jewelry, a flood of images may come to mind. From tiny, delicate circles of gold or silver inside each other, to a thick collar of metal that looks like little bricks lined up side by side, there is a chain that will suit anyone's taste.
The symbolism of chain jewelry has played out in many different roles throughout the ages. Chain can represent eternal love linking two people together with no beginning and no end, or a bond between friends, strong and unbreakable. In direct opposition, chain can bring to light an image of bondage and imprisonment.
In mythological and medieval religious art, chains might represent unshakable faith or, on the other side of the coin, when associated with devils and demons, symbolize defeat via materialistic desires. Homer wrote about a chain created by Zeus that connected heaven and earth, Plato talked about a chain that wrapped around and held the universe together and Eastern religions relate current actions to the links of the chain of Karma.
Pictured above, the British museum has a chain and bead headband in their Middle Eastern collection that was excavated from the Mesopotamia area and dated to 2500 bc. The uses, materials, styles and sizes have had a lot of time to develop and blossom into the wide variety available today.
In today's world, from extravagant to demure, expensive to costume, classic to nouvelle, you can see chain draped over or hanging from every body part of the human form. It connects a nose ring to an earring and a ring on your finger to a bracelet. A fine mesh belt connected to a belly ring becomes beach wear. Adding a toggle and a pocket watch makes a perfect masculine accessory for the office. The best way to embellish your own body parts is to start designing and making your own jewelry. Buy it by the foot, adorn it with beads, gems, a pendant or charms, add a jump ring or two and a clasp and voila! You now have a lovely personal ornament.
You've never made your own jewelry? You think you can't do it or that it's too difficult? Follow the "KZ Chains Jump Rings and Clasps" link below to watch a video that shows you how to make a simple but elegant chain necklace with a pendant. Katy Kauffman, a KZ Chains and Leather designer, gives you step-by-step instructions that will have you wearing your own creation in no time. You're welcome!