Kristin Knudson-Groh Jewelry Artist
In sixth grade, it was macramé necklaces and bracelets. In high school, I glued earring posts onto found objects. As an adult I moved on to beading, wirework and now chainmaille and metalwork. Growing up, I was the tomboy who loved pretty things. Now I take a form that had been used to equip men for war and use it to create pieces to enhance a woman’s beauty. Isn’t jewelry one of the ways that we ‘arm’ ourselves to face our days?
I’ve been working in jewelry “seriously” since 2005, making pieces. I began making chainmaille when a magazine project caught my eye and imagination. I had instructions, but still couldn’t make it work. Finally, I sat down and stared at the photo of the finished piece until suddenly, I got it. I saw how the pattern worked, how the rings related to each other. I was hooked. Every chain begins with a pile of rings, and two pair of pliers. I love the challenge of making armor look beautiful, and of finding ways to add beads onto (or into) the weaves. My goal is to push chainmaille beyond the Renaissance Festival, creating pieces that can be worn and appreciated by women everywhere.
"I start with the cabochon, playing with the colors until I like the way they swirl together. When it's finished and glazed I create the chain, making it as tight a fit as I can to hold the cabochon snugly. Then I use a bit of clear epoxy on the back just to be sure that everything is secure. Finally I find a hand-dyed silk ribbon with colors that blend it all together. The cabochon is not quite 1 inch long. The silk tie is done with slip knots, so that it can be adjusted to the length you like. This necklace is very light and comfortable. "