Classical Loop In Loop Chains And Their Derivatives by Jean Stark


Classical Loop in Loop Chains is an amazing book and one of the first I was introduced to as a budding metalsmith. The basic concept here in making loop in loop chains is that a series of small loops of wire are made and then fused closed. Each new link is then inserted into the previous link. Repeating this pattern of inserting links over and over again is what causes the chain to grow.

The book begins with the Origins and Applications of Loop-in-Loop Chains where Stark shares an intriguing history of loop-in-loop chains. This ancient technique dates back from the early Bronze Age to the end of the Middle Ages. This history is a fascinating backdrop and the author brings us through time to loop-in-loop chain making as it is today.

The second chapter, General Information, is quite helpful in describing the different types of chains possible to make, how they are made and the simple equipment needed to make them. Stark also explains the basic chain styles, their variations and suggests a sequence of chain making for the reader to facilitate their endeavors and skills.

Chapter 2 is very full and dense, explaining in detail everything you’ll need to know before beginning your first chain. How to make links, fuse them, shape them, are all here in excellent detail. Stark troubleshoots for you, warning you about potential problems and how to avoid them. As it that weren’t enough, she finishes the chapter with information about how to repair links, saving you both money and frustration.

Chapter 3, Single Loop-in-Loop Chains, provides five projects explaining this simple but lovely chain style. These five run the gamut from delicate to hefty as well as a bead and chain derivative. Nice way to start. Chapter 4, Pinched Loop Chains, has another interesting five projects. Chapter 5 describes Double Loop-in-Loop Chains with yet another gorgeous 5 projects.

Multidirectional loop-in-loop chains, multiple soldered chains and Multiple woven chains are covered extensively in the next three chapters for an amazing total of thirty-four loop-in-loop chain projects in this book.

The final chapter is a strong finish, Clasps and Terminations. As any good art jeweler knows, it’s all in the details, the finishing of pieces. Since this is where many jewelers struggle, finalizing this book with clasp making is a real bonus.

Classical Loop in Loop Chains and Their Derivatives by Jean Stark and Josephine Reist Smith is  a classic book that you’ll want to have in your library of excellent how-to wire jewelry making books. Although the book is in black and white and has no gallery section, the book doesn’t suffer. The illustrations are plentiful, detailed and there are many black and white photos of the gorgeous chains to make. Wonderful book.