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Meet the Artists Behind B3

Blue Buddha Boutique is proud to partner with a variety of artists in an effort to create one-of-a-kind designs and products. Working one on one with artists keeps our vision fresh and allows us to introduce these talented folks to customers in all 50 states and more than 40 countries. Read more below about the artists behind your favorite projects.


Rebeca Mojica

Rebeca Mojica

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

I have always been a tactile person, so it is not surprising that I was drawn to the ancient art of chainmaille. As soon as I made my first piece—a belt—I realized it was incredibly soothing to link together ring after ring and watch a pattern unfold. At the time, I imagined I would do more beadwork or metalsmithing, because that is what I saw around me. But I could not deny my love for maille. With no experts around to teach me, I began exploring this relatively untapped medium on my own.

Chainmaille is a marriage between mathematics and free-form shape, between right- and left-brain talents. I'm fascinated that a single shape can be put together in so many ways, yielding virtually an infinite number of textures and patterns. I absolutely love picking up a piece of chainmaille and feeling its very distinct personality come to life in my fingers. By using colored rings and combining classic weaves in new ways, I try to erase people's preconceived notions of chainmaille. When I hear someone say, "Wow! I didn't know chainmaille could do that!", then I know I've succeeded.

I am inspired by fractal mathematics, organic shapes and architecture. Where other people see flowers, trees and buildings, and I see a world where everything is made of interlocked circles. My brain spends a lot of time thinking, "OK, how could I make that out of maille?"

As a teacher, I help students discover that they can create beauty using only their hands, pliers and jump rings. There is a sense of instant gratification after completing a bracelet in a few short hours. I offer students an escape from the daily grind, and a chance to be captivated by this meditative art form.

People often tell me, "You must have so much patience." But when you do something you love, patience doesn't even enter the picture. This truly is my passion, my love.

To learn more about Rebeca, please visit her website at rebecamojica.com.

Rondo à La Byzantine cuff by Rebeca Mojica

Sleek Cuff Celtic Visions Star Ringed Zig Zag Byzantine Beaded Zig Zag Byzantine

Dodecahedron Japanese Ball Coiled Bracelet Japanese Cross Bracelet Coiled Crystals

Celtic Spikes Bracelet Crystal (Cosmic Ring) Byzantine Elfweave Braid Japanese Flower


Omni Mee

Omni Mee

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

It was my dream to become the digital Andy Warhol when I entered college. By the time I graduated college, I was more interested in art that people could touch and use. I taught muself how to make chainmaille in 2004, using the worst possible tools, equipment and first project. Five years later, I finished the first project and started making jewelry. In 2010, I opened my jewelry business "Entropyware" focusing on using original designs and weaves while incorporating seed beads and other unique components.

To learn more about Omni, please visit the Entropyware page on Etsy.

Scale Barrette by Omni Me


Lisa Smeltzer

Lisa Smeltzer

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

In 2004, I was searching for a way to be creative again. Work was no longer filling that need for me and work had become my life. On a break, I was browsing through a class catalog and came across Rebeca's 4 week chainmaille class. It made me sit up and pay attention. I immediately hopped on the phone to register and in my first class, I fell in love.

Chainmaille is the perfect craft. Its portable, creative, and calming, just ask the commuters on the train with me. And it has many faces that fulfill many needs, from the high-level executive looking for an elegant piece to the tuff chick wanting to toughen up her image to the pen and paper rpg-er needing a dice bag for a wedding present. That versatility appeals to me. Also there is a level of badassery to it that just makes me smile.

In the end, I keep the love strong by always considering myself a hobbyist, no matter how advanced I get. That thought allows me to still have fun and make mistakes. Its through playing around and making mistakes that I create my best pieces. As Bob Ross would say, "Happy accidents."

To learn more about Lisa, please visit her Welding Princess page on Etsy.

Dragon's Eye Pendant by Lisa Smeltzer


Vanessa Walilko

Vanessa Walilko

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

Vanessa is a jewelry designer and wearable art maker. Her chainmaille jewelry and clothing pieces have been featured in national exhibitions and won national awards. She's taken top prizes in the Bead Dreams Competition, the British Bead Awards, the Jewelry Artist Awards and several Fire Mountain Gems competitions. Her beadwork and clothing have been featured in shows at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Her work has been published in Step by Step Wire Jewelry Magazine, Bead Magazine and Bead&Button Magazine.

To learn more about Vanessa, please visit her website at KaliButterfly.com

Dragonscale by Vanessa Walilko


Kat Wisniewski

Kat Wisniewski

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

Creating a finished item of chainmaille art is very much like the work of machines in a factory. It is akin to an assembly line of methodical processes- very monotonous and tedious- working efficiently and continuously to create a single product.

Armed with my pliers in each hand, I incessantly repeat the same exact movements, opening and closing each ring, while linking them together to make a beautiful piece of art jewelry.

I became completely and helplessly addicted to the craft after seeing a sterling chainmaille bracelet at an art fair and then researching every photo and online tutorial I could find. After struggling to learn, while using all the wrong tools and supplies, I eventually “got it” and learned the right way to chainmaille, which tremendously improved my techniques.

Since perfecting my skills in 2008, I have become a nationally known expert in the field, with multiple project publications and an endless amount of teaching opportunities at various Chicagoland locations. Students and customers, who buy my tutorials and finished jewelry, always wonder, “How did you come up with that design?” I usually say that it’s a process of trial and error, and that I start with ideas that I already know work well and then figure out a way to make them look very different!

My company, Elemental Art Jewelry, specializes in creating Czech pressed glass chainmaille jewelry and fashion designs featured in various artisan shows.

To learn more about Kat, please visit her website at ElementalArtJewelry.com

Glass Caterpillar by Kat Wisniewski

Akimbo Bicubix Blocks Bold and Brilliant Byzantine Glistening Bloom

Illuminated Tunnel Inclined To Shine Rapid Track


Lindsay Lamkin

Lindsay Lamkin

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

After her first venture in chainmaille (a valiant, but failed, attempt to make a shirt out of 14g steel fencing wire) when a young teen, Lindsay was reintroduced to the art form when her husband gave her a chainmaille how-to book for Christmas a couple years ago. She mastered the weaves in that book and several others, but it still was not enough, so she started altering and creating weaves of her own. Armed with only pliers, she now goes to battle daily against the hordes of little rings taunting her to create something new.

To learn more about Lindsay, please visit her page on Facebook.

Lunar Moth by Lindsay Lamkin


Lori Watson

Lori Watson

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

Lori Watson started dabbling in jewelry making in 2007. In 2009 she discovered chainmaille classes at a local bead store and a new passion began! She took several classes there and some at B3. Lori loves to try variations and add bling to chainmaille weaves. Put a pair of good pliers in her hands with access to hundreds of jump rings and beads and she’s a happy camper. Lori enjoys sharing her addiction while teaching chainmaille classes at A Beadtiful Thing in Aurora. Some of her pieces were featured in a play at Elgin Community College.

To learn more about Lori, please visit her page on Facebook.

Concentric Force by Lori Watson


Catherine Randolph Hamilton

Catherine Randolph Hamilton

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

Catherine's interest in chainmaille began with a trip to the bookstore and a cupboard full of tiny rings in different sizes and gauges, received as a wonderful gift. Mixing metals and connecting piles of shiny rings to gain unexpected outcomes, like her chainmaille light fixture, keeps her interested and challenged by this ancient and modern craft. She has placed in the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Metal Working contest, and has been linking rings since 2011.

In addition to her passion for chainmaille, Catherine enjoys working with fused glass and metal clay. She was asked to be a monthly contributor to Fired Arts & Crafts magazine, and has placed in Delphi's annual Art Glass Festival in both the Jewelry and Other Crafts categories.

To learn more about Catherine, please visit her website at www.SilverArtGlassJewelry.com.

Orbital Ensemble by Catherine Randolph Hamilton


Aimee Leang

Aimee Leang

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

Aimee Leang's jewelry making obsession began at her first summer job working for Gallery 37's jewelry making program. After that Aimee's Mom gave her a set of tools and her creativity took off. Aimee is well versed in the skills of wire-wrapping, metalsmithing and lapidary. Always having a thirst for knowledge, she looks forward to continue increasing her knowledge in the chainmaille arts and more. Having an eye for detail, Aimee enjoys helping out at B3 and is proud to be part of such an incredible team.

Elegant Hourglass by Aimee Leang


W. John MacMullen

W. John MacMullen

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

John has been working with his hands since he took apart (and reassembled) his father's lawnmower when he was 9. He's been making strange things with rings since 2006. John is a B3 Open Studio regular and was in Rebeca's first 'Inventing Weaves' class, which helped him move beyond standard weaves into hybrids and non-maille combinations. He designs and makes jewelry, fashion, and other art from largely recycled or repurposed materials. His work is featured in Lark's recent book, Showcase 500 Art Necklaces.

To learn more about John, please visit his website at www.WJohnMacMullen.com.

Chunky Cuff by W. John MacMullen


Marguerite Hummel

Marguerite Hummel

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

Marguerite is the owner of Lady M Jewelry and has been creating chainmaille since 2002. She seeks to marry modern and medieval in pieces that highlight the strength and beauty of various styles of chainmaille. As a member of The Artisan Group, her work has been gifted to Denise Richards as well as to celebrity recipients at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival in France. Her proudest moment, however, was being named the first Chainmailler of the Year at Blue Buddha Boutique.

To learn more about Marguerite, please visit her website at www.ladym.me/.

Southern Cross Pendant by Marguerite Hummel


April Hannah Llewellyn

April Hannah Llewellyn

Chainmaille Jewelry Designer + B3 Project Designer
 

April Hannah Llewellyn's hometown is the geek haven of Huntsville, AL where she graduated with a degree in studio art from the University of AL in Huntsville in 2009. She now resides in Chicago, IL, where she recently graduated with an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago. She is enthusiastic about making art in any form at any level and considers it all labors of love. Her favorite mediums include jewelry making, book arts, web design, illustration, and painting.

Projects coming soon.