Eight Year Anniversary of Making Maille!

Eight years ago today was the first time I picked up a pair of pliers and linked jump rings together.   More than a million rings opened and closed in 2,922 days of maille.

I knew as soon as I created my first piece that I wanted to make a living doing this.  I am happy that I was able to turn my dreams into reality, and grateful to all the customers, vendors, fellow maillers and competitors who helped me along the way.  Can’t wait to see where Blue Buddha Boutique will be in another eight years!

I dug around on my computer and found ten projects from my first two years as a weaver.  Some of these have appeared on forums over the years, and some have never been published.  Enjoy!

Half Persian 4-1 (Flat Persian) using 10 gauge sterling silver rings size KK (5/8″ or 15.9 mm)

Japanese necklace made as a wedding gift for a friend. Sterling silver and anodized niobium.

My first adventure with Half Persian 3-1 Sheet 6. I really love this weave, and regret that I haven’t made any in about 4 years. Stainless steel, 20 gauge.

Here I am playing around with the sheet form of Byzantine. Aluminum, 20 gauge.

One of my few Not Tao 4 bracelets. I was going to make an entire jewelry line based on this weave, but I wound up creating other lines and this one never saw the light of day.

Another Half Persian sheet, this one is HP3-1 Sheet 5, with additional accent rings woven into the top. Stainless steel and niobium, 3 different sizes in 20 gauge.

Yes, I totally made soda tab jewelry, too. :-)

I even made this posture collar out of rope and soda tabs. Intended to use it as a Halloween costume, but I never did.

Pride finger ring. I loved this ring, but soon realized that anodized aluminum is not suitable for finger rings, as the color is affected too quickly. Bummer. Stainless steel with anodized aluminum, 22 and 20 gauge

Vampire Bite choker. Every goth girl’s gotta have one, right? 😛 I used to sell these on eBay in the months leading up to Halloween, but I haven’t found the time during the past 4 or 5 years. Maybe sometime again…. Aluminum, 18 gauge.

There you go—a look into the past.  If you too have been mailling for a few years, maybe you’ll be inspired to pull out some of your older pieces.  I hope you’ll marvel at what you were able to do even back then with your own two hands, and appreciate how you’ve grown as an artisan, and how the design and intricacy of your work has evolved.  Remember: never be afraid to push boundaries and try new things.  While this approach has a high failure rate, the successes are far more creative, glorious and fulfilling than if you’d never pushed yourself at all.

Doing our part to help the Earth


Happy Earth Day from all of us at B3!

Protecting our most valuable resource—the planet—has always been important to me. Ten years ago, before it was “popular,” I was using my backpack to carry groceries from the store, and most people thought I was nuts. I’m excited to see that nowadays, its not uncommon for people to use their own bags at a store. Yes!

I bring my green mentality to B3, and from the onset, the company has been very focused on green practices.

As part of our commitment to the environment, these are some of the things we do:

  • Turn lights off when we’re not in a room
  • Turn off jewelry scales when we’re not using them
  • Turn off and unplug computers/printers/fax when we’re finished for the day
  • Use actual dishware instead of disposable cups/plates/etc—including when we have meetings, holiday parties and other large gatherings of people.
  • Use biodegradable sheet protectors for instructions
  • Use actual hand towels instead of paper towels in kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Use compact fluorescent lightbulbs at workstations.
  • Recyle ink cartridges
  • Properly dispose of old electronics
  • Recycle paper, plastic and metal
  • Reuse packing paper sent to us by vendors
  • Reuse little plastic baggies
  • Use environmentally friendly bathroom cleaners
  • Purchase tissue from recycled paper content.
  • Instead of purchasing highly processed foods, buy fresh fruits, veggies and nuts for office snacks (purchasing from local farmer’s markets when in season).
  • Use both sides of paper for printing drafts and inner-office documents
  • Wear socks or house shoes in the warehouse to minimize cleaning
  • Reuse plastic trash liners at workstation garbage cans as long as possible
  • Make sure all computer monitors are set to go blank after 10 minutes of screensaver activity, instead of letting the screensaver run for hours
  • Buy cleaning products in bulk and fill into smaller containers.
  • Keep most of the employee manual in Wiki form to save on excessive paper printing.
  • Use whiteboards and email for written communication, rather than writing notes
  • Use printing paper with a high recycled content
  • These are things we don’t yet do, but are planning on implementing:

  • Create a compost
  • Recyle aluminum scraps (we’ve been gathering the scraps; we just don’t have enough yet to take to a facility!)
  • Start a customer recycling baggie program
  • Purchase carbon credits
  • Use refillable dry-erase markers
  • Purchase “carbon offset credits” for employee mileage going to and from PO, etc.
  • What about you? Does your company do something green that B3 might be able to implement? Has this list inspired you to be greener at home or at work? Do you have any ideas on a customer recycling baggie program? Let us know. Together we can work toward ensuring that our children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children will be born into a sustainable and healthy environment.  :-)

    Cool gift from a customer

    Some of you may know that I recently took some time to visit my mom. She lives in Puerto Rico, and of course I am more than happy to travel to a tropical paradise once or twice a year to see her :-)

    Taino motifWhile I was there, I met up with a few customers. So nice to put faces to names! One customer, Benjamin, presented me with the pendant shown at right.  He made it with Bronze Metal Clay (BRONZclay) and has decorated it with a Taíno motif.  The Taínos are the peoples indigenous to Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.   I’m wearing it today with pride.  And, of course, one of these days I’ll make a bronze chain to match!

    It’s been on my to-do list for years and years, to create chainmaille inlays with Taíno art. Since I’ve never managed to get around to it, I was thrilled to receive this pendant. Thanks, Benjamin!

    See more of Benjamin’s creations on his website: Sandovale.com

    Read more about Taínos on Wikipedia.

    Iridescent Gunmetal jump rings

    Our first new Anodized Aluminum color has arrived in size P16. Originally we were going to call this color Purple Iris (there’s a glass ring color called Purple Iris, and our test batch of AA looked a lot like it). However now that we have 20 lbs sitting in front of us, we think it looks more gunmetal-y. It’s really a fun color; depending on how the light catches the rings, there are hues of violet, blue, green and grey.

    You can buy these rings on our Anodized Aluminum page. Let us know what you think of them!