The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Loop-in-Loop Chain: A Wire-Wrapping Video with Mark Nelson (and Book Giveaway!)

Aug 10, 2011

Learn an old technique to create a contemporary look! Make a beautiful chain of interweaving loops--a method developed by the Greeks and Romans. Watch the video below and use the book from the supply list to help you complete this project.

The Loop-in-Loop Chain PDF, which is mentioned in the video, provides further step-by-step written instructions and helpful diagrams.

items used during this segment:

Stackable containers 635-475
Classical Loop-in-Loop Chains and their Derivatives by Jean Reist
Stark and Josephine Reist Smith
Safety glasses 201-054
Steel bench block 115-315
Titanium diamond tweezers 115-522
Solderite pad 502-063
Silquar high-heat block 502-006
German shop shears, straight tip 111-237
Donegan Optivisor with 2.5X lens 113-208
Blazer butane torch 500-230
Butane refill cartridge 500-181
Rio PMC work surface 111-567
Swanstrom pliers and cutter set 111-026
Swanstrom link-forming pliers 111-000/1
.999 fine silver round wire, 22ga. 105-322
Argentium 930 silver jump rings 696-920
Delrin woven wire drawplate 114-124
Woven wire rosewood drawplate 113-847
Vise 113-133
Tweezers 115-012
Dowel rod --
Oval awl --
Masking tape --
Sharpie --

Does the video leave you wanting more wire wrapping? Does it inspire you to show off a wire-wrapped project of your own?

Leave us a comment about your interest in wire-wrapping techniques, share a wire-wrapping tip, or use the comments to post a photo of a favorite wire-wrapped project! We will choose from among the comments randomly and give the winner a copy of the book Classical Loop-in-Loop Chains and their Derivatives by Jean Reist Stark and Josephine Reist Smith.

Good Luck!

Comments (15)
  1. The little chain-making I’ve done, I’ve found tedious and perplexing. Maybe it was my lack of instructions! Would love to get a copy of the Stark/Smith book and try my hand at it again. With help like this, I think I could become a chain-maker in no time!

  2. mentioned a chart on their website, but there is no link. does anyone have any clues?

  3. Considering the price of metal and findings these days, I think we are all wise to learn more about how to do these things well and make them an everyday part of our lives. It is great to make the whole piece, chain included. Somehow that makes it really my work! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Oh, I love this video. I just made my first chain last week and found it very therapeutic. I would love to have this book and dive into more chain making.

  5. cle001 – We’re grateful to you for pointing out that the “chart” mentioned in the video is not easily accessible! We’ve added brand new information to the post which includes a link to the Loop-in-Loop Chain PDF that the hostess refers to.

    The PDF link is here also.

    thanks again!

  6. Great instruction. I love tools and found the link-forming pliers very interesting! They are on my “want to buy” list!

  7. Does that work as well with sterling silver? I have worked with jump rings and they make me crazy, but that looked very simple and the results are elegant and stunning.

  8. Whoa! That is fabulous! What fun. Want more tools!

  9. I’m going out to the shop to try it. :) Thanks Mark!

  10. I haven’t done this yet, but am going to try it! I could sure use a book though!

  11. I do alot of chain. Chainmaille and Vicking Knit are just a couple. I have found if you use some sort of embroidery needle in the V.K. if makes the handling of your wire easier. And if you use sewing machine oil or even motor oil when sawing your chainmaille jump rings it makes it easier to saw and less likely to snap your sawblade. You have to wash them after, but I always do that anyway, I use Whisk detergent or Dawn. I plan on making me some rings and giving this a go tonight, I love historic wraps and weaves, they are always so creative! Thank you for this, and Mark Nelson is the best, he is such a good teacher! Thank you Mark!

  12. As an advancing novice wire worker, I am really excited add this to my list of things I can do! I have made some decent viking knits and I love chain maille, but this seems like a fascinating process somewhere in the middle. I’m thrilled to have found it because I received a necklace as a gift some time ago and have been racking my brain to figure out how it was made. I am certain I have found it. Thanks so much!!

  13. I started with chain maille and went straight to Viking knit! I think I skipped loop in loop chain! Thanks for posting these instructions! I saw the video months ago, but couldn’t find the link to the PDF. Thanks for posting!

  14. I already own a copy of this book, and I LOVE it! My first project was a fine silver and moonstone version of a Roman piece in the British Museum. The original featured emerald and amethyst tube beads interspaced with gold.

  15. @aknora: You can’t fuse sterling silver links since they’re a composite metal, but you can solder them closed, though they’ll behave a bit differently (not bending as smoothly.) You can also solder copper or brass links if you want to practice with something less expensive than silver.

    The photo is of a pinched-loop loop-in-loop set, with moonstone and something-I-forget beads. The links are fine silver, and the clasps are sterling.

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