About The Artist

Kelly Jones • Seattle, WA

Modern industrial chainmail: traditional handcraft meets STEM. I make each piece by hand using chainmail techniques, opening and closing each tiny ring with pliers to create striking articulated patterns full of movement. The engineering components I connect together are also used in auto transmissions, airplane hydraulics, and motorcycle hubs. Titanium and stainless steel make strong, light jewelry that never needs polishing; titanium ear wires are less likely to cause a reaction than gold.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

I use low-tech hand tools -- two pairs of pliers -- to link usually-hidden engineering components together with precisely-sized titanium rings. It's a slow, meditative process to join hundreds of tiny titanium rings into a single necklace, smoothing and polishing each join. But I appreciate my time spent in that sense of flow, and the connection to an ancient handcraft, reinterpreted for a modern lifestyle.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

I love turning strong, lightweight metals into fluid, articulated chain that slithers, shimmers, and dangles on the body. I love experimenting, trying to find the perfect ratios of wire gauges and ring diameters that will hold a pattern's shape with tension alone, without becoming rigid or dissolving into a tangle of messy links. And I love that such edgy, interesting, beautiful materials are so indestructible, and so easy to wear and to live with.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I am the daughter and granddaughter of artists, engineers, and scientists, so perhaps it's not surprising that my work celebrates that intersection of ideas and processes! I grew up believing I could take things apart and create something new, and in the value of seeing things differently. Chainmail allows me to capture the patterns I see, and to create a new kind of everyday armor with its own modern style. I love hearing that my jewelry gives people the confidence to bring their own spin to the world.