'Roaring Lion Studios--Handcrafted Sterling Silver, Copper, and Brass Jewlery ' by RoaringLionStudios

Roaring Lion Studios features metalwork jewelry by fine artist Pamela Caughey. She is a multi-media artist working in jewelry, painting, encaustic, drawing and printmaking. She enjoys the sculptural and tactile aspects of working with metal, and enjoys hammering, riveting, patinating and either cold connections or soldering, depending on what final effect she is striving for. Her other media are on her main website at www.pamelacaughey.com

Mixed Metal Four Layer ...

Custom Artisan Sterling...

No. 5 Custom Rainbow Co...

Modern Minimalist Dots ...

Curved Copper Earrings ...

Silver Hoop Artisan Dan...

Dangling and Bitten Etc...

Dangling Silver Lampwor...

Funky Fun Aluminum Pend...

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Featured Artist Eric Young and his Fantastic Tangled Metal

I came across Eric Young's phenomenol chainmail work on Etsy and just couldn't wait to know more about how he got started and the types of items in his Etsy store!  Here is his story--ENJOY!!

Pam:  It's so exciting to be featuring you, Eric--you are a real chainmail artisan!  Please tell us about yourself and how you got started with this fascinating technique/art?

Eric: My name is Eric Young and I have been crafting chainmail armor and jewelry for over 25 years. It all started around 1986 when I decided to take all of my coat hangers out of my closet and make a chainmail shirt for myself. Needless to say, my mother was a little upset from all of my clothing being on the floor in my closet. Then she saw what I was doing and became really supportive. However, she never bought me another metal hanger after that.

Pam:  How did you learn this technique? 

Eric:  When I started, there were no "how to" web tutorials or books. The best I could come up with were one or two paragraphs and   fuzzy pictures in the history books at the library. European chainmail was based on a four in one pattern. Meaning every ring (except for the outside edges) was connected to four other rings. Japanese chainmail also uses a four in one, but there was very little information about that back then either. With much trial and error I was able to finally figure out the pattern. Creating a shirt required the destruction of a shirt to see how it went together. Another not so happy moment from my mother.

Pam:  How old were you when you really got hooked?

Eric:  In the process of completing my shirt I was sitting at a arts and crafts show with my parents. (My dad is a silver and gold smith and my mother makes soaps, oils and incense.) A man came by and asked how much for the chainmail shirt. I jokingly said $350. "Sold." he said. That was the point where I became a "professional" chainmailer. I sold my first piece even before it was completed. I was 13 years old.

Since then I have created dozens of shirts, leggings and head armor as well as thousands of jewelry items. I was on the Renaissance Fair circuit for many years as a booth owner. I have been in many juried art shows and plenty of Arts and crafts shows over the years. I decided to settle down and not be on the road anymore a few years ago. I took a 9 to 5 day job and rented a house. I have been semi-retired from making chainmail for around 8 years. I was laid off in early April of this year after many years working in the tourism industry.

I have decided to try and make money with my art once again. I joined Etsy at the beginning of March and have sold a few pieces. I also have sold to a shop in the town where I live and started doing a couple of local Art shows. I do not have the intention of going back on the road. I do have the intention of some day finishing a shirt and some other armor pieces for myself.

Pam:  Can you talk about how much time it takes to make say a shirt or leggings, and how do you get a "custom fit" for your customers?

Eric: Back when I was making chainmail for 12 to 18 hours a day I could complete a shirt in under two days. Being out of practice it would take me about a week to complete a shirt. Taking measurements for a custom fit is much like a tailor does. You measure the chest and arms and other spots and modify the shirt by adding or subtracting rings.

Pam:  Also, do you take custom orders?

Eric:  Yes, I take custom orders. If you can imagine it, I can create it. I may not be as fast as I once was but I do remember most all of my tricks of the trade. And more is coming back to me each day that I make items.

Be sure to check out these other sites of Eric’s:

For more information on Tangled Metal visit these sites:


GREAT JOB, Eric!  It was really nice to hear your story and learn more about your fascinating talent with chainmail armor and jewelry!!  Hope you finish your suit one day and best wishes with your Etsy Business!


  1. I have several pieces of Eric's chain mail (belt, headdress, necklaces, hand flower) that I've had for many years. They are as beautiful as the day he made them and much loved and much worn. My costumes would not be be complete without them! He made a belt for me with various religious metals that I treasure more than any other piece I own. So glad you're back, Eric!

  2. Hey Pamela, I finally made it to your blog. Wonderful article and of course your work is as gorgeous as ever. Carol- Amity Farm Batik- Etsy


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