Red Panda Chainmaille


Red Panda makes handcrafted, artisan chainmaille jewelry. Chainmaille is a type of metal fabric armor that was worn by knights centuries ago. It consists of hundreds or thousands of tiny circular rings. Each one is opened, woven around others, and closed by hand to create intricate patterns. Jessica of Red Panda takes the same concepts of medieval maille and applies them to modern jewelry pieces.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
My best friend in high school had a boyfriend who was making a chainmail shirt. I thought it was interesting, did some internet research, and the rest is history!

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Snuggle with my most wonderful and supportive boyfriend. I'd be nothing without him.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your shop?
Balancing a full time job as a paralegal with a more than full time job as a jewelry artist. I spend really almost every free second of my time making things, or packaging orders, or designing, or promoting, or listing, or taking pictures, or editing those pictures, or networking, and the myriad of other things that are involved in running a business. I have to section out small portions of time to relax.

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
Without a doubt it would be the sterling silver dragon scale bracelet.

It took hours to weave, and it catches the light just right. So slinky and smooth and just all around wonderful feeling.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
When I was very small I wanted to be an artist. When I was about 10, I changed that to writer. I was really into writing in junior high (and reading even more so). But once I grew up a bit more I realized I had no idea what I wanted to do and even went into college with no major. Even when I was IN college I couldn't pick just one thing. My jobs have included science demonstrator, hotel tour boat driver, front desk worker, and now I'm a paralegal as well as a jewelry maker. It's lots of fun!

What other shops out there do you love?
I love the plushies at Zygopsyche.etsy.com. How cute are they!

hollyhawk.etsy.com was one of the first shops I hearted on etsy. Love the contemporary leather work there.

I've been dying for one of the bug bangles from KolosStudio.etsy.com for quite some time now, as well!

What does your future hold?
Lots more chainmaille, that's for sure! I've got so many jump rings I can barely keep up with them all! Haha.

Hopefully I continue to have a prosperous relationship with my boy, and well hopefully he gets a job soon.

I've also very recently taken up water color painting, so hopefully I'll be able to expand into that more.


See more of Jessica's work at Etsy and Artfire in addition to redpandajewelry.com or stop by her blog at redpandachainmail.vox.com. She has also kindly offered a special coupon code just for you guys! Coupon code "scs15" is good for 15% off your entire order. Ends May 31, 2009.

For extra credit, check out this earlier chainmaille article on Such Cool Stuff! featuring Jessica's awesome Chainmaille Scarf!