Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Victoria Sol, I’m a creative, disabled Viking making chainmaille in both traditional and modern ways.
How long have you been making your freaking amazing chainmaille jewellery?
It’s about 6 years now. I started out with other jewellery making methods but was taken with chains and making them myself. I found the amazing resource that is Maille Artisans International Leage (M.A.I.L. for short) and started teaching myself how to do it. I’m entirely self taught, with the help of the internet.
Tell me a little about the process of making a bracelet. It looks really intricate and tough work.
There are hundreds of different weaves (patterns) you can use, but the very basics are the same for each one. You buy rings that are half closed because of the winding method that’s used, so you either close them or open and then close them. Most bracelets start with closing one ring and opening the next. Sometimes you might close more rings to begin with, especially if you “speed weave”. “Speed weaving” is a time saving measure where you’ll close as many rings as you can to begin with rather than weaving them all in individually. It’s always important to know how to do it the basic way first, though.
I have a time lapse video that I made a few years ago, that shows how I make one of my Pride stretchies. It shows the build-up of a weave called Half Persian 4-in-1 with rubber rings to make the finished product elastic.
What is your one essential tool that you cannot live without?
My pliers! I have a few, but my absolute favourites are the Xuron pliers made especially for chainmaille. I use a 90 degree bent nose and a chisel nose together for almost everything. They can handle anything from 24 gauge to 12 gauge wire, which in metric terms is 0.5mm wire diameter to 2.4mm wire diameter.
Where in the world do you live?
At the moment I’m in Brighton and Hove down on the south east coast of the UK. It’s a lovely, creative and LGBTQ friendly place, with lots of Good People.
Where can I find you on the web?
I’m pretty easy to catch in the online world.
I have a website at destai.com
I have a Facebook Page at facebook.com/DestaiDesigns
I have a Facebook Group at facebook.com/groups/destai.beproudbeyou/
I have an Instagram at instagram.com/destaidesigns
I have a Twitter that’s used in fits and starts at twitter.com/destaidesigns
I also have an Etsy and an Amazon Handmade shop, but it’s much easier to just find my through my website. 🙂
What do you like to do when you are not creating?
More creating! If I’m not making chainmaille, I’m probably making macramé or music or crochet or fictional writing or something else creative. I listen to a lot of music as well (Current favourite is Soul Extract, All time favourite is Nightwish), and I cling to my Netflix account like there’s no tomorrow. I also spend a lot of time on the internet, especially talking to friends who live far away (across town or further afield) and pottering about with my web projects.
Have you got any pets?
Sort of – my partner’s cat has adopted me as step-owner. I can’t keep pets in my own place so this is the best I get for now.
What is your favourite book/art book?
I really like the art of H. R. Giger so the Necronomicon is a beautiful book. I’m also a big fan of Warhammer 40,000 art, so any art book that the Black Library has released is probably high on the list too. I like the gothic stuff.
I love to learn. What’s your favourite fact of the day?
I found out last night that in a fire it’s not actually the item itself that burns. The fire makes the item turn to gas and it’s the gas that makes the flames. Mind. Blown.