Rebeca Mojica is a self-taught artist who has mastered 70 distinct chain mail weaves and more than 100 variations. In 2003, she founded Blue Buddha Boutique to showcase her finished jewelry and provide kits and supplies to enthusiasts of this resurging craft. Mojica is the pre-eminent chain mail instructor in the Midwest. Her instructional projects have been published in books and magazines and her work has also appeared in The Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.
A graduate from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Rebeca worked in media relations and nonprofit development for seven years. She managed several of the most successful PR campaigns ever for various Chicago-area organizations. Though her successes made her happy, in the back of her head was a nagging feeling that she wanted to do "something with her hands." So she left a promising career, spent a summer working at Interlochen Arts Camp, and then backpacked through a dozen European countries. After six months of travel and working odd jobs for room and board, she settled down and lived for a year as an au pair in Germany.
While at a Renaissance Faire in Germany, Rebeca saw several people wearing chainmaille belts. She couldn't find any place to buy them, so she decided to make one herself, thus awakening her passion. Today she knows more than 100 weaves and has a diverse portfolio of both upscale and accessible jewelry.
Rebeca is considered a pioneer and one of the industry's only experts. She teaches regularly at local bead stores and art centers, and has taught at the international Bead&Button Show. She has also been a guest instructor for the Fashion Department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her instructional projects have been published in multiple books and magazines.
Rebeca's necklace Poseidon's Embrace, made of 14,500 titanium and stainless steel jump rings, won 3rd place in the international Bead Dreams 2009 Finished Jewelry category.
Rebeca is a member of the Chicago Craft Mafia and Chicago Metal Arts Guild. She is a contributing editor to Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine. Her work has appeared on CLTV and in the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times.
When she is not weaving maille, Rebeca enjoys cooking (especially baking bread), learning languages, and contemplating quantum physics and fractal cosmology.
This has to be the best instructional guide for maille that I've read yet. The detailed close up pictures of actually working with the rings has been very helpful. There is a lot of detail to showing exactly how a weave works for beginners, and shows a fast track to refresh your memory if you're doing it again or if you have a lot of experience weaving. I highly recommend this book to people of all skill levels. And the projects are fantastic, too.
I have to say I was a little disappointed in this book. I was looking for some advanced weaves -- Jens Pind, Dragonscale, that cool Caterpillar thing she does, Cyclon or even Half Persian. The majority of the weaves were a base of byzantine, Japanese or helms.
I gave this book 4 stars anyway, because the book was very well written -- it was like talking to an old friend about her passion. It relaxed and conversational, and packed with TONS of useful information for a beginning weaver.
The photos are also gorgeous, and Rebeca's instructions are the best.... and I've purchased a ton of patterns ... if you can't learn it from Rebeca, you can't learn it. If you're newer and having a tough time with a weave, you need these instructions. Period.
She goes through all the pros and cons of metals, which was also nice for the beginner. I felt like there was too much time spent on opening and closing rings, but again, if you're beginning, you need to know how important a perfectly closed ring is.
It did leave me feeling like there's room for alot of creativity in weaving and using color, which I tend to shy away from because I don't care for aluminum and niobium is too pricey.
Additionally, she's confident enough to tell you where you can purchase supplies at places other than her store, which is just plain cool.
Rebeca's perfect quality of work and her use of color make her pieces shine. If you're just beginning, you'll be out buying rings in no time after reading this. If you've been addicted for awhile, you'll be eagerly awaiting her next, hopefully Expert Only, book, and I'll be waiting with you.
This book has got to be added to the library of every mailler or wannabe mailler out there! The pictures are outstanding - you can see each step. The detailed instructions make even the hardest of weaves understandable. For the beginning student, each section starts with an easy weave and then progresses to intermediate, advanced and expert. The beauty of this is that you are able to learn each weave (or review it) then go on to more difficult, intrecate variations. You'll feel like an expert in no time! The first chapter provides so much useful information for people who are new to chainmaille or to those who have been weaving for a while. By far, this is the best chainmaille book I have ever seen.
My first chainmail class was with Rebeca, and I was hooked. I have taken classes with many chainmail instructors and several of them are very good, but Rebeca is the best. She is a chainmail expert and has created many weaves. Her instructions are thorough, and the step-by-step photos are excellent.
If you can't get to Chicago or Milwaukee (the Bead and Button Show every June) for a class with Rebeca, you're now in luck - this book offers something for beginners through advanced weavers. There is a 30 page introductory/reference section at the beginning of the book that is packed full of useful information. When explaining how to properly open and close jump rings, most books show 2 pictures - an open ring and a closed ring. Rebeca thoroughly covers the proper way to open and close jump rings with 8 pages of detailed instructions and 45 photos. She teaches you to get a perfect ring closure even when the ring might be flawed. Nothing else makes such a noticeable difference in the quality of your jewelry. Even advanced chainmaillers can benefit from this section of the book.
There are 4 chapters covering weaving projects: Japanese, Byzantine, Helm, and Coiled. You'll get thorough descriptions and many photos for each basic weave and several variations (most of which are Rebeca's original designs). She gives you project ring sizes for both base metal and precious metal rings. You know what a help this is if you've ever wanted to complete a project in a book or magazine using a different metal; often, the same ring size in a different metal doesn't work. The Coiled chapter offers both new weaves and unique variations on existing weaves.Read more ›
I am a self taught Chainmaille Artist. I have been using instructional products as well as materials from Rebeca Mojica's company Blue Buddha Boutique in Chicago for almost 3 1/2 years. This book offers beginners and advanced jewelery makers alike, an insight to developing and fine tuning basic technique as well as design.
The gorgeous photographs, and easy, step by step directions are in clear, concise English and not too technical. Each section focuses on a specific weave 'family' and shows beautiful variations & color schemes. There is even a section for beginners outlining tools and how to properly use them; materials and how to care for them and pros and cons for using them in jewelry projects. Saving time and money!
I am so happy to have found Rebeca & Blue Buddha and learned from her; an Icon in the industry of Metal Arts, Jewelry Design and Instruction. She attends the Milwaukee Bead & Button Show with wonderful lessons and products that are essential for making the dazzling jewelry in her book and for creating your own designed inspired by her expertize and her staffs diligent prototypes.
If you are interested in learning to create jewelry in unique and eye catching designs this book is a must have.
This is not your average instructional manual. It is a guide for anyone wanting to learn technique, design and create something you can enjoy wearing, giving as gifts or selling.
You will learn in one book what took some people years to perfect. '
Friends flip through this book amazed and ask, "Can you make this?" With a smile and proud nod, I reply, "Yes, and you can too! Buy the book!"
My only question is "When's the NEXT one coming out?" :)