I was recently up near Bear Mountain, near West Point in NY. There was reference to "The Great Chain" in 1777 made to defend the Hudson River from the British. It was a forged iron chain, 1800 feet long. In this photo is a relic of the chain. One link is big as a bench. (There's more info and a better picture at this link.)
Is that cool or what? A chain big enough to stop ships! Sounds like something out of a pirate movie! And the story gets even more fascinating. This chain was the reason Benedict Arnold was discovered as a traitor. He was found out by a female spy named Sally Townsend, who's brother was a member of George Washington's Culper Ring of spies. (Read about the Culper Ring on Wiki..wow, history has such good stories!)
So, I started thinking, how is something like this made? I know how to make chain small enough to wear, but never thought about how super large chain is made. I realized chain used on ships must be made the same way.
Well, it takes alot of muscle and teamwork. Check out this antique video of chain and anchor making. I find it fascinating.
Thanks to Warren Townsend for giving me the link to this great video. You can see Warren's wonderful metal work on his website, Metalrecipes.
Here's my own tiny version of a great chain, big enough to make a ring around your finger! I first made this a few years ago. Now, I'm inspired to make some super thick chains for a bracelet or necklace.
Mary Lu Wason
is a studio jeweler. Here she shares the inspirations, discoveries and process of creating her art jewelry collections.
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