Sunday, April 26, 2015

Back at it again!

Well. I sidelined my chainmail for a while because I was working hard on my master's degree but good news: I'm graduating!!  Now that I'm done, I'm turning back toward maille in a semi-major way so look forward to new things from me soon. 

My next big event (besides graduation!) will be MistiCon - an awesome Harry Potter convention in New Hampsire, May 21-26.  I will have a vendor table at their craft fair and I'm very excited!  Right now I'm spending a lot of my mailling time working on Harry Potter themed jewelry.  It's going to be a blast, I'm sure!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Titanium. It's amazing!

Can I just say that I am absolutely in love with anodized titanium right now?  The Ring Lord used to carry about four colors of the stuff and they tended to vary in shade within the batch you got.  They were pretty...but not really worth the extra cost of buying them if you just wanted color in your designs (Ti is pretty expensive and very, very expensive as compared with anodized aluminum or enamelled copper).  These days, TRL carries 9 colors and while their website says that the rings do still vary in color from batch to batch, I think they're pretty standard within batches - at least as far as I've seen.

  See? Pretty! (Photo from The Ring Lord)

A couple months ago I got some 20g rings in dark blue and violet because I wanted to make a bracelet from a weave called Arkham.  As it turned out, the rings were too tight to be used for that weave so it ended up as a bracelet made of a weave known as GSG.

The only issue I have with the titanium is that it's pretty springy and the saw cut rings tend to not have a perfectly smooth edge so it makes it very hard to close them in a way that you can't see the join.  It's sadly something that I have no control over though, so I will just have to deal with it.  The colors make it worth the hassle.  I've gotten some rings to remake the dragonscale sections on my steampunk gear choker that I posted before.  The brass and copper are beautiful but they're not very strong in that small wire diameter so I am hoping that the titanium will help solve the problem.  I will post pictures of it when I manage to get it done.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holy Jeez, Where Did the Year Go?

I can't believe I haven't made a post since January!  Well, it has been a rather busy year and I haven't done as much mailling as I probably could have.  Or at least, not as much of the new and flashy variety.  The latest and greatest were a pair of cameo chokers that I created.  The first one was inspired when I found a cameo focal point at the local craft store and picked it up, thinking to incorporate it into a chainmail design to be worn with my neo-Victorian/Steampunk outfits.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but the rings I used were black ice (a sort of bright gunmetal color) and lavender anodized aluminum.  Once the two colors went together, it was very hard to tell them apart.

There was such interest in my choker, that I decided to make a second version - which I was going to enter into a local Steampunk art show but I inadvertently missed the deadline.  Oops!! 

In this one, I took off the drapes that originally came with the focal point and added hand-made drapes (except the one that is just the pearl beads).  All the rings used were black ice and champagne colored anodized aluminum. 

If I could criticise one thing, it is that I didn't use both colors on the short 4-in-2 drape...but I didn't have champagne colored rings in that size.  If the piece doesn't sell before I can get some in, I will likely swap that out so that everything matches.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Plugging Along

Only one picture to post this time around...

It is an in-progress shot of a necklace I'm making on request from a friend.  Stainless steel, 18 gauge (1.2 mm) rings with a 1/4" inner diameter.  The weave is Captive Inverted Round with a single captive ring. 

I am also working on a flogger made entirely of jeweler's brass and continuing to tinker with my other big projects (namely the banner and the TARDIS sculpture).  I've decided that since there are so many people out there creating chainmail jewelry - especially in the more popular/simpler weaves - that I'm going to start focusing on making art pieces (sculpture) as well as accesories like belts, bags, purses and home decor items.  I enjoy doing those and I would like to be making things that not everybody and their cousin are making.  A case in point:  in last quarter's competition on MAIL, the theme was "jewelry incorporating beads" and there were nearly fourty entries. I can't even get five people to vote for sculpture as a theme and there are virtually no artisans selling sculptural items.  I may have found my niche.  I'll see where it takes me.  By no means am I giving up jewelry, especially if I have a request to make something...I just don't want to be another name in a growing crowd.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

One more...

As I've posted around the web today, I also finished the choker I intend to wear to Steampunk events.  It is, of course, chainmail.  The weave is Dragonscale, the rings are 20 gauge brass and copper.  The focal points are two clock/watch gears hooked together with a pop rivet from Tandy Leather.

New Stuff

So, I decided my Steampunk boots needed adornment so I made a simple Euro 4-1 strip woven horizontally out of 16 gauge brass.  I really need to do something about those silver buckles though....

I also made some Steampunk inspired earrings:

The first set I actually made about a month or so ago but I had different gears at the bottom.  Now I've swapped them out for something I liked better.  The bottom set came about because I had a bunch of teeny, tiny watch gears that I wasn't sure what to do with.  Boom, they became earrings!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's been a while...

Wow, time has a way of slipping past while I wasn't looking.  First, let me say that no, I haven't finished the chainmail TARDIS yet.  I worked constantly on it up until I went to DragonCon and then, since I missed the deadline for entering it in M.A.I.L.'s competition, I shelved it, in the hopes of getting sculpture voted in as the theme for a future contest.  Then it will be back on, I'm sure!

In the meantime, I've been doing smaller projects here and there.  I've delved into the world of Steampunk and a lot of my free time has gone toward the researching and planning, and soon the construction of, a set (or two or three) of attire to wear to gatherings.  That includes a steampunk choker that I'm just finishing up with and little projects like this: 

This is a watch face that I got with a bunch of watch parts from an Ebay auction.  I decided that it would look much cooler wrapped in 20 gauge, stainless steel rings...and it does! 

And then there was the dreamcatcher that I made for Lisa:

It was my first attempt at a maille dreamcatcher and I think it turned out really well.  I created a monster, however, because my mom now wants me to make one for my dad for Christmas.  I told her it will have to wait until I get my SP shirt made...and perhaps my belt, since I plan on creating my own.  That is, of course, unless purchasing a belt somewhere (if I can find one I really like) becomes a more economical decision.  Leather is just not cheap.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Project

So this weekend I'm embarking on a new project.  I am making a sculpture of Doctor Who's TARDIS out of chainmail.  One might ask why I'm doing that and my answer is for a contest.  I belong to the forums of the Maille Artisans International League (MAIL) and every quarter they have a contest.  The theme this time around is "geekery" - aka making something of chainmail that represents an interest, hobby or fandom that you are associated with.  Now I would certainly have entered my chainmail banner...since Harry Potter is probably my biggest obsession.  However, I already entered the little bit of it that I had done in the inlay contest a few months back.  SO I had the diabolical scheme to make a maille TARDIS.  It has the potential to be uber awesome...and I will post pictures as soon as there's something to take a picture of.  It's not very exciting at the moment. :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Just wanted to post a picture of the banner's progress as of today (then I went and added another couple hundred rings afterward. Heh.). 

Closeup of the inlay:

And a wide shot to show the whole banner: 

So that's it.  about 1/6 of the way done and just starting into the good stuff. :-)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Projects Galore

Well, it's summer time here in Virginia Beach and dang is it hot!  Too hot for this northwestern gal.  Ergo, I'm spending a lot of time indoors with the AC on.  Not so great for my weight loss efforts but pretty fantastic for my mailling.  I'm never at a loss for projects but I have a few major ones right now.  The first is my Slytherin House banner which, when finished, will contain 55,000 rings and will measure about 35" x 40".  As of this post I'm about 9000 rings into the project. 

The day before yesterday I got several bags of anodized aluminum punched rings with the intention of making a purse out of them.  They were a bit smaller than I thought they'd be so now I get to do some experimentation to figure out the best way to utilize them.  I inadvertantly discovered the way to make a diamond-shaped earring out of them so that was pretty cool!  I will make a pair and post them to my shop soon, to be sure. 

Other projects include a purse made of glow-in-the-dark EDPM and black anodized aluminum rings that is pretty well done - I'm just finishing up the strap, a chainmail pencil cup made of stainless steel and brass, and making a light box so that I can start getting better pictures.  For the latest competition on the maille artisans international league message board, I really want to make a chainmail sculpture of the TARDIS from Doctor Who but I don't know if I'll be able to tackle that project.  We'll see!