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!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A new beginning

I orignally opened this blog last year, intending it to be a hiking blog. I lived in the San Francisco bay area then and there were a lot of great places to visit and things to see. Now however, after a 3000 mile move and some readjusting, I decided that I wanted to blog about my other great love - making things out of chain mail.

Now, I guess the first thing I should address is what chain mail is. No, I am not referring to the annoying habit of sending unsolicited emails or snail mail to unsuspecting people and telling them to pass it on to fifteen thousand of their closest friends or they will have 20 years of bad luck. Chain mail - also referred to as chainmail, chain maille or just maille - is the process of knitting together circular rings to form a pattern. The most obvious example is the armor used during the middle ages and stretching back to the time of the Roman Empire.

In my case, I've made jewelry, banners, bags, purses, keychains, Christmas ornaments, odds-and-ends type items, Barbie armor and I've started on a mail shirt made of Titanium. However, since this metal is pretty expensive to work in, it is a very long-term project. I picked up the hobby by chance in 2006 and in the intervening five years, I've worked to hone my technique, improve my tools and learn new weaves. I'm finally getting serious about setting up a new web presence and marketing my work so watch this space over the next few months. Things will move somewhat slowly because I'm working full time and taking classes toward my master's degree in entomology, but I hope to make steady progress.