01 August 2009

New Hobby ... Chainmail

I needed a new hobby like I needed a hole in my head. [My Dad used this saying a lot, but it never made sense to be because we already have holes in our heads.] But summer without air conditioning is too hot to knit, my woodworking takes up space we don't have until the remodel is done, and if I don't do something with my hands I go stir-crazy.

A friend was working on chainmail at some cons we both attended, and I was impressed at how cool it was. Finally, in April I took the plunge and ordered some pre-cut rings and pliers from The Ring Lord. They arrived a couple of weeks later (slow shipping from the wilds of Saskatchewan). I started linking the rings together, and I was hooked!

There's a lot more to chainmail (also called maille) than armor and exotic underwear. Using the same methods, one can make some incredible jewelry chains. Working with the rings is like solving a topology puzzle: can this size rings make that chain? How do I fit that ring in there? How can I hold it with the pliers to close the ring? I'm finding it good work for my brain as well as my hands.

I have another order of rings due to arrive soon. And I have a project list:
- a bronze vest, tailored style, for me
- chains to loop around Ocelot's black pants
- backpack zipper pulls in many colors (anodized aluminium) to sell at Climber's school's holiday marketplace

And some other rings to make some jewelry from. Who knows, maybe I'll go into business selling chainmail creations!

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