A friend of ours recently started making chain mail. He’s weaving a shirt out of aluminum rings in a European 6 in 1 pattern. It’s gorgeous stuff:
After talking with him, we realized that making maille is not nearly as difficult as it seems like it should be. Pre-cut rings are available online, and the only equipment required is two pairs of pliers. Here’s our friend’s workspace:
Michelle has caught the maille bug, and I’m proud to announce that she has finished her first project: a dragonscale weave bracelet made out of blue anodized aluminum and bright aluminum rings.
Photographing the maille was difficult. Any light source in the room was reflected somewhere in the pattern, and finding the right balance of reflection and shadow-filling was tough. I tried flash, diffused room light, direct sunlight, and various combinations of those, and was unhappy with most of them. Most of the still shots you see here were taken on the floor late in the afternoon in the shade just in front of an area with sunlight coming in at a low angle behind the project (combined with a diffuser panel reflecting light back onto the project from camera right). And that doesn’t even mention playing with backgrounds (I started with a wood table, but it just wasn’t working).
But enough about the lighting and whatnot. My favorite shot came when we draped the bracelet over a dumbbell; as with other shots we’ve seen of maille, draping it over an object brings out the fluid dimensionality of the medium:
And, of course, what would a bracelet be without a thumbs up?
All of our supplies have been purchased from The Ring Lord, a simply amazing site for maille supplies. They’ve got all sorts of metals (aluminum, steel,
mithril titanium, niobium, copper, bronze, etc.), a huge array of diameters and gauges, and a wide variety of colors (anodized aluminum, niobium, and titanium are so cool!). CGMaille has a bunch of excellent maille tutorials, including one for dragonscale.
To see more pictures of the project, head to my chain mail – finished projects gallery or view the Flash slideshow below. You can also see in-progress shots of various chain mail projects in my chain mail construction gallery.