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Topic ClosedSome recent chain maille work

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KillerPoodle View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2011 at 16:33
Next up - chain mail lingerie  :)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2011 at 16:41
$600 is to steap for my wallet now, but I'd say its worth every cent:)
I really hope you will post you big project aswell.
"To go against human nature is the most human thing a human can do." Larry Niven
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2011 at 20:02
Actually, you got me thinking.  I reviewed my old notes, rough-counted the rings and crunched some numbers, and I think $500 is closer to the mark--though still very much a ballpark figure.  Working from an existing template might even enhance productivity enough to shave it down to $400, but that could just be fanciful optimism.  I did originally spend a lot of time working out the smoothly tapered borders, the question is whether it's any easier to copy than it was to get right the first time, and that's actually hard to say.  Of course $400 is still much more than most inquirers will pay, but you're not the first person to express interest in having one either.

I plan on eventually making another one in colored rings for myself, and keeping an accurate inventory-use/labor log so I can better estimate the cost.  I'm also thinking of making a narrow-style tie in (glossy/chrome) black rings using the same dragonscale weave as the collar, which would be actually less work than the collar was--and much less work than the gracelock tie.  Even discounting the tapering of a tie, before curving the collar was about 35% longer than a generously-long tie, and I'd estimate its worth around $200.  I don't know if people will be as interested in a narrow tie--they certainly work for Neal Caffrey (guy on the left).  But if they are, I can at least offer some nice two-tone effects and pricing in a range more typical for ties (probably around $150).  Even though the narrow tie would be significantly smaller, the real savings is in weave-time per square inch.  Gracelock is significantly slower to assemble--even using the accelerated technique I worked out--and dragonscale doesn't need nearly so much work on cleaning up the edges.  The edge is already smooth, and "for anti-aliasing" I'd just taper down the size of the outermost outside rings over a few rows.

The big thing isn't even worth estimating at this point.  I've been working on it for months, and the 40k ring count doesn't even begin to account for the time spent tweaking piece shapes, joining seams between differently-woven pieces, making adjustments, and learning how to make/extend various sheet and chain weaves more efficiently.  When it is done, I will try to get a more accurate ring count by measuring liquid displacement--all rings are the exact same shape/size, but not weight, because it is a mix of aluminum and copper.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2011 at 22:14
Have you taken into consideration the kind of meterials you are useing and the marketpricing for this kind of jewelry from pros? Market price is more important then the actual labor. Being an artist is a low pay job. Often below minimum vage.
"To go against human nature is the most human thing a human can do." Larry Niven
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2011 at 03:43
Short version:  More like (see bold text below)

Long version:

Regarding cost of materials, the price can only go up.  To be clear though, it's purely a question of material rarity as opposed to the quality of the finished work.  Silver is the most common jewelry material, and it's actually too soft to be a very good material for maille.  Stainless steel is actually almost as good as you can get in terms of functional material quality, especially strength and scratch resistance.  You can only do slightly better, by paying 14 times more for titanium.

Sometimes market price is more important than actual labor cost, but in this case there is no market price.  There is simply no market.  A few people set up shop in renaissance fairs and charge thousands for shirts made out of plain old (and possibly machine-generated) E4-in-1.  If you see a larger intricate piece (something made with thicker weaves, more variety, and possibly custom-tailored), it'll probably be on some babe at comicon (or similar convention) who's husband made it for her, or be part of some performer's costume, made by the wearer.  I've only once ever even heard of something more elaborate than basic sheet being commissioned, and that was theringlord (large wire/material shop that also sells basic E4-1 sheet) making a scale-maille costume for "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Film."  And even that was basically just E4-1 with scales attached, in flat sheet cuts stitched together.

People who sell their work online only do jobs of a tiny nature (necklaces, earrings, etc. in tiny weaves and low ring counts) which hides the structural flimsiness of gold-plated, silver, and especially brass wire, allows fusing the rings with cheap tools, and cuts down on labor as well.  Typical pieces will have around 20-80 rings and sell for $30-$100, and in these cases the material is worth maybe 1/3rd that.  Thus the material cost becomes a larger part of the equation, and their market can sustain more equitable pricing--which in this case is typically 20-30% more than cost of materials plus labor, unless the artisan is somewhat renowned.  And if you actually sell your stuff, you absolutely do have to factor in markup over the wage you expect to live on, or there'll be a lot of ugly surprises from unexpected overhead.

That's as close as anyone can come to commoditizing chain maille.  If artists tried to sell finer, more intricate large pieces at what any kind of general market would bear, they'd be working for somewhere between 1/4 and 1/10th minimum wage, assuming materials were free.  So while I'm open to paid work, and do look for opportunities to make something cool that will sell at its worth, I won't do the starving artist thing.  I can make 2-3 times minimum wage as a programmer even in a junior position.  And while I enjoy weaving as a relaxing thing to do, I won't push for productivity and struggle to meet deadlines for less than an equitable return.  I'd rather work at the relaxing pace that makes me want to do this in the first place, and get to keep the cool stuff when I'm done.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2011 at 14:14
Sounds like a smart choice. At once you start going pro you loose some of the fun in it. Hobbies are under rated (at least here in Norway). Anywho, keep up the good work:)
"To go against human nature is the most human thing a human can do." Larry Niven
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HonoredMule View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 2011 at 16:57
Originally posted by KillerPoodle KillerPoodle wrote:

Next up - chain mail lingerie  :)
I have firmly gained the opinion that maille and lace go together way better than leather and lace. Of course in practice it's quite difficult for the two materials to coexist, so I just do dainty/lacy weaves with tiny rings.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 2011 at 15:37
All I can say is... respect Thumbs Up
 
Had the pleasure of talking to HM about various subjects before. Knew him to be a well versed man. But man, you blow my mind once again!
 
Actually today I talked to someone who said something wise, at least in my eyes Pig 
So you guys can decide for yourself if you read any trueth in this...
 
We were talking about a certain topic, and then he said it was the 20%/80% rule...
20% of the people have 80% of the hobbies...
 
Not stirring up a conversation. But hell... HM if any of this is true this must surely apply to you m8 Geek
(lol last smiley was a joke, meant as a show of respect Evil Smile
 
Again... my respect.
 
That chain and lace stuff sounds good to... u got a private address for orders ??? Cool
 
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All that is said is my own opinion. I am not a leader nor voice for Invictus. I will always abide by Invictus's rules.
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HonoredMule View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Apr 2011 at 22:50
Still needing some change of pace from the big project, I've started on another tie using the dragonscale weave as I mentioned above.  I have just over 1/3rd of the main piece done, which is about 1/4 of the work.  I'm quite pleased with how the idea of using graduated ring sizes worked out, so here's a preview showing that:
http://honoredsoft.com/dstie/dstie1.jpg
http://honoredsoft.com/dstie/dstie2.jpg
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2011 at 00:10
very cool :)

so when can i order a white gold mail tie? :)
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