Does this Ring a Bell?

On June 30, 2011, in Articles of Awesomeness, by Emily

I find chain mail to be absolutely neat, and I’ve even discussed why it’s neat. I’ve got my theories about life which are based around chain mail, and so far I haven’t been steered wrong. The basic concept that I work with is that we’re all given rings with each of the experiences that we have, and it’s up to us to make something out of them. Sometimes, however, you’re not getting the rings that you’ve asked for – what do you do then?

Well, let me tell you a story…

I’m really pushing the whole idea of making a chain mail business. There are a couple of other ventures which have to do with this blog, but I know that I can create an income stream with the chain mail stuff that I produce. The first thing that I hit on was the little chain mail people – the great Chainmail Beings as I called them – and I found them to be ultra cute and stuff, and I know that when I start really really marketing them, they’ll sell well. I’d love to hear about what you think about the protectors of your keys at some point.

But, anyway. I made a bunch of these things, and as I used it up I had to order more rings. You run out, after all.. and I was long since out of the colors that I had originally had. I knew that any custom orders that arrived would have to be done in silver, and there’d be a two week wait. I decided on a new vendor for my needs, because Fire Mountain has a LOT of stuff, and it’s in the United States, and their discounts are awesome, and they’re actually cheaper on colored rings, and a whole lot of other things.

Their sizes for these new rings are in millimeters, and I was working with bunches of 3/8″ (inner diameter) rings. The rings themselves needed to be 9mm. I, of course, had the choice between 8mm or 10mm with which to work – which was perfectly fine. I wasn’t thinking about aspect ratio, I was thinking about how cool the rings would look, and a little smaller or larger isn’t going to hurt anything. So, I ordered a lot of 8mm rings.

They arrived, and I tried to make my little people. And… well, that didn’t work at all, because I couldn’t get the orbital weave to work. My little people are MADE of orbital weaves. Well, feck. I have to admit that I bitched. I bitched because it was the first part of the shipment, and that 4000 more rings would be coming in the morning. I bitched because I’d ordered the wrong size, like a complete dumbass. I bitched, and felt like a total git. The Unlikely Mage offered to take them off of my hands and do something with them.

Then I bitched (mostly to myself) about the fact that I had ordered all of these rings in the wrong size, and then someone else was going to have to clean up my mess. There are phases I go through where I’m damned and determined to steal defeat out of the jaws of victory – these are the times when I’m writing posts (that thankfully never see your eyes) which come out like whining diatribes. But, I saw his point and started to play with the rings that I’d received. There were a great number of them populating my work area, and .. well, gotta do something, right?

In chain mail, like in needlepoint and other arts, there are different weaves. Each of these weaves can be used for a different purpose, to a different effect. The success of these weaves are based on the aspect ratio (the gauge of the wire vs. the internal diameter of the wire) of the rings that you’re given. In other words, some rings are appropriate for some things, but they really suck for others. Some rings are just MADE for some things, and really get tossed around the room for others.
So, I made a vow to myself yet again to look at the aspect ratio of rings before I buy them. I was happy with the 3/8″ size for chainmail beings, but something needs to be made out of these other rings. I was playing, and playing more with them, and found out that even though they suck for orbitals, they’re pretty decent for 4-in-1 and the box chain weave. They’re just a little too large for byzantine, and too tiny for the 8 in 2 kings maille.

I discovered that the box chain weave worked really really well, and that there’s also the distinct possibility of making some round maille out of this stuff, too. In fact, as I work with these particular rings, messing around with them, I’m finding that the diameter of the rings is more aptly suited for containers than the 3/8 rings that I was using, I’m finding that it would be really cool to make some shirts or something out of this size (though I’d have to get a lot more rings) and possibly even a hackey sack or two can be made (I haven’t actually MADE the hackey sack that works for me – that was the project that got me going on this in the first place)

So, I’m working on these box chain keychains to go with my chain mail people. I’ll see what I can do with some 10mm little guys, or work with getting more of the 3/8″ rings, and stuff like that.. I really enjoy making the people, and think that other folks will really like them. But, I can definitely live with the box chains. I’ll have pictures a little later.

Now, what does this long and drawn out story have to do with life, your awesomeness, and everything?

Lots, actually.

So, with every experience, we’ve given mental jump rings which can be used in any particular way that we choose. We can take those and start with the new projects, or we can continue with the old projects, or we can just sorta save them in a pile to make a project or keep them. Each different type of experience flavors the moment, and tempers the project.

With each ring that’s added to the project, the end result becomes more predictable. If you’re making a chain mail shirt, and start weaving a shirt… then you’re probably going to end up with a shirt. If you start with the concept of a bracelet, and keep working toward that bracelet, you’ll more than likely end up with a bracelet. If you start out with a… well, you get the point.

Sometimes, however, life gives you a whole lot of rings that you’re not really sure what you’re going to do with them. And you have the ultimate perogative about bitching about it, the circumstances which you received them, the things that you’re going to have to go through, and everything else around it, but you’ve still got this pile of rings sitting in front of you.

You might have received these mental rings from an impromptu call from a relative demanding that you go across the country to pick up your new inherited dog. You might gather the rings from your boss assigning you to a menial task that feels like hell. Usually these things are gotten from unexpected events – stuff that was just absolutely ‘out of the blue.’ It’s up to us to figure out what we’re going to do with them.

It’s really up to you to figure out what you’re going to do with them.

And you’re given this pile of random rings that are the wrong size for something that you’d been planning. They’re great for other things, though. It’s your job to figure out how you’re going to leverage and take advantage of these rings, or experiences, that you’ve been given. And in all seriousness, you might find something really freaking spiffy in the process.

What kind of rings have you been given? Tell me about it here, or send me an email. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am ashamed to admit how long it took me to realize that you were not talking about chain LETTERS. D’oh!

    • sapphicat

      *smiles* I think that chain letters were pretty neat, too, but only in the hand written and direct form. They possessed a lot of character – not unlike the linking together of jump rings that chain mail has to offer. ๐Ÿ™‚

      And as far as comments on the other posts, I turned them off for a little bit because I was getting hit HARD by the spammers and I had to take action. I am trying to come up with a solution because I want to attract more *real* people like you to my blog.