Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I'm one of those "Thanksgiving" people

Christmas is coming!  But it's not here yet, dangit.  Thanksgiving is first, the holiday where we should spend the day being thankful for the positive people, opportunities and blessings in our lives.  Only after that should one jump into the crazy chaotic mess of Christmas.

As a thank you to customers who choose to do their holiday shopping with me and help a small business during Christmas, I have a couple of offers going in the store.  There is a discount for anyone using coupon code NOEL15 in either the chainmail or tree stores.  For Black Friday weekend, I have a special FREE EARRINGS offer!  Keep up on special offers by liking Marci's Chain Designs and Art on Facebook.  If you don't see the FB link on this page, you can find it here!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Chainmail and sharks

October seems the right time of year for a good fright, and I believe I've found it.   This is a
chainmail suit torn by a shark.

You really, REALLY need to check out that photo.  He was literally torn a new one.

This person is faring better but you wouldn't catch me feeding sharks underwater, even in chainmail.

Back up on the surface, this chainmail shark gear looks nice.  It's almost like really cool, super casual metal sweatpants.

If you're still looking for a costume this year and want to do a different sort of chainmail, consider going out as a shark hunter.  It's dangerous, but really cool.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I have more art online!

Those of you who follow Marci's Chain Designs on Facebook or who have bumped into me at shows know that chainmail isn't all I do.  I've also been doing Tree of Life drawings, and this week opened up an Etsy store for it at marcisart.etsy.com.  You should check it out.

I survived the Upper East TN Celtic Festival last weekend.  Thankfully my man was able to make it out to help with the booth, because I don't know what I would have done without him.  Next on the list is Big Stone Celtic in Big Stone Gap on the 26th, and I'm glad it's still a week away so I have time to get a more tree drawings completed.

I'm trying to decide on a final idea for a new chainmail sculpture piece.  Is there anything you'd like to see made in 3d chainmail?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Is there such a thing as Celtic BBQ?

I love a good BBQ. A weekend with delicious food, cold drinks and good people is always welcome. It would be even better if we could have combined last weekend with next and have the Upper East Tennessee Celtic BBQ!  Unfortunately my Force powers are lacking and I'm out of magic dust, so I'll have to split the events between two weekends. ...maybe spreading the fun over  two weekends isn't such a bad idea.

Make plans to have fun this weekend at the East Tennessee Celtic Society's festival at Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton TN. There's going to be lots of things going on, including axe throwing, and you should check it out on their website. Here

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Have you ever looked at or read a word until it lost all meaning?  No matter how much you try it just doesn't seem to be spelled correctly, and your eyes start to glaze over.  That happened to me when trying to get my bookmarks listed on the website, but I'm completely okay with temporarily being able to read any word with 'book' in it in exchange for getting this online.  It's so pretty!

There are still two more days to take advantage of my August sale.  Check out Marci's Chain Designs on Facebook for details and the coupon code, and like my page to get updates on the latest happenings with my chainmail.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It's hot. Really hot...

I'm so glad the weather is cooling off this week.  Fall's not here yet, but for this week I'll be able to mow the yard without dying from heat stroke.  C'mon fall, I'm ready for you!

In the meantime, I'm back at it and getting ready for upcoming shows.  I've refilled the earring racks with new designs and some really crazy cool VCR parts, and have been working with a neat new celtic knot charm design that I think you'll really like.  There's another order on the way as well, and I can't wait till the new parts get here so I can jump in on some new pieces.  Yay for new stuff!

In September I'll be back at Sycamore Shoals with the Upper East TN Celtic Festival in Elizabethton on the 12th and 13th, and at Big Stone Celtic in Big Stone Gap VA on the 26th.   I have an application in for a new show in October that I'll tell you more about if I'm accepted, but aside from that I'm still looking for shows and Celtic events.  I need more more great shows before year end, so if you know of or are part of anything that could use a dose of chainmail, email me or send a message on Facebook and let me know.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New stuff on sale every week on Facebook!

My totes are heavy.  Too heavy.  Every time I travel to a show I take two huge totes stuffed with chainmail and tree art, and if I keep that up I'll be spending a fortune at the masseuse and chiropractor just so I can stand up straight.  That means it's cleaning time, so I'm having a sale!  Each week on Facebook I'm posting a small lot of items for 30-50% off.  Some pieces are styles in the store, and others are unique and truly one of a kind pieces that have never been posted.  You need to follow my Facebook link on the right and Like Marci's Chain Designs so you always know what's on sale.  Each lot of items is only on sale for the week it's posted, so if you see something you like you'll need to grab it quickly!

What is your favorite item that you would like to see posted in a sale?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Be safe on the fourth. Don't wear chainmail.

Sometimes people make assumptions that aren't true.  We've all done it before and will probably do it again, but be careful to check out things regarding your personal safety.  Chainmail was excellent armor in the middle ages when sword battles were the norm, but wearing it doesn't mean you're safe from everything.  Chainmail will not protect you from the following things.

A grill
Squishy Food

I hope you have a good, long 4th of July weekend.  Please do us all the favor of not protecting yourself from fireworks with chainmail.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

It's almost WNC Celtic weekend

Next weekend, June 19-21, is the WNC Celtic Festival in Asheville NC. This show is great, and are a few reasons why you should be there. 

Marci's Chain Designs will be there, along with other vendors who have all sorts of Celtic goodness. 

You'll see great bands with Rathkeltair, Cutthroat Shamrock and more. 

It's at Highland Brewing Company, so there will be beer!

It's going on all weekend, so you'll have three days worth of entertainment. 

Check out the Highland Brewing Company website for details, and mention seeing this post at my booth for a free gift with your chainmail purchase. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Chain candle holders

This week's post is taking a step away from chainmail and into another chain based project.  I love finding practical ways to upcycle things and these new new wine bottle candle holders are (in my ever so humble opinion) a really beautiful way to do that.  They're usable outdoors, as the bottle protects the candle from breezes and misty rain.  It's a bit difficult to see in the photo, but on the left side you can see a bit of a decorative etching.  I'll have these for sale in a few different designs at the WNC Celtic Festival in Asheville and am looking forward to making as many of these as I can manage without drinking myself into oblivion. 

If you want to come out to the WNC Celtic Festival, which is free to attend on Friday and Sunday,  check out the Marci's Chain Designs facebook Events page for more information.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Can tab chainmail can be pretty cool

It's amazing how creative people can become when you give them a pile of something and let them see what they can do.  I've heard people compare it to chainmail, and when I found this photo at thebeerdrifter.com it seemed like a perfect comparison.  I don't understand the shorts/chaps choice, but whoever made this piece did a beautiful job on the logo on the front. Have any of you dabbled in the can tab arts?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How do you spell your chainmail?

There are 3 common choices of wording/spelling for what it is I do, and people constantly use different spellings.  There's a lot of different reasoning for choosing what you use, and I've always stood behind chainmail as the proper spelling.  Here's what I think about the different options.

Chainmail - To me, this is the only correct way to spell the word that means armor.  It's one word, simple and straightforward, doesn't have any unnecessary fluff, and you get exactly what you think.  Cool armor.  ...or a RPG from Gary Gygax where people wear chainmail armor.  Go with the Gygax.

Chain mail - Chain mail is what you get in your mailbox that tells you to forward a message to 45 of your closest friends or a thousand birds will fly over and poo on your car before midnight.  That's no fun.

Chainmaille - This word shouldn't exist.  Someone wanted to try to make chainmail fancy and put a fluffy extra 'le' on the end.  The only thing this is good for is making the word more difficult to spell.

That's my two cents on it at least.  What do you think? :)

Friday, May 8, 2015

More new projects

I'm always looking for new, fun things to try doing with chain and chainmail, and I'm really excited about the new one.  It's a bit less chainmail and a bit more chain, but involves a lot of processing, and fun!  Glass, chain, fire, sandblasting...  I want to get one piece completely finished before posting photos, but I'm hoping that by this time next week there's a new and super cool item for you to check out.

Customer chatter this week has been very clothing oriented.  Personally, I think it's really fun and cool to take something historical like chainmail and use it as modern clothing and accessories.  That said, I AM the person who does chainmail as a job.  What do you think about bringing 'old' and historical pieces back into modern fashion?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Any fun events going on in your area?

I think one of the hardest parts of the chainmail business has been finding places to show/exhibit in person that are chainmail friendly and don't cost a fortune.  There are tons of local venues to set up at with affordable fees, but chainmail doesn't mix well with flea markets and country kitchen crafts.  A large event like DragonCon or a big Renaissance faire would be great and tons of fun, but there's easily several thousand dollars in expenses tied up in those.  I need chainmail friendly geekery venues that don't cost a fortune!

So I ask you, my chainmail fans and fellow lovers of the art, to let me know if there's anything near you (and hopefully me) that could use a dose of chainmail.  Faires, festivals, whatever... if chainmail fits the venue I'll take a look at it.  I prefer things in the East TN/Western NC/SW VA areas as that's closer home, but will look at other areas as well.

Thank you everyone for following Marci's Chain Designs, and I hope to hear about more awesome events from you!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I make chainmail, but I don't make it like they used to.

I had lots of questions from patrons of the show last two weekends about armor and the Middle Ages, and while the process I use is similar to what was done historically my butted mail isn't what they used.  Butted mail is created when you close rings so that the ends are butted against each other. This picture is a good example of a piece of butted chainmail.

If you were wearing armor for defense, you wanted riveted mail.  The ends of these rings overlapped each other, were flattened, and a hole was punched through so each ring could be riveted together.  This made the piece stronger and much less likely for the rings to unintentionally come apart.

This site gives a simple and interesting explanation of different types of armor and how they were created.  It's amazing how labor intensive it was, and still is, just to make a single piece of armor.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Local shows the next two weekends.

I enjoy traveling, but sometimes it's nice to be working closer home.  There's a lot less driving and expense, which leaves me with more time to create.  Fun!

Coming up this weekend is Art in the Park at Memorial Park in downtown Johnson City.  I'll be there on Friday, Apr 10 from 1-7 and Saturday 10-6.  This is free for you to attend and all of the vendors are juried, so there should be a lot of quality work for you to check out.  If you're not familiar with a 'juried' show, that means each vendor had to submit an application with photos and be approved in order to participate.  Juried shows are where you'll find the really cool stuff.

Next weekend is the Old Oak Festival at Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN.  This event is also free to attend, starts on Friday Apr 17 at 1:00 and continues through the weekend until Sunday evening.  Normally I'm in my tent outside at this show, but after the crazy weather of the last few years I've moved indoors.  So come on in, take a break from the weather, and check out the new and awesome stuff I have for you.

If you come visit me at either of these venues and mention this blog post, I'll give you a free gift with any purchase!  Who doesn't love free stuff?

Monday, March 30, 2015

It's time for wardrobe!

Whenever I'm at an event and people realize chainmail is armor, there are always questions about what is involved with making it. Being a chain mail artist is tricky when it comes to making full pieces of armor, simply because there is so much time involved in the process.  I've had customers ask about the cost of having a piece custom-made and many of them balk when the price is a few hundred dollars. It isn't inexpensive, but most people don't realize that a handmade "shirt" can easily have over 30 hours of time put into it.

As a result, I don't make a lot of armor. Costumers can find machine made regalia online for a much lower price, and many of the truly hardcore armor lovers decide to get their hands dirty and take on the challenge themselves.  I'm completely fine with this, and enjoy talking with people who are new to the process. In fact, there has been so much interest from DIY people that I am going to start offering classes at conventions and venues that allow it.  So if you are interested in taking a class or are part of an event and would like to include a chainmail armor and jewelry making class, let me know!

Anyway… It's been a while since a larger piece has come across the workbench and decided that I wanted to make one for myself. The photograph above is the work in progress, and it definitely isn't traditional historical armor. The plan for the finished product is to have a shirt to wear to shows as a display piece, and I added the color to make it more fashionable. Because of the small ring size, it's taking quite a while to finish. If you want to check it out and get a closer look, come visit me at one of my upcoming shows. The next one will be on April 10–11 in Johnson City and you can find out more about it on my Facebook page. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

I love delivery day!

I'm really excited about the new batch of stuff that came in. It arrived in time to get a few new products made to debut at the convention this weekend, and I'm really excited! That wonderful mess currently scattered on the table will soon become new giant sized keychains, very pointy stars,and hopefully before the end of the week new candle holders as well! I love trying out new things! It's Christmas in March!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Time for more sculpture!

Hello again everyone! I'm sorry it's been so long, but life has been keeping me ridiculously busy. I know that in my previous posts I have mentioned several times about working on my dragon. Unfortunately, the dragon is still unfinished and a work in progress. I have been going through several different ways of getting the wings the way I want them and it's proving to be a bit of a beast. I didn't want to get completely mired down with it so I decided to try something new, and this cactus magically came into being.  I'm not entirely sure as to the exact inspiration for making a cactus. Maybe I'm thinking back to my old RPG days and playing around in the Weird Wild West of Deadlands. 

I have a few chainmail trees that are also currently sitting as works in progress. I have been able to make the trunk and branches portions to my liking and am testing out new ideas for adding leaves and canopies to these trees. They are beautiful standing alone as is, but I think giving them leaves will add extra life and dimension that will make them truly shine.  

MACE West is happening next weekend, and if you want to see the cactus or any of my other work you will want to be there. It's a fun gaming convention that is only a short drive for anyone living in the Tri-Cities.  Mention this blog post at my table at MACE West for a special free gift. Free.  You don't even have to buy anything! How awesome is that…