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.