Then and Now...

Well, it might be a little soon in my blog effort for this but, I've had this idea and I want to go ahead and put it out there. I started making chainmaille in 2007.  I didn't know anything about chainmaille and I had never really thought about it outside of historical records.  One day my wife and I were in a craft store looking around and I found a magazine about wire art and on the cover there was a cool looking bracelet.  I bought the magazine and read through it focusing on this bracelet I liked so much.  In the article they called the weave Mermaid Mesh.  I now know that most chainmaillers call this weave  Dragon Scale. Personally, I like Dragon Scale better.  *grin*  So, after reading the article and the how-to's I decided to buy some supplies and give it a go!

I went back to the store and bought some red and black enameled copper wire and headed back home to start my project.  There were specific ring and wire sizes listed and suggestions on how to get the best results from this tricky weave.  Not knowing better, I just went with the suggestions and my best guess as to ring sizes because I didn't know how to measure them at the time.  I found a pen that had a lid that allowed me to make the two ring sizes I needed.  I started winding the wire around the pen into a coil that would later be cut down one side to give me rings.  At this point I had already learned something new and was enjoying this process.  After a while I had enough rings cut and I started weaving my bracelet.  Before too long, my bracelet was finished.  But, I realized I didn't have any clasps to finish off my bracelet.  Luckily, my wire magazine had a tutorial for that too!!  Score!  So, I made three hook clasps to hold my new treasure tight to my wrist.  I was so happy my project worked out I showed it off to everyone.  Most people didn't care.  *grin*  Here is that exact bracelet.  My first ever chainmaille project. (click to see full size photo)

My first Chainmaille project. DragonScale bracelet
My first Chainmaille project. DragonScale bracelet

  I am still proud of that bracelet.  However, with time and experience I realize that I made a bunch of pretty big errors in my first project.  I think, for today, I will not list and elaborate those errors.  I will save that for another blog post.  *grin*

  I will, however, show you a Dragon Scale bracelet I made only 3 days ago.  I used the same colors but this time I used more appropriate rings.  These rings are saw cut anodized Aluminum.  I now work with the best materials I can find or make, the best tools I can find or make, and with extreme attention to the smallest detail.  I am constantly trying to learn and refine my technique and I am always trying to achieve the best quality for me and my potential customers.  So, here is my newest Dragon Scale bracelet.  (click for full size)

 Dragonscale chainmaille bracelet Comparison New

  It should be easy to notice how much better this looks.  It lays better, flows better, and is visually more appealing.  But, what you can't see is how it feels.  Believe it or not, well made chainmaille feels as smooth as silk and is a pleasure to wear.  My first project feels a bit more like a baby porcupine.  *grin*  Here is one last picture of them side by side.

 Comparison between my old and new chainmaille Dragonscale bracelet 

  That is my quick "then and now" comparison for today.  I am still new at this bloggy thingy and I hope to post more frequently in the future.  I plan to post details of weaves, information about chainmaille, personal experiences, tutorials and anything else I can think of related to my craft.  If you are interested in chainmaille, please feel free to click the link below to follow my blog to catch future posts.  Also, you can purchase my chainmaile at www.McRoberts.Artfire.com

  Feel free to leave any comments below.  Have a nice day!

~McRoberts