memnus: Me with my head back and eyes closed (Laid back)
Brian ([personal profile] memnus) wrote2011-07-09 07:03 pm

State of the maker

About a month ago, I had a surreal experience at a concert in Tacoma. I had claimed some counter space out of the way, minding my own business working on scalemail. I'm well aware that scale is an attention-getter, even in crowds familiar with chainmail, but this time I was getting new questions. Was I a vendor (in particular, at Faerieworlds the following weekend)? How much did I sell pieces for? Was I interested in a place to exhibit any works? I was taken aback, and they seemed almost surprised to hear that I was making these pieces entirely for myself.

It has started me thinking, though. Chain and scale have in some ways been my first hobby to have tangible, durable results, and I'm apparently not afraid of the giant projects. So far:

  • Stainless steel shirt. Finished. So many lessons learned on this one, and I deserve I-told-you-sos from quite a few people, but it's done and I'm proud of it. I'm hoping the faire weekends this year are less blindingly hot so I can actually wear it.
  • Stainless steel coif. On hold. The obvious companion to a shirt, but looking at it now I'm not necessarily happy with the sizing. I also have a tendency to forget it actually exists.
  • Scalemail loincloth. Wearable, needs tweaking. This was my exploratory scale project, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and the reactions it got at Faerieworlds. I still need to figure out a way to close it that doesn't involve bolts.
  • Scalemail chaps. In progress. Using lessons learned from the loincloth, and will be a companion piece.
  • Aluminum shirt. Research phase. Bright colors and a very loose weave, good for nothing beyond getting attention.
  • "Rock Garden". Unlike the others, this is not a garden, and an extremely long term project that sprung itself on me as I was figuring out how to wrap a stone.
A quick glance at Etsy shows that the market exists (at least, that other sellers believe it does). A glance at the prices, however, tells me that I need to work faster than I currently do in order to both (a) be competetive and (b) be paying myself a sensible rate for labor. I also have some internal leaps to make to differentiate original ideas from copies, but that might well come with time.


(Anonymous) 2011-07-12 05:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Cool having your stuff appreciated by others. :-) - MLE