chainmaille is becoming mainstream!!!!!!
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is chainmaille becoming mainstream positive or negative?
positive
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negative
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Joined: December 30, 2008
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chainmaille is becoming mainstream!!!!!!
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Posted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:01 am
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so i took a walk around Wal Mart and i noticed little bags of rings. of course these caught my eye immediately. i also noticed that they were being sold under the name chain maille rings. there was also a project sheet with instructions on how to make a shaggy loops bracelet. Will our noble art becoming mainstream affect us in a negative way or positive way.

on the positive side, we can get rings from Wal Mart now.

on the negative side, it takes some of the shock factor out of our craft.


i am a maille addict and pround of it. Whos with me fellow addicts?

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Posted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:08 am
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Although I like that chainmaille is becoming mainstream, I don't like that they're selling the rings at wallmart. I think this may "cheapen" our craft and all maille will be assumed to be the same quality as that made of wallmart rings.



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Posted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:10 am || Last edited by jldoggett on Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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I find anytime the "lay-people" learn a bit of an art they learn how difficult it can be.

Usually a basic knowledge of an art makes people more appreciative of the effort put into items and makes selling our wares easier. Some of my best jewelry clients are those who have taken courses in high school or college. They can understand the language of the art, understand the difficulties of the fabrication and are typically less expecting of "discounts" on custom items.

I say let them sell rings!


Maille Code V2.0 T5.5 R4.1 Ef.o Fj12.1 MAu/Ag Whmi Cw G.5-2.5 I1-12.5 N10.10 Pj Dejt

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Posted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:13 am
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I don't understand. I've never met a person that didn't know what chain maille is. sure if im not wearing any and say I make chain maille to someone they think of email chainmail first and formost and give me strange looks. when I wear maille noone has ever said something like "whats that? I've never seen a chain before as I was raised by baboons and don't understand your wizard ways"

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Posted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:33 am
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i talk to at least a dozen people a day who have never seen maille in person before.

when you go into santa fe jewelry supply, there is a sign that says, "now carrying 21ga half hard sterling". when i commented on it they replied, "chainmaillers have demanded it." i laughed and said, "we're an industry."

maille has prominent real estate in both SFJS and in the glass counter at rio grande..

i'd say this is good for maille as a whole. the more people who know what maille is, the easier it is for someone to recognize quality work. right now i have to educate people about maille as opposed to educating people about the finer aspects of maille.

i love talking to people with some maille experience, they can really appreciate what i do.


PSA: remember to stretch.
3.o is fixing everything.

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Posted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:50 am
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every high school in my city has what they call metal arts. I don't know how long this class has been around but it more then likely always included chain maille. Arts education in all forms has been revived and rethought in the last twenty/thirty years? facted if I know I'm only 27, but it's safe to say art wasn't always in such a public forum. so what does this mean more types of art are being taught and more artists are being turned out. positive for anyone in the business of teaching art. negative for people in the business of selling art. the case could be made that making a given art form popular makes it easier to sell but I would hope art doesn't sway to such influence. it could also be said that a popular art form is available everywhere in short order but the quality would be in question. business aside adding to the overall art community is rewarding in an intellectual capacity. 2/1 I side with positive.

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Posted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:53 pm
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Most of the maillers I know personally (as opposed to the people on these boards) are, like me, heavily involved in re-enactment, living history, LRP, SCA, and so on. They are armourers first and foremost and mail, to them and everyone else in the industry, means 'berks and coifs.

Outside of that, I honestly don't know. A recent mail-spotting (we should have a separate thread for that - mail in the real world!) was on the front of the most recent USA Avon catalogue. I wandered over to have a look, and the girl holding it pointed at it (a trim on a dress) and said "what's that?" I answered "looks like European 6-1 in stainless." A long pause followed, and then the reply "so, what does that mean, then?" But this was at work, where I use a flail as a paperweight, have a sign on the wall advertising my WMA group, and when I started here, listed "swordsman" as one of my outside activities on the "new staff" entry in the company magazine. They know I'm weird, in other words.

I think, that while mail may be becoming more mainstream, it's still an edge thing - something worn by Goths and punks on the street, and a few fashion designers looking for that industrial feel. Or maybe just trying to prove they're different.

My point is, and I do have one somewhere, is that while more and more people might know - in very general terms - what mail is, it's possible they're being taught the "wrong" thing. How many of us here, on wearing something made out of mail, have been accused of being into BDSM? Or asked where our bike and our leather jacket are? Or just dropped into the "odd" box? More than a few, I'm guessing. I'm also guessing that those of us who sell at the more mainstream venues have lost out on sales because our prospective clients have looked at our shinys, but don't want to be associated with "that" crowd, and have wandered off to buy their wife a pair of dyed tourmaline on a silver wire imported from China earrings. That, in all honesty, probably didn't cost any the less either.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm delighted to see more people wearing mail, getting involved, even making their own, but the battle is far from being over just because Wal-mart sells bags of rings. Until high street jewellers give the same precedence to byz bracelets as they do curb chains, until TRL opens it's second brick-and-mortar store, until my boss wears an e4-1 tie to a sales meeting, we still have a long way to go.


"I think I know what I did wrong!"

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Posted on Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:41 pm
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I can't say that I've noticed jump rings at wal mart (our walmart has a pathetic crafts section despite being a "super" walmart) but I have noticed them at Michael's and AC Moore and my first thought was "I wonder how many schmucks pay these over-inflated prices instead of finding their rings at someplace like TRL?" I mean, those AA rings would be great in a pinch if I ran out and I only needed 10 or 20 in a very common size to finish a project but they're expensive comparatively.

So to really answer the question, I don't know. I would love for more people to know and recognize maille...but I wouldn't want the craft to be cheapened either. I guess I'm on the fence and waiting to see which way the wind blows.

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Posted on Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:16 am
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PlasmaFields,


As someone who
PlasmaFields wrote:
I use a flail as a paperweight...



Don't discount the SMBD, biker or leather jacket crowd as potential clients and when asked:

PlasmaFields wrote:
How many of us here, on wearing something made out of mail, have been accused of being into BDSM? Or asked where our bike and our leather jacket are?


Just look at the questioner with a wistful smile and say nothing.


Maille Code V2.0 T5.5 R4.1 Ef.o Fj12.1 MAu/Ag Whmi Cw G.5-2.5 I1-12.5 N10.10 Pj Dejt

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Posted on Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:40 am
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I gotta say I think people have their minds made up about maille. I get two different reactions all the time and little in the middle. some people know about it able to identify weaves or not. these people are the ones that say can you make me a... the other people have heard the history having seen it before in person or not. these people say to me "what's it for?" knowing that the times of blade on blade combat are all but gone. the most common things I hear from everyone is "that must take forever" "it's very intricate work" this leads me to believe people respect the art and always will even if they don't get it.

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Posted on Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:05 pm
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jldoggett wrote:
PlasmaFields,
Don't discount the SMBD, biker or leather jacket crowd as potential clients and when asked:

Just look at the questioner with a wistful smile and say nothing.


I don't - I've sold, given, swapped and traded for beer (and bike expertise - I'm a terrible mechanic) a lot of mail in a lot of bars over the years. But they hardly count as mainstream, do they?

I made a pair of wrist cuffs for a close friend once (they didn't fit me very well, he has wrists like normal people have thighs) but was wearing them to make sure they didn't pinch or catch on any hairs. Nearly everyone at work had a comment to make along the lines of "I didn't know you were a...<insert>" I spent most of the day wondering what they'd say if I wore a scale bikini.

Armour, I think most people can understand, and while they might look at you oddly when you wear it to go shopping (or ask you where the faire is), they won't pass judgement in the same way. TV and films are good for that, although I do sometimes have to explain to small boys why my 'berk isn't "shiny like Frodo's..."

But only last week someone here was saying that a choker they made was being callled "dominatrixy," and that's what we're up against. It doesn't matter how pretty our work is (or rather, yours, my jewellery is seriously ugly), the man in the street is going to dismiss it as Goth or punk, or BDSM or something along those lines. Mainstream sightings are so rare that people here post them on message boards!


"I think I know what I did wrong!"

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Posted on Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:20 pm
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Mainstream sightings are rare, I'll agree...especially since I just posted one the other day. Smile However, it seems that the mainstream sightings are growing. As more people pick up the craft, then I think there will be more and more.

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Posted on Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:31 pm
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I have noticed the rings in Micheals and other such stores and can't believe the prices and the quality of rings they sell. If someone is gullible enough to buy the rings from these outlets then a fool is soon parted from his money. But being a ring supplier I like the fact that more people are introduced to the craft from these large stores. Once they enjoy the craft they will look for suppliers that are cheaper and more willing to work with.

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Posted on Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:09 pm
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oldebnc wrote:
But being a ring supplier I like the fact that more people are introduced to the craft from these large stores. Once they enjoy the craft they will look for suppliers that are cheaper and more willing to work with.


Speaking of which...shouldn't you be working on my rings?? Coif LoL

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Posted on Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:03 pm
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djgm wrote:
every high school in my city has what they call metal arts. I don't know how long this class has been around but it more then likely always included chain maille.


I wish my highschool had this available. I would have started years ago. We were stuck making things out of sheet metal.

I think when mixed with modern clothing styles that maile can be something that looks elegant. We are making a dress for my fiancee to wear when we are at shows and I have gotten tons of comments on my ties.



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