Matt's Awesome Stuff
Last updated: 14Apr2012
Back in 2008, a friend heard I made chainmaille and asked if I would make him a dice bag (a pouch for dice, something people who play Dungeons & Dragons require) out of chainmaille. I said sure. He described what he wanted and I said I'd do it. Then forgot about it for a year because I'm a terrible friend. Then I bought some rings for supplies (a first for me) from a friend. Then she forgot about it for 3 years (after I paid her) because she's a terrible friend. Finally I went through her stuff and found some of it and got started.
He wanted an 8-bit sprite of "Link" the main character from the NES's original "The Legend of Zelda" on one side, and a "triforce" (artifact from the game) on the reverse side. The original art didn't show a sword, so I cheated and modified the original sprite to include one.
Next I used the Irregular Grid Painter, an app designed by fellow chainmailler "Zlosk" to load the image, arrange it in properly sized rings, and output it to a POV-Ray code file and rendered it in POV-Ray. This helped visualize what that side would look like. It's intentionally grainy and blocky and overly pixelated. That's part of the style, an homage to the old 8-bit games of the 80s.
Started weaving. Got the whole character and the start of the sword done in one sitting before I ran out of rings. I need bright aluminum for the rest of it, silver for the sword, and brass for the triforce on the back. The material for the character is sawcut anodized aluminum. First time I've ever bought rings (anodized aluminum is not easy to do at home, especially in small batches). First time I've ever used aluminum too. Feels cheap and dirty compared to everything else I've worked with, feels almost like plastic. I can't believe most beginners (and a fair number of professionals) make and sell jewelry out of this garbage.
Here are some ~hourly progress pics. I'll redo this page when I'm done the dicebag: