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About WaistedSpace

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 03/20/1979

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Profile Information

  • Location
    Denver, CO
  • Occupation
    Maille Artisan
  • The year you started making chainmail
    Jan. 2006
  1. WaistedSpace

    Big commission

    Thanks guys, I'll probably price it around that $1000 mark The reason I chose NS & Cu is purely color: I've always been in love with this combination, and the copper coils will tarnish much faster than the nickel silver chain giving a little extra depth. I'm not worried about the strength, I've taken that into account in the design's structure, and besides the smallest copper rings will be 16g. Check out my deviantart page, I have a lot of NS/Cu combos on there. It's a surprisingly versatile metal - it even looks great with anodized niobium!
  2. WaistedSpace

    Big commission

    Gotcha, I live in a pretty dry climate so I don't see that too often. Chemistry and climate really make a big difference. I can wear copper for weeks without it losing any shine, but some of my friends and customers can hardly touch copper without it and themselves getting dirty
  3. WaistedSpace

    What other metals are viable?

    Stainless steel! It can kill your hands (be sure to factor that into price) but it looks amazing, and if you have clean cuts and tumble in shot for at least a day it feels very luxurious. Plus, it looks great with just about anything, especially Cu, Bz, RB, and anything anodized.
  4. WaistedSpace

    Difficulty Handling Large Amounts of Wire

    ditto Whether it's 22g or 12g I never wind coils longer than about 12"
  5. WaistedSpace

    Big commission

    Maybe I wasn't being clear... Chainmaille is my career and has been for about 4 years now, so it's not like I'm just getting my feet wet. I've made many hundreds of pieces in that time but this is a special project and I was hoping for some personal insights anyone might have. If that's an unrealistic hope then so be it, I'll wing it best I can. If you read the 2nd paragraph you'll see I already said what I plan to charge based on known labor and estimates on the unknown. I'm more interested in the uniqueness/difficulty/skill factor (yeah yeah I know only I can truly make that decision, but it doesn't hurt to ask for thoughtful opinions). In light of perpetual threads over the years about not under/overcharging one's work in fairness to the mailler community, I thought it wise to ask what you guys think. I know exactly, down to the penny, what to charge for my production pieces - I have that stuff down pat. I haven't however done a high-end art piece for someone else (done a few for myself that I wouldn't consider selling) and was hoping that others who have could shed some light. This isn't something I can just charge labor on: I charge far more than $20/hr (my rate would probably bug some mailler's eyes out) but my supplies and technique are top quality and I weave very fast, so I don't feel bad about charging a lot. Going by labor alone the piece would be roughly $500-$600, seemingly very cheap for what this piece will be. Trying to figure in a set design fee would be a good option for some, but for me it's an effort in futility because design time & effort varies wildly from piece to piece. That's why I chose a "couple hundred dollars" up-charge on the design work. Not enough? Too much? Llisa: I think $2500 is more than I'm comfortable with but thank you very much for the insight Frostfly: What do you mean about bronze tarnishing differently? I use copper alloys extensively, and aside from slight differences in color I find that Cu, Bz and RB all tarnish about the same.
  6. WaistedSpace

    Big commission

    A pastor of a local church commissioned me to make a giant (in jewelry standards) cross. I'm thinking of adapting my CIR Lantern piece into 14g for each of the four arms, which will later be fixed to a centerpiece. I plan to flare the end of each arm by wrapping over the CIR in 20g or 18g FP6. The centerpiece will probably be a wrapped stone sphere. The whole piece will be something like 6" x 5" and slung from a 28" - 35" 16g FP6. The metals will be mostly NS and Cu. What do you think I should charge for this piece? I'm figuring on a base price of $500 - $600 for labor. That includes the CIR arms and flare wraps, and FP6 chain (i.e. bits I don't have to experiment with). Also included in that figure is a labor estimate for wrapping the sphere and final assembly. I plan to add roughly another couple hundred to that for establishing the design of the sphere wrap and assembly, making the total cost around $750. However, I'm pretty sure this has never been done before, and there are always extra challenges in making rigid maille structures (I'll bet Rescyou has torn some hair out over his spectacular pyramids). Should I charge more, like closer to $1000? Do you think that's overboard? Not enough? I'm looking for some objective opinions based on your experiences - I have a tendency to undervalue my work and I think I'm getting better about it, but since this is my largest commission ever I want to be sure. Thanks for your responses
  7. WaistedSpace

    Anyone else have issues with 20g a-niobium wire?

    I've experienced this with ano'd titanium. Anodization is simply using an electric current to make a very thin layer of oxide on the metal's surface. Varying thicknesses (determined by voltage) produce varying colors. When you bend the wire you stretch this coating out and the color dulls. Think of it like a vinyl record: The outer edge must travel faster than the inner to keep pace. When you bend wire the outside stretches more than the inside - if you look at your ear wire the outside of each bend probably looks dull while the inside remains bright and colorful. At least I think that's what is happening, can someone confirm it?
  8. WaistedSpace

    Is chainmail art?

    Art is a confusing, emotional and subjective term. Obviously some examples are clearer than others, but I think as long as you are doing something unique and inspired it qualifies as art. There's no hard and fast rules, but I think that's a good thing because creativity shouldn't be stifled by too many rules. How do I "define" it for myself though? I do a lot of pieces that are just basic chains done in metal combinations not usually seen. However, even though I put lots of effort into making pringle-free rings with perfect cuts, adjust for springback in every metal, and make unique-looking pieces with them, I don't consider a SS and RB CIR bracelet to be a part of my art. Even though the supplies are unique and inspired, the sum of their parts into a basic chain isn't what I'd call art. I've never seen anything exactly like them but I still consider them "production" pieces that are more examples of craftsmanship and the beauty of maille than my artistic proclivities. However, even though tons of people have made endless numbers of Euro 4 diamond pendants and Full Persian earrings, I consider mine to be artwork because I've put a lot of effort into finding the perfect ratio of color, taken the time to arrange all the rings before-hand to make an eye-catching pinstripe color blend (for the pendants), and spent countless hours tweaking ring sizes until I could find the perfect arc in profile (for my Persian Drops). That said though, I DO consider my ring stock to be a work of art in one way. I've made my ring sizes as they are because I feel they bring out the most in the tactile and visual appeal of the weaves I use. I spent a lot of time tweaking down to the .001" and testing different weaves before I decided on the final size. Put one of my Full Persian bracelets next to a bunch of others and you can probably pick it out pretty easily because the weave looks and drapes differently, but the bracelet itself as I already mentioned is not what I consider art. Confusing? Hell yeah! How can I consider making supplies a work of art yet the final piece is just another chunk of maille to me, especially when those same rings do go into things I consider art? Quite simply I just stopped trying to quantify the term "art" long ago and focused on just making what I think is beautiful. If when I'm done I think it reflects my artistic intent then I will call it art. Besides, it really comes down to the wearer of my jewelry: If someone buys a simple HP4 with a lobster clasp and calls me an artist for it, well I'm not going to persuade otherwise From my perspective, art is in the intent. How well it's executed depends on the mailler, but even the greenest newbie with no closure skills can still make art if they make the piece their own. My first project (after a test patch of DS) was the chainmaille corset in my avatar (dumb right? Learn to swim before jumping in the deep end!) The closures are terrible by my current standards, I used machine-cut AA, the boning channels aren't stitched on as well as they should, and there are other mistakes I'd love to go in and correct, but for the time being it is my masterpiece work. When it comes right down to it though art is in the eye of the beholder, and such a subjective definition will never reach a crystalline, solid consensus. Put your love into your work however and people will notice and appreciate its beauty, regardless of how they define it
  9. WaistedSpace

    Blackened Niobium

    Kryston, yeah that's pretty much what I did. It's not however IMO the best way to finish CIR, which is to have those smaller rings actually trapping a little ball (another ring won't work I've found to my frustration) connected to the clasp. Essentially this is making the clasp itself a captive "ring" that sticks out the end of the bracelet, but I'm finding (as usual) it takes a lot of experimentation and tweaking to find the small few combinations that will work. I've made it work a few times but finding a reliable and repeatable combination is proving difficult and frustrating. If you try it though and have success I'd love to see the results Frostfly, I just like to be thorough. I've tumbled niobium for 2 days before without any noticeable loss of color or shine, and I like to really harden up my copper-based styles. The difference between 2 days and 2 hours is pretty minimal but I tend to overdo quality and precision anyway - if nothing else it gives me peace of mind that I've done everything I can to make the best maille I'm capable of. Sort of a habit from my corsetry days I guess, and a good one amongst a whole bunch of bad ones
  10. WaistedSpace

    Blackened Niobium

    So I had a custom order for a copper CIR bracelet with black highlights and I immediately thought of these rings. It looked so good I had to do another in red brass! Now that I've played with them I have some thoughts: In bright, white light they're clearly not as rich as AA, blackened steel or neoprene. They're more gunmetal grey with a slight rust colored undertone, barely visible under intense light. At a glance though on someone's wrist they're undeniably black and look great! The finish is slightly matte, and they don't take well at all to shot tumbling. Just 30 minutes was enough to fade them slightly, and I usually tumble anodized Nb for 3-4 hours. Ultimately they're an awesome product, but given my polishing methods and the price of niobium I think these will be the last for me. On another note, the bracelets are 16g 5/16" and the clasp on the RB one is TRL's 19mm SS lobster These I'm gonna have to start using on all of my 16g bracelets - they're the perfect size to grab onto without accidentally jamming the mechanism under your thumbnail! Heh, this wasn't meant to be a product review post but I didn't want to leave it on a negative note
  11. WaistedSpace

    Searching for a pic

    some more details on that corset: deviantArt
  12. WaistedSpace

    Fun picture

    The stone is hidden a bit but it's so large it still sparkles like crazy! It's sort of a simple application of your "4-corner" (or whatever you call it) technique Rogaty, though an 8mm stone fitting perfectly into a small chain of Byz came to me purely by chance. It also lacks the elegance of your own unique designs which I hope to see more of! tkubic: I've found you can wrap even tiny stones without obscuring them, however you have to be really good at working your pliers into tight spots and you have to be willing to start over several times if the ring sizes are just a little bit off. That said, I'm sure the Helm chain "cups" that I normally use would hold even a 5 - 6 mm stone tightly while only obscuring the outer edge. The problem is it would take 24g wire and probably excellent soldering skills if the wrap is to be durable in any way. Other methods like 3/4 Persian might work too if you're willing to solder them. The traditional HP3 & 4 method using epoxy won't work here because any epoxy that covers the stone will change how light is reflected inside, rendering it dull and lifeless. Mechanical (no epoxy) wraps, especially gemstone wraps, is still a relatively unexplored realm - probably because it can be maddening! If you're the persistent type however, and you have a large set of mandrels to back you up there's no telling what weaves you can find to beautifully set stones into maille. Invest in really good fine pliers in different sizes and get used to working in 20g and finer wire and you'll be inventing new wraps in no time
  13. WaistedSpace

    Fun picture

    Wow this one came together easily, and it solved a problem I've been stumped with for a long time! I didn't really have to tweak any ring sizes either - 20g 7/64" & 22g 1/8" holding down the 8mm topaz (a little too tight actually), and the design took a life of its own and holds its shape perfectly when worn. I've been trying to wrap this stone for a while with no success. The weave would be too bulky, or cover up the stone too much, or would have to be made in too fine a gauge. After all that, a small chain of Byzantine with 4 rings going through the corners is all it took. The chain's thickness completely protects the back side from chipping while letting plenty of light in to bounce back and sparkle! Also here is a checkerboard cuff in 20g 7/64" RB and Bz with FMG rubber rings
  14. WaistedSpace

    jewelry help

    Black niobium? hell yeah those look amazing! I've been out of the loop a bit lately but how long has that been going on? Also, ditto to movak - long HP4 chains are nice and rope-like, and its clear pattern just draws the eye in better I think. Also, HP3 can kink when not worn, say when stored in a bag, and can be tricky to smooth out.
  15. WaistedSpace

    Customer requests and issues

    Don't forget to include wear and tear of your body into your considerations, especially if you're to make a lot of pieces. I charge more for stainless (generally) because it takes a big toll on my hands after a while.