Airinhead

The 'nerd' factor

26 posts in this topic

I posted this in the chat room, but upon consideration I think it actually belongs here

Most people ( not all, some are repeat customers)when I say I make chainmaille, dismiss it as a quirk, that i am a nerd. It's more than a little irritating. I do good work. It is sound, the closures are flush, I have a pretty good repertoire of weaves and on top of that I try to make unique stuff.

Have I just not found the right crowd? What can I as a chainmailler do to make people more enthusiastic about our craft? It's not like building a bracelet is as fascinating to them as to us! Cheers and happy mailling.

Rob likes this

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Airinhead; Afraid to say it, but your a nerd. You ain't a normal, your weird. You will never be normal, it's simply not possible. Your intelligent (you figure stuff out as a hobby). you got skills (craft and history) you innovate (new stuff) and you pay attention to details (closures etc). Yup your a geek, ner,d weird, and 100 other things they call us.

 

On the flip side, THEY are normals, which honest to betsy is THE worst thing I will say out loud to people. "Yup yup, your a normal" .. of course they are stupid enough to think I am complimenting them. :ninja:

Find some people .. go looking. In the meanwhile .. salute!

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I agree with you both. 'Normal' is not the norm and the world would be very boring if it were. I always get comments about how my items are for the festivals even though the same person will go down the street to by a chain made in china.

Snyper493, maldar and Euar like this

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That's why we all sell our stuff on the internet. Because people IRL suck.

 

I *hate* my customers. The only reason I put up with them, is the money.

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I don't make chainmail, I make art working in wire, and other materials.

You not getting it and dismissing my work is part of my narsasistic process.

The work is not what I make but how you experience your interaction with the piece and through it your interaction with me.

The piece you buy is but a thing, a simple a bobble, a momento, a token, a paltry souvenir of our meeting.

send me your money, share your inner most secrets and lets see what happens...

Its 3am and one of us needs a pastry.

Rob, maldar, Nivulus and 1 other like this

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Quirks are what make us interesting. It took me until my mid-40s to finally figure out that normal is not all it's cracked up to be and that I really don't want to fit in. We can't expect everyone to be as interested in something as we are; that said, our excitement about our artwork/craft will garner excitement from some others (there are some who just won't care no matter what). I have found a demonstration of some interesting tidbit is more likely to generate enthusiasm than either showing a finished piece or talking about it. People generally love show and tell.

 

I would rather be surrounded by quirky/nerdy people than "normal" people as I learn a whole lot more that way. Since embracing my quirkiness/nerdiness, I have found more people are drawn to me because I am more interesting than the bubble heads whose lives revolve around celebrities...that, and I give great hugs. Embrace your inner nerd because nerds make the world work instead of just watching it go by.

madd-vyking, Rob and maldar like this

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At it's root, it's chainmail. It's what you do with it that makes it special (whether you call it art, or jewelry, or armor, or ...).  However, it's no more 'nerdy' than someone that knits sweaters, or restores vintage cars.  It's not as popular a hobby (and less so a profession) as some others, but it's not any less 'normal'.  Being put out because someone says you're a nerd seems a little overly sensitive to me.  As does being affected by dismissive people.  This amounts to allowing others to have power over you.  Their reactions your work are not, necessarily, ill-willed, or personal in nature.  Rather, these people are only living in their own world - their interests, views, (pre)judgements and the labels they use just help ease navigation through their lives. 

 

Some people will be enthralled by your work.  Some will gain an appreciation with a little teaching/ information.  Some will only see a necklace, no matter how hard you try to explain what it is that you've done.  They'll all buy.  Not for your reasons, but for their own.

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I will echo previous posts, in that weird is good. Most people are vanilla. The "Unflavor". Regurgitating already predigested, prepackaged opinions and tastes made just for them, by entities trying to, guess what?---make money off of them. Being weird is good...and eventually, you find that being weird isn't really all that weird. (though being weird to try not to be normal really isn't weird, more like just annoying, but that's another topic entirely :biggrin: )

 

Chainmaille, in a 21st century world, is...face it... geeky, nerdy, whatever. So?

 

Personally, I don't introduce my stuff as chainmaille, unless it's clothing that obviously is. (Ha!) 90% of what I make is jewelry, and I have been describing it as "inspired by chainmaille" or "chainmaille inspired" for some time, but even that annoys me most times, in the response it elicits. It's resemblance to chainmaille starts and ends in that it involves little metal rings, inter-connected in FAR more interesting patterns than were ever historically involved in any chainmaille armor, and serve no protective purpose of any kind. It seems, though, no matter how often I introduce myself as a jeweler, an artisan, a craftsman, whatever---I am introduced by a third party as "the guy that makes the chainmaille". 

 

I don't know if there's a way out of it. So, maybe, grin and bear it?  :hope:

Rob likes this

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I say chainmail. Some people say, "What, like armour? Cool." Some say, "Could you make something like (fill in the blank) with it?" Some say, "TAKE MY MONEY!!!" So far no one, except me, has used the terms 'geek', 'nerd', or 'about to be thrown in the upholstered room'.

ShadowAngel, maldar and Rob like this

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Personally, I think that you haven't found the right people yet, and you're not likely to if you're just looking in Moose Jaw. That city is a complete backwater, even for rural Saskatchewan.

 

I have some experience in the matter since I spent 10 years making maille in Moose Jaw. it wasn't until I moved to Saskatoon that I found other people who took it at all seriously. If you're even half serious about your work I think you'll need to look farther afield.

Airinhead likes this

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Most people I've talked to about my making chainmail have thought it was pretty cool and wanted to see my work.  In many cases, they have wanted to purchase something I've made already or have something in mind they would like me to make.  When I get called nerdy it's normally due to playing table top RPGs.  Maybe I just surround myself with the right people?

maldar and Rob like this

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As a biker and active in my biker community.  I just pull out my weaving bag whenever I feel like doing some work.  Some folks appreciate the art, some don't.  I am really new to the art, but already made sales that way. 

Never really thought to bring my work with me on my bike for when I stop somewhere, but now I'll probably start doing it with my smaller items.  I brought some stuff with me on my flight from Okinawa, JP back to the US, with my wife laughing about it at first.  Well, I didn't get bored, sold a bracelet on the plane, and kept the kids entertained by letting them watch.

maldar and madd-vyking like this

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I'm a nerdy/geeky/weird biker, I guess. I am... "The Biking-Vyking"... :-D

I (and my wife) am(are) more likely to be wearing chainmaille when out and about with the biker crowd than actually working on it... If I actually get out of the house anymore, it's just good to see people. My wife may be wearing her jewelry or bikini top, or any of my newest jewelry as my own personal "Vanna White", and my rags have chainmaille incorporated into them, as well as zipper pulls on the vests and jacket, etc, not to mention my own pendants and bracelets... I'm a frickin' walkin' billboard!

Edited by madd-vyking
maldar, R666Rider and Snyper493 like this

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Not a biker... (more due to circumstance than lack of interest!) I take my chainmail box with me everywhere. I'm an introvert to begin with, so it goes with me to parties. If I'm bored, I can make stuff. If making stuff gets someone interested, now I have a way to start a conversation, and I've attracted someone who is probably crafty and has something in common with me.

 

At shows, if someone comes by and doesn't seem to connect with my work, I try to give them a comparison. Sometimes "it's chainmail, like armor, only shiny!" works great. I'll wave helm chain under the noses of the guys wearing bike chain. Sometimes its easier to compare chainmail to knitting or crochet, or wire weaving (I've got some viking knit too). Or some of the soccer moms remember pop-tab 'chainmail'. I don't mind being the nerd in the room, but people need to connect with something if they're going to drop money on it.

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Even though this is a very old post.....I am reminded of a quote by Kurt Cobain (I think, don't quote Me on that :c) ) which goes like this:

 

They laugh at Me because I am different.

I laugh at them because they are all the same.

 

I

 

posted this in the chat room, but upon consideration I think it actually belongs here
Most people ( not all, some are repeat customers)when I say I make chainmaille, dismiss it as a quirk, that i am a nerd. It's more than a little irritating. I do good work. It is sound, the closures are flush, I have a pretty good repertoire of weaves and on top of that I try to make unique stuff.

Have I just not found the right crowd? What can I as a chainmailler do to make people more enthusiastic about our craft? It's not like building a bracelet is as fascinating to them as to us! Cheers and happy mailling.

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I agree with many of the things posted here.  Of course you're a nerd, you're here aren't you?! Nerdiness seeks out like nerdiness.  (I'm reminded of a line from Alice in Wonderland:  "Welcome, we're all a little mad here!").

 

But more seriously, I agree with Lorenzo.  You haven't found the right crowd yet.  Where I live, if I mention I make chainmaille I get a bunch of blank stares and people thinking I'm meaning those annoying chain letters.  Then I have to explain what it is and sometimes still get blank stares.  At the shows I now do, many people either recognize what it is or don't care what the technique is they just like unique jewelry. Also, while I may tell them that the technique of a particular piece is chainmaille and 'fill_in_the_blank_weave," I, for a number of reasons, market my jewelry as being historically inspired. A lot of people don't really care that much about what the technique is, they just like the finished piece.  I tell people what it is because 1) some actually are interested, 2) it makes it easier for them to come back for more if they know what it is, and 3) it shows I know my trade, however, I tailor how much/what I say based on my observations of the potential customer.

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I work/attend renfaires, anime conventions, and maker faires. Yep I'm a nerd and I'm good with that. Let me be the odd ball, it means I have things I enjoy. Those who try to use the word "nerd" as an insult tend to have very little excitement in their life. "What did you do this weekend?" gets answered with, "I went shopping" but there's no adventure.

 

Call me a nerd and I smile as I bust out singing this:

maldar likes this

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