Working on a Chain Gang

Still getting ready for the HP Lovecraft Film Festival at the end of September. Still working on metal/wire projects.

Decided to have some chains for sale and display, so been working on finishing chains in progress (the Gas Mask chain and others) and starting some new ones. Inevitably, I will have the wrong length, metal or thickness of chain for most of the attendees, but I am also putting together an order book that will let a customer order exactly what metal, length, gauge and style of chain they want.

All I have to do is one or two full length pieces of each type for the table and 2″ samples for the book. Oh, and I have to decide what kind of chains to make.

Top to Bottom: Box chain in copper Oval link Spiral chain in sterling silver Round link Spiral chain in copper

Top to Bottom:
Box chain in copper
Oval link Spiral chain in sterling silver
Round link Spiral chain in copper

Chain is AMAZING!!!!! Links are bars, round, square, oval, fused, tensioned, coiled, hammered, polished, patinaed, waxed, drawn, sawn, beaded, composite and any number of other things. Chain is light, heavy, shiny, matte, complicated and simple. Chain is ancient, modern, minimal, elaborate and absolutely necessary for a pendant but not so wanted for a letter.

Chain is for glasses, necklaces, gemstone bearing, a badge of office, decorative, functional, to keep something safe, to keep something imprisoned, to keep something out or in, to raise things up and let things down.

Top to bottom: 3 Pair base Roman chain in copper 2 Pair base single capture Roman chain in copper Foxtail chain in sterling silver 2 Pair base 2 link capture Roman Chain

Top to bottom:
3 Pair base Roman chain in copper
2 Pair base single capture Roman chain in copper
Foxtail chain in sterling silver
2 Pair base 2 link capture Roman Chain

So often, chain is overlooked and the attention is given to another part of the piece, until the chain fails. Then we realize just how important that chain really was.

So that is the kind of thing that I think about as I saw, shape, solder, stretch and join each little link. I’m duplicating an activity that has been done for thousands of years in much the same manner.

Links can be any shape.  The middle is actually one continuous strand of copper in a Viking Weave.

Links can be any shape. The middle is actually one continuous strand of copper in a Viking Weave.

I often wonder if Etruscan chain makers had as much of a mess on their benches as I do. I don’t wonder if they sometimes played with their work in progress; hypnotized by the look and feel of links sliding and turning while catching the light – I just wonder if they did it as much as I do.

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