Frequently Asked Questions
1. "I have metal allergies. Can you make a piece of jewelery that I can wear?"
Yes I can make jewelery for persons with metal allergies. Allergic reactions from metal are usually caused by the presence of alloying metals like copper, zinc and nickel. Pure gold for example is hypoallergenic but most gold that is commercially sold has significant amounts of silver and copper added. Niobium and Titanium are hypoallergenic and can be anodized to produce vibrant colours producing attractive and durable jewelery.
2. "How can I tell good quality chainmaille from bad quality? (or how do you make your rings look so good?)"
Take a look at the photo:
The above example shows rings that were cut with bolt cutters that can be purchased at any hardware store. Since bolt cutters basically crush the metal until it shatters it's easy to cut lots of rings in a short time and begin assembling. However as a consequence of using such a blunt and clumsy tool the cuts are jagged and probably catch on skin, hair and clothes. For a quick suit of armour for display or occasional wear this would be considered acceptable. However for a serious jeweler these kinds of cuts simply won't do. Jewelery has to be comfortable and not show any obvious signs of poor craftsmanship. I coil my wire around precision cut rods of very precise thicknesses (1/64th inch increments). I then cut my rings from the coils using a jewelers saw, which is basically a small hack saw that uses blades that are less than a millimeter thick. I also tumble my rings to remove any sharp edges before assembling them. As a result the rings appear continuous and unbroken to the untrained eye and are comfortable against the skin.
3. "How does your work differ from what I find in import stores?"
Well, the primary difference is that I make it in my own studio in relatively good working conditions. Much of the cheap silver jewelery one finds in boutiques is made in developing countries where the labour conditions are harsh. Furthermore, chainmaille and knitted wire are still hand made everywhere that it is produced. There are only a handful of machines worldwide that are capable of making chainmaille and these are used to make butchers gloves, shark suits and the like. Everything else is made by hand. If an item is cheap, it is because it is a reflection of the maker's working conditions and poor craftsmanship in impersonal factory settings. My pieces are handmade. My costs reflect the price of the material and the labour I put into each item.
4. "Do you do custom orders or commissions?"
Yes, I welcome them. They are a source of new ideas and challenges. Contact me through email or track me down through my Location page.
5."Dude, are you some kind of dorky turbonerd?"
Why yes, yes I am. I work in my workshop (also known as the Nerdery) producing body armour so knights can go slay dragons and protect their villages against marauding Viking types. You should also see my model collection sometime. I also make origami and play turn-based and real time strategy computer games. I have an encyclopedic knowledge of Star Trek. I also like rocks and dinosaurs.
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