A huge amount of what I write here is going to be linked to what I call my “affliction”, as creative outlets such as chain mail and writing are perfect ways to focus during the different phases I go through.
So, once again I have ventured forth into the world of chain mail. However, this time I have vowed to do it properly and not let it fall to the side like so many other past projects have done. I’m sure there will be posts and articles written in the future about things left undone, probably posted as I pick them up and start them again. But to keep myself on track, I am limiting my focus to jewelry for the moment, working with the Byzantine pattern that I already have and perfecting (or, more accurately, chasing the impossible state of perfection) the methods I have to construct the chains.
During the learning process for the piece below, an amazing thing happened: the combination of complete and total focus and working with my hands soothed a part of my mind that had been raging in the background for as long as I can remember – the part of my mind which I now know is the manic side of my affliction. Obsessive, compulsive, lacking any inhibitions or direction, trying to go in all directions at once (and pulling me along with it). But the intricate work and, more importantly, resulting pride in what WE had created settled him down and he went to sleep. (This was the first time in decades that I have known real peace in my own head, but it’s like a prolonged pain: you have no idea it’s there until it is gone.)
But what I really want to talk about is re-discovering the joy of making things. I have moved to a new city, started a new job and, since I’m starting things anew, I thought I would get back into making things as it’s a cheap, easy and enjoyable pass-time. This led to making another Byzantine chain, and then posting it on Facebook so that the world could marvel at my amazing talent! (Honestly, I had no one handy to show it to, so I thought fuck it what have I got to lose?) I crashed out after – it’s strangely tiring making things. Fast forward to the morning and there are a butt load of likes, comments and a few people asking how much it would be to get one like it. (Sitting there thinking, well fuck!) Contacted the few that wanted a piece, negotiated prices and colours, sizes and all the finer details of making things for other people. Then, part way through, the fucker in the back of my head wakes up, stretches and murmurs something like, “Hah! See, I was right!” (A lengthy internal argument follows ending with something like, “Shut up, I know you were right. I’ll wake you when we get to make more.”) And so a deal was struck and a “business venture” born.