The chainmaille butterfly

At least 2 types metal and 7 different ring sizes

2007

A chainmaille enthusiest and fellow geocacher aptly named *butterfly* had posed a chainmail-based challange to me. To make a butterfly... out of chainmail. I batted the idea round in my head for several days, pondering how it would be possible, what it would require, etc. It was long since determined that the wings would be made with scales (since the idea itself came about from a specialty geocaching tetra orb involving scales), but I was having trouble thinking of ways to get the scales to stay in place, so to speak.

So dipping into my pile of completely random sized, random gauge, random metal rings (known as "floor sweepings" from the website TheRingLord, who sells chainmaille supplies), I came up with a combination that seemed to hold everything in place. I'm pretty sure a lot of it is 12 gauge, some stainless steel, some aluminum, and some may have been galvanized steel or nickel plated as well. It's completely random what you get in said floor sweepings. Same with the gauges and sizes. In either case, I found the right combination of a lot of random sized rings to get everything held in place tight. The scale wings are held by the assortment of rings holding them, but primarily by the fact that the corners near the holes in them are tweezed between two large rings (whom are in turn held tightly like that by other ringS). All in all... I think it turned out quite nice for a first attempt.

And for added decoration to be used as a rearview-mirror-dangling-decoration or christmas tree ornament or something, I added the blackened ring chains and the single small scale at the bottom for extra "flashy, sparkly" value.

As it turns out, the butterfly was extremely popular, and when I had shown people at work, one of them eventually asked if I could make them one. Typically, I turn down most of those requests, since these things are really tough to make, and using random rings means I could very easily not have the needed sizes any more. However, I managed to scrounge enough rings to make a second butterfly. It actually ended up being somewhat different in several aspects. The center is the most noticeable, as well as the connections between the scales on the sides, and also the top. So basically, everything except the scales themselves, the rings immediately connected to them, and the large rings on the inside. I kept the dangling scale as well. Gotta have that "flashy, sparkly" value happening!


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