Wow, this month.

Sorry for the radio silence this month, Internet. Between a huge pile of stuff to do at work plus a family wedding plus obligations to friends plus two craft fairs, I had basically no brainpower left to deal with commissions or updates.

To help me deal with the stress, though, I did make a large thing just for myself. (Well, it was also related to the big friends obligation.) I made an aluminum and rubber ring shirt in European 4-in-1. It’s been at least a year or two since I made something large like that just for myself, and I’m really happy that I made it. Photos will be uploaded once I have a chance to take them.

Anyway, my obligations are back down to a manageable level now, so I’ll be picking things up again and starting back up on commissions, and on the backlog of correspondence that’s piled up.

This is definitely the shortest dragon tail I’ve made. The commissioner requested that it be only 16 inches long, so it wouldn’t quite reach down to knee height. They asked for a mix of purple and blue, and I put together a pattern for them, which they liked.

Photographing the purple scales is always troublesome. The fact that it’s approaching twilight and the light is very blue doesn’t help.

As usual, it’s made of anodized aluminum scales linked together with stainless steel rings. I included the pattern, in case people were curious. (Though I ended up slightly expanding the top after finishing it according to the pattern and finding that I had mis-calculated the length a bit.)

This dragon tail has a fading amber color pattern. It’s composed of actual bronze down the center, blending into brown and orange anodized aluminum. The underbelly is standard uncolored aluminum. Also featured in the design is a full like of spikes down the spine.

The bronze when it’s new is a shiny-penny copper color, and over time it oxidizes to a more matte and muted brown. I like the material a good amount, and I’m glad the commissioner for this was also excited about it. I don’t get much chance to use the material.

I’m including the pattern I drew up for this coloration, in case people are curious. I’ll also see about getting someone to model it before I ship it out, because I really liked the blend of colors on this tail and I’d like to get more photos.

Finally took video of a dragon tail being swung. It’s quick and not perfect, but it exists! Next time I’ll try to figure out why it didn’t record audio, and also I’ll have a tripod.

Because chainmail isn’t rigid, these tails swing very smoothly. Fluid, sinuous, curling and extending as gravity and inertia dance with each other. So much better than a fabric tail with stuffing.

Also, a milestone to note: This page just passed 256 followers! That’s 2^8 people. And that’s awesome. Thank you all. I’m happy to be able to make things that you enjoy.

A black dragon tail with a purple underbelly. This one I made and shipped out last week, but was busy and didn’t have a chance to go through the photos until just now.

As is most common on these, the scales are anodized aluminum. To fit the commissioner, this one was slightly long, measuring at 37 inches from top to tip. Which was too long for my friend who’s modeling it. But she swings it admirably anyway.

Feel free to peruse this wall of text if you’re interested in these tails!

Brownie points to anyone who can guess the architect for what’s in the background.

Craft Fair!

I’ll be vending at a craft fair in Cambridge MA tomorrow! It’s called Cambridge Open Market, it’s located at the plaza at Harvard, and runs from 11-5:30. This is my first real live full-scale regular craft fair! (Though I have done a real live full-scale non-regular craft fair.) It runs weekly on Fridays through the summer, with tomorrow being the opening day. I’m signed up for three days over the course of the summer: tomorrow, then once in July and once in August.

Here’s hoping it goes well!

This tail was commissioned as part of a Discord costume. So it’s primarily red, with pink diamonds down the spine in place of Discord’s little rounded spikes/ridges.It’s also got three lobster clasps at the tip, in case the commissioner wants to attach a tuft of hair to the end to complete the look. (I don’t deal in fabrics or fuzz, though maybe I should try learning at some point.)

I wasn’t able to get photos of it being worn before I had to ship it out, but I did have a second tail on hand which was awaiting payment. So I got a photo with the two tails nestling together. They look like they’re cuddling. Anyway, more photos of that tail will be coming in a couple days when I have a chance to go through them.

Both tails are made of anodized aluminum scales linked together with stainless steel rings. You wear them by looping a sturdy belt through a pair of loops on the tail. For more, check out my dragon tail information page!

reblog-all-the-fandoms asked:

What is your process for making your scaled pieces, and how do you link them? I've made a few gauntlet and mail shirt sets with similar scale-like pieces (out of steel, or aluminum for lighter weight commissions) and have had trouble making the scales so uniform. I imagine you use a laser cutter, but what would you suggest if I don't have access to something like that?

I buy my metal scales from a chainmail supply manufacturing company called The Ring Lord. Here’s the order page with their scales. I generally use the large sized scales for big projects like tails, and the small size for jewelry. They also put together a simple instructional video for how to weave the scales together. 

I have started making a few pieces with wooden scales that I did laser-cut myself, though. I hope to do larger, more involved pieces like that in the future, but laser cutting that many scales is kind of expensive, and I haven’t had a chance to toy with it too much. I would love to have access to something that would let me cut metal parts to integrate into chainmail pieces.