A couple of weeks ago, I showed a picture of a little chainmaille fella I’d been working on, who accompanied the SQO on his trip to Texas. He didn’t fare too well on the journey. One of the beads fell out of his leg.
At least he didn’t leave his heart in Texas…
Now, by the time this little dude came back to me, damaged but still recognizable, he had a brother or 2 – as I employed chainmaille therepy to combat the separation. Those guys aren’t going to lose any pieces any time soon, as they were upgrades in pattern and design from the little Dude who went traveling.
This weekend, I got the last few ring sizes I needed to finalize the overall design, and I’m happy with the result.
Introducing: The Dude – a whimsical little Maille Man design by yours truly. He’s entertaining the masses from his residence in my Etsy shop – available in both stock and customizable colors. I even wrote a tutorial if you want to make a Dude of your own!
You want to know how a pile of rings and beads went from “I’m bored,” to “Look, I made something KEWL!”? You got it…
Here’s the process behind ‘The Dude Project’
Step inside my mind…
Oops – you may want to watch where you walk – but don’t worry, a bit of cleanser and a stiff brush should save your shoes…
Never mind the piled junk in the corners or the graffiti painted on the walls. The cauldron? It’s boiling at the exact shade of purple it should be. Don’t follow the trail of broken bracelet parts out the door – that’s the Dragon’s Trail, and you’re not fireproof!
And pay no attention to the long, stringy, slimy guys in the other room singing ‘Madness’ by Muse (a bit off key, I might add…)
They’re just ear worms…
Step up to my work table. Yes…I know it looks like a big pile of papers and junk, but trust me…there’s a table under there…
See – right in the center of the pile of stuff? The cell phone? That’s the Muse Hotline…and lookie here… it’s RINGING…
At least they haven’t figured out emoji’s yet…
Soooo – let’s dig out some rings, and play…
Dude #1 – OK – round ring for the head. Round ring for the body. Paired chains suggesting arms & legs. A way (ok…a bad way) to settle limbs in a manner which suggests they ARE limbs. All in all – a very ROUGH proof-of-concept.
- He looks like a deformed spiny/fuzzy fish mated with a human being…in maille.
- He has NO neck. The head is loosely attached to the fuzzy/spiny body & he’ll get whiplash if a strong breeze comes along…
- Without more definition for those things coming off the center ring, he could be a squid, a sun, a malformed table… The form needs to scream ARMS, LEGS, HEAD, TORSO.
Dude #2 – Fixed the spiny/fuzzy fish-man mating issue by building a short chain of FP 6 in 1 for the body. Form now resembles a stick figure…certainly a human-analog with the addition of ‘fingers’ and a neck. Going in the right direction…but – gave him pants up to his armpits.
- Body too skinny. Need a quick & easy sheet-weave instead of a single-strand chain.
- Colored AA rings do not come in the 19ga 1/4″ rings used to capture 6mm pearls. Closest common size is too big, as evidenced by this Dude’s trip to Texas, where he came back missing a bead, and common glass beads do not come in 7mm. Will have to ditch the ring colors, working only in Stainless Steel and/or bronze/copper.
- Dude is bow-legged, and legs still have no defining characteristic.
Dude #3 – This torso is MUCH more pleasing, offering better positioning and flex in the legs & hips, while keeping the suggestion of a neck between the torso and the head ring. Really BIG feet define human form legs, as well as solidly locking in those beads.
Just need to work on a face. The body feels complete, and the feet are adorable!
Dude #4 – Facial design prototype.
Face has suggestions of eyes, hair, and a mouth full of (?)teeth.
- Face piece too small for the body.
- Face is IMPOSSIBLE to attach to the body without losing the teeth in the neck.
- Are they REALLY teeth – or just confusing stabilizing rings?
Dude #5 – Final. Reconfigured the facial design using larger framing ring. Lost the teeth, but gave him a hint of a smile with this final construction.
Dude project complete – and he’s a happy little guy. Can add colors to the ‘hair’ rings for variety, as well as changing out the colors of the beads.
The Muses are pleased. The Dudes are pleased. And I have a new fiddly-toy thing to play with at work while I sit on hold…