I’ve been asked if I could adapt my love of making chainmaille to making items that are “useful” rather than simply decorative. I admit that I like the idea of creating useful objects, and I’ve seen lovely pieces that I hope to try my hand at sometime, articles of clothing, purses/bags, and even baskets made of chainmaille. Other usable items include candle-skirts and pot-scrubbers, although I’m not sure I want to devote the time it takes to weave metal rings for a pot-scrubber unless I had no other way to obtain one.
Despite the value of “useful”, there is much to be said for something that is simply beautiful. It’s said that the experience of "beauty" often involves an interpretation of something being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being.
Perhaps this is why we humans appreciate so many forms of self-adornment. Whether it’s fashionable clothing, jewelry, hairstyle trends, or tattoos and piercings, we are a flashy species and we spend a lot of time and money decorating ourselves. This is because what we perceive as beauty feeds something inside us that goes beyond simple vanity or being noticed.
Surrounding ourselves with the things we think are beautiful, whether it’s a jar of flowers and native grasses from the yard, a piece of fine art, or a bracelet accented with handmade beads, can be a treat for the soul as well as the eyes. I recall a coworker’s son who, when he was small, always wore a ring I’d made him to school, his “Prince Ring”, because he said he felt good when he wore it.
I will one day try my hand at creating “practical”, “useful” items, but in addition I intend to enjoy making things that make me feel good and that hopefully make the people who wear them feel good.
“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.” –John Keats
Hi, I'm Hannah Medrow
I spend most of my time weaving metal rings, working with metal or thinking about working with metal. I'm also an occasional activist. I have strong opinions about a lot of things, but mostly I like to share information. Hopefully I will be able to share useful information here. Feel free to chime in if you have something to share.