Back in the days of yore, knights wore a form of armor made from rings of chain that required many hours to put together. This master craftsman has revitalized this. Ah, screw it, it’s too much work to type like that. Chayn Lynx Chainmaille is a small shop run by Andrew Stapleton that makes… Yep, you guessed it! Chainmail and they’re really cool and inexpensive pieces!
So, as you all know I love to browse Kickstarter and whilst browsing the fashion section of all places (I know it seemed weird to me to but I’m glad I did) I stumbled upon Andrew’s campaign “Chayn Lynx Chainmaille” and instantly knew I had to have some. I contacted Andrew and inquired about some of his wares before pledging, the bracers had caught my eye but I found that the bracelets were also really cool. Ultimately I ended up going with the bracelet. His campaign closed at $531 raised out of $500 he was asking.
After my inquiries about his products I asked him if he would answer some questions for us because I wanted to do a write-up of his product. He was more than happy to oblige:
K: What inspired you to get into chainmail?
A: All of my adult life I’ve picked up a lot of hobbies in an attempt to
satisfy my creative and crafty urges. None of them ever engaged me for
more than 6 months. While looking for something completely different
online, I saw chainmail crafting kits on eBay. I did some research,
found what I needed, ordered a bag of steel rings and bought a pair of
toothless pliers from a local electronics shop. Then I bought another bag
of rings after I finished the first. And then another. You can guess
where it went from there.
K: How long have you been doing this?
A: About 6 years now. I had to give it up (though never entirely) for a
year or so to help my pregnant wife out more, then to take care of our
little girl for the first year of her life. Now I have more time to get
back into full design and production mode.
K: Is there any kind of stereotype about chainmail you wish people didn’t
think or believe?
A: Chainmail is not cheap. The materials aren’t expensive (unless you’re
working with rare or precious metals); to a painter, paint isn’t expensive,
nor is clay to a sculptor. Like both, the time it takes to make something
complex (like a shirt or bikini top) is substantial. It’s the degree of
talent, energy and time applied to the work a buyer pays for, not the paint
or clay or metal rings. Materials are a means to an end.
K: How hard is it to create chainmail pieces? I.E. your bracers,
bracelets, and especially those animal creatures.
A: With experience and practice, smaller pieces are really quite easy to
make, though there’s some physical effort in bending ring after ring into
shape. Larger and more complex pieces require skill and a good spatial
(3D) sense; this helps me figure out where I’m going and what it’s supposed
to look like when I’m done. Most of all, it takes patience. Weaving ring
after ring, a few at a time, can try the most patient individual. As for
my Animaille pieces, every one was made by trial and error. Sometimes
frustrating, sometimes tedious, but always rewarding in the end.
K: What is your favorite thing about making chainmail?
A: I get to make things. Making something more out of the sum of its parts
is deeply fulfilling. I can’t describe the feeling; it’s deeply rooted in
a part of my psyche that doesn’t give itself easily to names or
descriptions. Small pieces are mildly satisfying, larger ones more so.
What truly thrills me are the works that start with one intended outcome,
but end up transformed into something else along the way. The animaille
Gecko was, in fact, meant to be a dragon. Partway through the process I
found it more pleasing to make something extraordinary out of a perfectly
K: What are your favorite pieces you made?
A: The gecko would have to be my favorite, but it’s in close competition
with the bikini tops I’ve made over the years. Each one was customized to
the wearer, and I really enjoy going over it and making adjustments and
changes to make sure it fits well. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta
K: Do you wear any of them on a daily basis?
A: Almost every day. I frequently wear a man’s bracelet I made some years
ago as my own take of a shield bracelet for a magic-wielding character in a
series written by Jim Butcher. For the last few weeks I’ve been wearing a
ring on my right-hand ring finger made of a series of smaller chainmaille
rings. When I feel like showing off, or if my wrists are aching from hours
of ring-turning, I’ll wear my paw print bracers.
K: Did you develop/design the bracers? Meaning are they an original piece or did you
see them somewhere else and make them?
A: Nope, never seen them anywhere else as far as I know. I’ve seen leather
bracers designed like that before. That’s probably what gave me the
subconscious idea to modify the long one I’d accidentally made.
The bracelet that I backed for arrived a few days before Christmas and I was thrilled because it looked awesome and gave me a chance to do a hands-on review! So let’s get started!
Feel: The bracelet is really lightweight. I didn’t expect it to be heavy but it’s lighter then my “Knash Davis” silicone wristband, which actually surprised me as I didn’t expect the bracelet to be this light. I like that fact, though.
Look: The bracelet has a really unique look and can be worn in one of three ways. My personal favorite would have to be using the red rings as the trim on the inside but honestly anyway works as it looks pretty damn cool.
1. With the red rings on the inside as a trim, and the black rubber rings on the outside.
2. With the red rings on the outside and the black rubber rings inside as a trim
3. And lastly with the black and red rings on top of each other like layers.
The bracelet is just one of many cool things that Andrew will be making thanks to his generous Kickstarter backers, as he now has the money he needs to get back into making Chainmail, but not as a hobby this time, as a business. He also has some necklaces, custom Animaille sculptures (animal chainmail), and much more, so check out the photos below. And for anyone interested in purchasing some Chainmail pieces from Andrew you can do that through his Etsy shop here.
More pictures of his Chainmail bikini tops(above) and top and bottom(below)