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Educational Experience of Making a Maille House
Article © MAIL User: sakredchao

Image: house4g.jpgImage: house3g.jpg

Ok, the house is constructed out of layered Japanese 8 in 2. (Japanese 8 in 2 Cube - Ed.)

The horizontal rings are 1/4" id and the vertical rings are 3/16"id

All 17ga galvanized steel.

When I made this, the first thing I did was make the 6 3x3 pillars.

Then I made the walls, the front, and back of the house.

I continued to sew the pieces together.

I made the various detail bits, such as the copper pot and ladder.

I crocheted the ivy on.


There are several things I would do different if I were to attempt this project again.

1. I would not make sections to sew together, but perimeter layers.
        I found that sewing the sections together made for a lot of annoyance.  There were a lot of tight spaces that rings were hard to fit into, as well as the project taking more open rings than necessary.  The more closed rings you use in a project the less time it takes.

2. I would use 1 ringsize
        If I had used 7/32" rings instead of the 2 ring sizes I used then I would have never been sitting on the floor spewing out profanities.  Also, the original plan was to show a different grain of the weave on the walls than what I used for the pillars, for contrast.  Using multiple ring sizes made this impossible.

3. I would use true 4 in 1  rather than layered 4 in 1
        This is a more solid weave than layered 4 in 1, the house would have been just as sturdy and easier to assemble.  This involves weaving closed rings 'between' the separate layers of 4 in 1.

4. I would use precious metals
        I spent well over 200 hours on this project.  Anything that you spend that much time on is worth investing the money into using higher quality / more expensive metals.  This is true of all quality chain.  (Although I highly advocate the use of galvanized steel in the initial learning stages of maille).

what I did right

1. I sketched out the design
        Before I finished the first pillar, I sketched out the layout of the house and made one of the floor layers, so as I completed sections I could set them up to see how everything looked.  This allowed me to tell if the project was going as I had planned.  Of course it didn't turn out as I expected.

2. I took my sweet time
        It has taken me over 2 years to get as far as I have on the house.  (And i'm not done yet, but it's showable). Oftentimes I would get discouraged, and when that happened I would set it down for an easier-to-complete project.  Setting aside helped me to avoid chainmaille burnout.

3. I tried not to take any shortcuts
        I did my best not to do anything that would make the project take less time that would sacrifice any part of the appearance.  I did my best to make everything as close to perfect as I could.

4. I didn't fear failure
        More than one person told me I was crazy for attempting to create something this involved.  They didn't hesitate to point out to me where I would fail or where my ideas had holes in them.  But I didn't let the naysayers get in my way.  People told me the roof wouldn't work, but if you see the pic on my wite with the roof on the top (not attached yet) you can see the roof turned out wonderfully.  Don't be afraid that you may not succeed in making whatever you endeavor to create, maille or otherwise.
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