During high school my parents would take me and friends to Medieval Fairs. After my second fair, my friends and I chipped in on a manual on how to create chainmail. Within a week I had created my first Bishops Mantle. Over the next few years I had crafted and created multiple pieces and suits of chainmail.
In 2000 I had a craft table at a local Medieval Fair. From this event I received a project request by a local museum.
They asked for a suit of chainmail for a display. The museum also wanted a chainmail coif that museum goers could try on. I was later informed the staff took the pieces to grade schools, and the children really liked they could touch the chainmail.
During college, I found that my landlord liked to create chainmail as well. He introduced me to a local store owner who had opened a Sword and Movie Prop store. This was during the popular time that Lord of the Rings were being released in theaters.
Collectors were wanting chainmail and weapons similar to the movie props. I had an inventory of chainmail that numbered in the dozens. The store owner would contract me to create suits of chainmail for his clients. I quickly altered existing suits with unique designs and patterns.
There are several samples to the left of the page. I was able to earn modest income during college with these sales.
The last two images on the left, are the same piece. This is a round design Bishops Mantle. It is created using
16 gauge, 5/16 diameter steel. This was one of my most favorite designs. the circle pattern radiates outward and it would get larger by adding more rings on some layers.
Eventually I did lose count of the number of pieces of chainmail that I had created. I remember a dozen suites of chainmail and somewhere close to two dozen smaller pieces including gauntlets, coifs and bishops mantles.