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The Generator, an inclusive art space in Sparks, hosted a class Sunday in chainmail basics with resident artist Ted Koutz.
Chainmail is probably best known as a form of armor during the Middle Ages, but it dates back even further than that. The 13 students that participated were given the chance to begin their very own projects by learning the basics, from linking together their first few rings to combining longer sets of constructed chains.
Some students were hoping to create larger projects at the class, like a shirt, but quickly realized that even constructing a bracelet during the three-hour class could be a challenge.
I asked Koutz, who has been constructing chainmail since the age of 15, how long a shirt would take to complete. Koutz estimates that for a person of light frame, about 5’5″ and 120 pounds, a chainmail shirt would take about 40 hours to build and contain around 10,000 individual segments of chain.
While class participants voiced that they had underestimated the level of difficulty of the art, no one was willing to give up. Each student received one-on-one coaching from Koutz, and often an approving look over from their instructor resulted in an outburst of celebration.
If you’re looking for a hobby with a little Burning Man/Medieval take to it, chainmail construction may be just what you’re looking for. Besides, how many people can say the sweater they knitted can stop a long sword attack?
If you’re interested in learning chainmail construction keep an eye out on The Generator’s Facebook page for a list of upcoming events.
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