Friday, December 28, 2007
From time to time we highlight the non-work interests and pastimes of individual Googlers. - Ed.
I have been working with chainmail, and metal working in general, for nearly 5 years now. I picked it up when I started college. My first major in college was history, and I was going to focus on the Middle Ages because of my fascination with the medieval period. After I changed majors to Computer Science, my hobby remained medievalism.
I have apprenticed under a blacksmith and learned some general metal working techniques. But I could not build my own forge then, so I turned to chainmail, which is a "cold" metal craft. Now I can take a bag of rings with me anywhere I go, and any time I have free time, I can work on whatever my current project is.
The crafting of chainmail is a relatively inexpensive hobby -- for the cost of a single videogame I can have enough chainmail supplies to last me months. The best part is that is requires very little thought most of the time, so you can multitask; watch TV, or movies, or even browse the web while working on chainmail.
A while back I was wanting to try my hand a chainmail inlay, but I did not have a design in mind. Most people make a chainmail shirt that has some dragon, or rampant lion design on it. I wanted to make something more unique. After a few weeks of thinking about this, I realized that I could use the Google logo.
I started construction in late April 2007, my plan was to only work on it while on my lunch break, or other downtimes. But I soon realized it would take me years at that pace. And the opening of our new office area was going to happen later in the summer. So I began to work on it whenever I was not actually doing my job. I spent around 4 to 5 hours a day every weekday weaving the banner.
Four months later, I had a completed banner, which now hangs in our office.
For the numbers-minded, here are some details:
- The entire project is exactly 25,829 rings.
- Dimensions: 67 units by 44 units (c. 66" x 27")
- Rings: 1/4" 16-gauge aluminum; the silver is bright aluminum and the inlay uses colored anodized aluminum.
- The entire thing is the traditional 4 in 1 pattern turned 90 degrees.