To start, please tell us a bit about yourself. What's your story?
My name is Glen and I'm an unmotivated community college student from the San Francisco Bay Area. I got my Associates degree in Electronics > PC Technical Support. My only source of income right now is what I make from chainmaille. But I would much rather be working again, but when I tried to 6 months ago, I came up pretty much dry. I'm a computer geek who used to work as a merchandiser for the late CompUSA *sniff*, and I'm a musician who works with my church's high school youth group as a staff member and as one of the worship leaders. Either as the drummer, guitar, or singing (in that order).
While I am currently going to school as a mechanical engineering major with a manufacturing focus, I've been recently pulling away from that and looking for work in logistics. I started down the engineering path because my schools manufacturing program shut down for budget reasons, and at the time there weren't many other options to continue learning the subject. But, since then I've found options aside from spending another 4 years of college getting a bachelor's to learn manufacturing processes. All I really wanted to do is work with my hands, and/or make things.
The current life path I'm pursuing is a career in logistics (shipping/receiving and inventory is SO fun!). But, if that doesn't pan out in the next year, I'm considering joining the Coast Guard for the resume boost, and the on-the-job training. And heck, I'm too comfortable where I am. I don't like traveling and I've lived in the same spot all my life, but I think it would be a good stretch for me. After all that, if nothing works out (or maybe sooner, who knows), I've been toying with the idea of the mission's field. Preferably somewhere cold. I hear theres a lot of work to be done in Poland for the Roma people.
O ya, and I'm an Eagle Scout of Troop 71, 2006.
What is your favorite quote?
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.”
and the wisdom I've gathered seems to say that I should “... seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness...” (Matt. 6:33), so that's what I'll do.
What is your favorite movie?
Don't really have one.
What is your favorite TV show?
An anime called One Piece. Currently about 400 episodes long and counting!
Oh, and I guess Smallville since its the only “TV show” that I keep up with.
What is your favorite song at the moment?
I Need You by Relient K
What kinds of music do you listen to?
Worship. I love listening to people who are passionate about praising God. Sometimes its praise music like Chris Tomlin, Shane & Shane and Jars of Clay, or Christian rock like Kutless, Skillet and Relient K. But, a lot of times it's the hard-rock/screamo stuff that really gets me, when I can find a good screaming worship band. Not too common, but things like Dead Poetic, Thrice, Underoath, and Spoken have really hit home.
How long have you been creating?
Since I was a little kid when I would play with K'Nex. I used to build forts, and other relatively large structures out of the stuff. I started doing chainmaille a couple summers ago after our worship team watched a Lord of The Rings marathon. I decided to look it up online and soon after bought 100 bright aluminum 16awg 1/4” rings. The first thing I made with those rings was a pouch/holster for my cell-phone, which has since been decommissioned... It will be missed.
What inspires you?
Seeing other people doing what they love doing, or watching them discover something that they love doing. More specifically, people who have found their niche in the body of Christ, and totally all-out about it. Even the lowest janitor is a great inspiration if he finds a way to bring glory to God doing what he does.
Please describe your creative process (the how, the when, materials, etc.).
I bring my rings with me wherever I go, so I sometimes maille when I'm out and about, but usually its at my desk between classes. If its a weave and color pattern I'm familiar with it goes pretty quickly. But many times its a custom order in a color pattern, ring type, or weave that I'm not very comfortable with. With those I start with one combination of colors, or ring types, and see if what I make turns out looking nice. About an inch or two into the weave I make the decision either to keep going with it, or to scrap it, and take it apart so I can use the rings for another attempt at the current project, or for a future one. Sometimes it comes together right away with no hassle, while other times I have to take it apart many times because I can't get it quite right.
Is there any kind of music you listen to when you create?
I either let my computer shuffle through everything I have, or I listen to an online Christian radio station. Every once in a while I'll listen to a theological CD. Greg Koukl from Stand To Reason has been what I've listened to most in that category recently.
What's your biggest artistic disaster to date? How did it help you progress?
My armor! It turned out fine in its own way, but the design was completely off the top of my head. No drawings, blueprints, or exact measurements. I made it in a blacksmithing class I took, and I did the majority of the shell with a swage block and any oxy-acetylene torch, for the most part all free-form. The biggest problem with it is that its held together with 4 bolts... 2 of which are on the back, meaning I need help to get into it. I did learn quite a bit about shaping metal though... because the hoops under the arms are doubled over and then channeled, and then bent... which is all kinds of stupid, and very difficult to make well with a hammer...
What's your favorite piece that you've done?
My favorites come and go, so for now I'd have to go with something I made very recently. It's a trackball from an old mouse I found, wrapped in chainmaille (go figure). I'm particularly proud of this one because it marks a landmark in discovering what I can wrap. I figured out a new way to cinch the sides up with rubber rings that allow for ANY size of ball. Granted, it might not work too well on anything but spheres, but I'll figure that out later.
What's the best advice you were given when starting out?
Hmmm... The best one I can think is from a bunch of fellow Etsy members. Something along the lines of “Don't panic because you're not getting many sales at first. Be patient.”
Do you have any advice to give others?
Seek God constantly and make glorifying Him the focus of your business (and your whole life for that matter). If your shop is just for getting bank, then you're wasting an awesome opportunity to be a light to the world.
What's coming up for you; any big plans artistically?
I'm selling at my first convention at the end of May, so I need to stock up on more marbles and findings, as well as mass producing all sorts of bracelets and key chains. Very excited about that... But as far as what I'm making, I've been swamped enough with finishing off the semester, working with the youth group, ordering supplies, and running my Etsy to have thought seriously about any big plans right now. Although, a while ago I was making candles by melting the excess, throw-out candles from my church's candle-light service (so much wasted wax). I made a chainmaille hanging thing for the candles, but never made the stand to hold it up. I guess I could work on that next.
Where can we find you? Both online and in stores.
GESlagle [!at] gmail.com
www.myspace.com/holygorge Very old screen name which I converted into a big ad banner for my Etsy...
I'm also on facebook: Glen Slagle