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I enjoy the show Forged in Fire. Four competitors make knives or other weapons. It's clearly stated how long, wide, and other factors the weapon must be - the parameters - to continue. With $10k on the line, I'd burn them into my arm!

Certainly every competitor watched enough episodes and knew the importance. Still, the number of competitors who didn't meet parameters is shocking. All four have failed sometimes; someone still won but what a hollow victory. Numerous times in the final round, where they had four days at their home forge to make the weapon, some still didn't meet parameters.

What parameters are there in jewelry and chains? It is a given to use undamaged rings. Common sense, one might say. Which brings up the first rule: saw-cut rings only. Pinch-cut rings are hideous and pre-damaged by the very act of cutting them! It's science, not an opinion.

People can have parameters, too: common sense, integrity, humility, etc.
The second rule is to close the rings properly without gaps or misalignments. If the join can be seen or felt, it isn't closed properly...again, common sense. Most people have an alternate definition: as long as they try, say, believe, or pretend like they're closed, mission accomplished!

These facts are indisputable. Neglect either one and it results in low-quality junk. Sometimes the products can be dangerous: Bad chains grab onto fabric, skin, and hair and won't release without leaving a gash or taking a trophy.

Two huge differences between a show competitor and a mailler are that the former knows they screwed up and graciously agrees with the judges' decision. They have talent, too. Which makes me wonder: How difficult would it be to find enough qualified people to make one Woven in Wire episode? Would armed security be necessary to ensure the rejected competitors and their friends don't go postal? Very fragile egos here, folks.

Parameters sometimes have legal definitions, like handmade for jewelry and corrosion resistant for metal. Nearly all people say what they want so basically everything they make is handmade and corrosion-resistant regardless of what the law states. Or hallmarking, which has legal parameters. But again, maillers usually ignore every law.

People can have parameters, too: common sense, integrity, humility, etc. Sadly, in the maille industry it seems many of these parameters are lacking. It starts with denying facts and science when it comes to their products and processes.

It ultimately comes down to what a buyer is willing to accept and most buyers don't know the difference since all of it junk anyway. Parameters are holy to some while mere annoyances to others. People and their products are one in the same so choose wisely especially when things seem too good to be true.

Posted by M: April 4, 2022

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