Irene, a chainmail goalie mask.
Project Irene.

I made Irene for two main reasons first, I've hardly ever seen any chainmail face masks much less one that stays on your face when you move. The second reason was to enter it into the "One Ring Size, Theme Contest" over at I felt up to a challenge so this is what came of it.

Why a goalie mask?
Seemed like a good challenge, making something that could be worn comfortably, still be somewhat effective as maille and in this case made from one ring size just to top it off, was just what I needed.

Why did you call it Irene?
The white styrofoam head seen in the pictures was first nick named Irene and as the project went on the mask took on the name as well.

I'm not much of a hockey fan and much less an Oilers fan but the EPMD ring colours I had on hand restricted me to only a few teams and given I've never done any sort of inlay work before so I tried to keep it simple enough and the Oilers theme seemed achiveable. I wanted to add EPMD roundmaille padding strips to keep it off the face a bit but I ran out of both time and rings. That being said you would not want to take a puck to the face while wearing this mask, I can only imagine it would leave some serious J6in1 marks on the face.

Project Irene is made from bright aluminium and EPMD rubber rings weaved for the most part in a Japanese 6 in 1 weave. The rings are as close to the same size and AR as I could match, the BA rings measure in at an AR of 4.0 and the EPMD's measure out to 3.8, the difference between the rings is 5/1000th on an inch but the math bumps the EPMD down to 3.8. There is pretty much no visual difference in size between the BA and EPMD but when measured with calipers the difference is noted.

BA rings, AR 4.0 WD.048 ID.195 EPMD rings, AR 3.8 WD.052 ID.198

The mask slips on and off easily enough but stays perfectly in place when moving or looking around. The roundmaille, 2in2, roundmaille chin straps criss cross under the chin to pull the sides in close to the jaw. I wanted to make loops on the face straps to hold them in place but ran out of matching EPMD, passing them up and over works well enough. They do end up looking like large roundmaille earings when pulled into place though.

The mask is quite comfortable, the J6in1 just rolls cross the skin and hair without applying too much presure. I'll probably only wear it on Halloween but it sure makes a great start to a costume.

This is my most extensive project to date, taking 60 to 70 hours worth of time. I started on January 20th 2013 and completed March 9th 2013. I started with 4000 +/-100 BA rings which amounts to 282 grams of BA rings at completion I had 19 grams of unused BA rings. The whole mask weighs in at 310 grams. So the mask should contain 263 grams of BA rings leaving the other 47 grams to the EPMD rings. One day I'll get a firm ring count but for now I'm guessing 3900 BA rings with 1500-2000 EPMD rings.

This was a great learing experience and I hope to build a second version with differing rings sizes using smaller titanium rings instead of BA.