by Lord Thomas the Black

             Welcome to the first installment of what I hope will become a regular feature on the Cum An Iolair webpage: Blackmaille!

             Just to get introductions out of the way, for those who don’t know me, my name is Lord Thomas the Black. I’ve been making chainmail for about four years now, I started the Chainmail Interest Group in the Barony of Forgotten Sea about four months or so ago, and I’ve taught a whole mess of people how to make mail (lost count a few demos back, sorry!). I’ll teach anyone who wants to learn, and Baron Malachi even described me once as a “chainmail crack dealer” for handing out free samples of rings at one of my classes, just to get people hooked!

             This column is (in theory, at least) going to be a monthly feature, and will cover as many aspects of mailling as I can come up with. For those of you interested in mail armor, I hope you find something of value in one of my articles. For those of you not interested in mail, I hope to get you interested! For those of you who thought from the title that this was going to be a gossip column, sorry, no.

             Mail armor is one of those subjects that interests me to such a degree that I can talk about it until I’m blue in the face, so limiting myself to a monthly column is going to be an interesting challenge. That being said, however, the scholarly study of medieval mail armor is still in its infancy, so some aspects of mail, particularly the period manufacture of it, are not as thoroughly researched as others. As a result, some columns may be shorter than others. Rest assured, however, that every column will contain as much information as I can provide on that subject, and a bibliography to help you learn more about it.

             In closing, my thanks to Baron Malachi von Uri for suggesting this column, to Baron Modar for posting it on the Cum An Iolair website, and to all of you for reading it! Thank you all!

             One last thing: at some point in the future, I’d like to do a “frequently asked questions” column, where I’ll answer all the questions I get about mail. To do that, I’ll need questions to answer! Please send all mail-related queries to:


                                                c/o Tom Beckett
                                                6522 E 125th St, Apt 2
                                               Grandview, MO 64030


            Next month: “A Mailler’s Glossary”

            See you next month!

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Articles: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006  Thomas Becket/Lord Thomas the Black
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Hosting: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006  Ron Knight/Modar Neznanich