Somehow Final Fantasy inspires a lot of shiny things. It just fits.
Because sometimes certain amazingly awesome nonsense phrases just totally need to be done over in shiny beadwork. And maybe my life has just revolved around one video game in particular for far, far too long.
From the moment I saw Roen's design for Prompto's belt, I loved it. But, dude, I am not the kind of person who spends $300 on a belt. ...Apparently I am the kind of person who off-loom weaves 2,380 individual beads together for the main design, because yeah that makes sense. But I love the result and it's too late now.
The life of a SOLDIER is a stressful one. You have to deal with missions, secrets, and the constantly changing definition of "monster" way too frequently, so it's nice to just be able to treat yourself to something sparkly and fancy. Surely you deserve that at least, right?
I'd wanted to do a companion piece to the Shin-Ra bracelet for the longest time. Then Desert Bus for Hope craft time happened and I was buried under chocobos for a couple of months. Or so. This one's been reinforced similarly so it's incredibly strong, though I decided to add a dash of something a little different and mix chainmaile with my beadwork. In all, double the sparkle! The bracelet itself can currently expands from just a bit over 6 inches to 7 inches, but if you have specific size needs then I can always be commissioned for another.
You want sleek, fancy, and mass-manufactured? Then you go see Shin-Ra about your fashion needs. You want a hand-wrought, reliably quick-switching linked materia bracelet that doubles as a defense in hand-to-hand combat? Then you come see me. It ain't pretty, but it's gonna get your rear end back home. And the rest of ya, so long as you're not an idiot. I don't work cheap, though.
*cough* So! Immediately upon the news of a Final Fantasy 7 remake, I had a thought: "I wonder if we'll finally get to see materia accessories!" And obviously that immediately kick-started my brain. This is actually the most SIMPLE of the designs I'd wanted to do, in part because I thought it would have more "universal appeal" as I was making it exclusively for Desert Bus for Hope. I started getting this image of certain "underground" materia accessory makers who had to work with what they had on hand, not really caring about making things look pretty; it was about function, utilizing the full power of materia, the ability to switch them out quickly during combat, and the added benefit of the accessory itself being used to shield its wearer if necessary.
Not even gonna pretend otherwise; this was a lot of work but so much fun to do. The rings are stainless steel, the snap is "plated steel", the "decorative bracelet bits" themselves are backed securely with felt for comfort, and this? Is not nearly as heavy as it looks. Oh it's PLENTY sturdy, alright, and that's what took me the most time: using everything I've learned through experimenting with various materials. The bulk of the materials used? Foam and cardboard. Wouldn't know it to look or to feel it; unless you're talking about the weight. And sturdy? Oh yeah, that's sturdy. I took a lot of time destroying test pieces. The great joy of materials testing, you know.
The "mechanism" itself is a simple "rod" of metal which swings down for "materia loading", then swings back into place and holds there with an exceptionally strong magnet. (It makes the most satisfying clacking noise when it's empty.) There's no danger of materia falling out or the magnet itself falling off. As for those beads themselves, they're all vibrantly dyed "candy jade", which won't lose their color in anything short of boiling water or a chemical bath. ...I assume no one would attempt either.
Thank you to badgersprite for you generosity in the final bid of $333.00!
All of your standard single-equip materia are included to swap out when you need them most: Magic (green), Summon (red), Command (yellow) and Independent (purple), all in a tasteful piece of subtle stainless steel chainmaile jewelry which may, in a pinch, deflect a small attack. But it would likely have to be a very small attack, okay? Don't get yourself hurt out there because you thought you were a bigshot and tried to deflect a 6-foot sword with a tiny little bracelet band. Not cool, and I will not be held responsible.
I wanted to work a single switchable/swappable "materia" bracelet down to its absolute simplest. And it still took me a long time, but the result is definitely a super shiny proof of concept. The idea can (and will) certainly be expanded upon. Plus, well, shiny. Shiny is always important.
Need a linked materia option that's also a versatile fashion accessory? This style has you covered! Magic materia plus an Independent materia make for nearly limitless options! (Personally I recommend Mega-All + Master Magic, but y'know, whatever the battle calls for.)
I really, really wanted to get back to chainmaile. For some reason. And I wanted it to be relatively simple, so... I should have picked another project. Oh, it's a simple enough weave, but the gauge of the wire for the rings is quite a bit thicker than I was used to. Combine that with the fact it's nice, sturdy stainless steel and that pretty much makes the easy method of this chain weave completely impossible to achieve. So it took two days. Can't argue with the results, though.
And yeah, I'm more than up for custom pieces/colors/designs. I mean, this was a prototype. And it worked. Yay there.
Your super soldiers are freaking out, your scientists are nuts, your secret police force are... well who knows what's wrong with them, but it's got to be something serious because one of them has this weird obsession with robot cats and he talks to himself a lot. Like, a lot. But at least you've got this sweet bling. The bling won't cause you any unnecessary moral quandaries.
If not already excessively clear, I'd been wanting to so something with the Shinra logo (from Final Fantasy 7, if you are unfamiliar) for a while now. I had a very large pattern started, pretty much an enormous wrist cuff... but then I considered the possibilities of simplifying to the point where the Shinra logo is actually quite subtle. That seemed almost too simplistic, of course, so I had to come up with a band that wasn't. At all. Me being me, I wanted something very non-traditional and off-center. I mean, it does partly represent Shinra, after all.
As a side note, the sheer amount of stabilizing and reinforcing this design was maybe a little excessive. Then again, I can't classify "actually strong enough to survive 100,000 hair flips or more" as excessive reinforcing.
Finished commission for a materia bangle. Leather made to look like metal, lined with soft black suede. Took an insane amount of time, but that was partly the fault of work schedules and… well, partly my fault. I did suggest the “sword strike” and “wounded materia” and, well, you’d be surprised how long it takes to figure out how to make things look broken but still be exceptionally strong.
That was the idea: make it look like metal but be flexible, but let it be flexible while still being strong enough to last for years. Now, I knew a bit about leather working before this, but… I learned a lot. I broke a lot, destroyed a lot, and learned a lot. Then I got a dremel and things went so much faster.
I’m not gonna downplay it: I love this. I love how it tells a story. I love how you could find it on the ground somewhere and know that what you held in your hands was something beloved. And shiny as hell, let’s just cover that now.
Also. When a commissioner is as excited about a commission as you are, even the most painstaking process is fun. This whole experience, while absolutely work, was a blast, and I learned so much. There are already plans to make use of this knowledge, indeed; but this particular design belongs only to one.
Well-known to those who do battle as an occupation, Phoenix Down is something of a necessity for reviving members of your party that may not have dodged in time. (Granted, this particular version doesn't actually exist in the games, but... it's a nice thought when the temperatures start climbing.) Seems like a good idea to keep a spare close by, right?
I was just hit by an idea for sparkly simplicity and happened to have wire to play with right next to me. Of course something geeky happened. (And of course that Swarovski crystal.)