Ayres forges ahead at the market

What’s new at the market is something that dates back to the fourth century B.C. It is chainmaille — yes, the kind that was used by knights slaying dragons.

Sequim Farmers Market

July 11, July 18

Open: Saturdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m. through October

Also: open extended hours Friday-Saturday of Lavender Weekend: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, July 17-18

Location: Downtown Sequim at Sequim Avenue, Washington Street

Contacts: www.sequimmarket.com; manager@sequimmarket.com; 460-2668



What’s new at the market is something that dates back to the fourth century B.C. It is chainmaille — yes, the kind that was used by knights slaying dragons.

Karl Ayres started a business this year called DEKA, the name is a combination of his and his wife’s names. He is making and selling what he calls and spells in his preferred way, chainmaille. He began at our market a few weeks ago and has been drawing a crowd.

Karl’s passion began in Germany while in the military in 1987 where he became acquainted with a medieval society. This was a natural fit for someone who loved dungeons and dragons. He tells me, “I always felt I was living in the wrong era.”

When his comrades were marveling at the headpieces, he became determined to make one as fast as possible. He came back to the states with a mission and scoured the Goodwill stores for metal coat hangers and began wrapping them around round cylinders and cutting them to make the rings needed.

As it turns out, making chainmaille is a lot like knitting, or “weaving,” as Karl likes to say. One of his first efforts was weaving a green “hauberk” or frock and painting it green. After that, he was coined  the “green knight” and his hauberk weighed almost 40 pounds.

This spun him into making, learning and selling to friends various pieces. Each head piece takes about 1,000 links and fortunately he can now buy a tremendous variety of rings in all colors and metals, so he is no longer working with coat hangers. He tells me he loves working with the different color and metal combinations.

This passion for discovering new weaving patterns for chainmaille keeps him awake at night and his enthusiasm is infectious at the market. What he sells to customers varies from bracelets and anklets for men and women, to headdresses and very cool hand and foot decor and he even has a hauberk.

Karl tells me he loves to watch people try things on in his booth. “I love the look on kids’ faces when they put on a piece,” he says.

You will be amazed to see such weaves as the full Persian, box weave, Japanese style, dragon scale and rose pattern, and he is discovering new patterns every week. He has pieces which range from lovely and feminine to heavy and masculine, and he also has been dabbling in the style of steam punk.

Come meet Karl and learn all about the medieval cultural events in our area.

Our live music program is kicking off on July 11! We are very excited. You can get a schedule of musicians at the market or music booth. We will have live music all of July and August from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

• July 11 — The Powerhouse Band

• July 18 — The Cat’s Meow Jazz Band

In our Suzanne Arnold Community Booth, we will be hosting the Newcomers Club and Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club, which will be selling raffle tickets for that amazing quilt on July 11. The Soroptimists will present on July 18.