Friday, June 18, 2010

Interview with Athena's Armory

Meet Janine of Athena's Armory

Who are you?
My name is Janine and I'm originally from New York. I work in theatre and spent ten years on the road as a stage manager with Broadway shows. As much as I love and miss New York, I also love being so close to the gorgeous Gulf beaches.

What do you create?
I create the ancient art of chain maille which was once used as armor back before plate armor gained popularity. I use different chain maille weaves to create jewelry, armor, housewares, bags, and more. It is my goal to bring out the strength and courage of your inner warrior with my maille.

How did you come about your store name?
I chose the name Athena's Armoury for my chain maille shop. Athena is the Greek Goddess of wisdom and war. She won't go to war needlessly, but much like the shield maiden, will ruthlessly defend and protect her own. But she's also very wise and will find ways to avoid war, if possible. Athena is also known as the patroness of crafts; among them, metal-working: seemed like a good fit for my shop.

What is the crafting utensil you cannot live without?
Definitely my pliers. You simply cannot make chain maille without pliers: one in each hand, actually. I have different pairs for different purposes, but my all time favorites are my Lindstrom's.

What is your favorite material to work with?
The majority of the metal in my shop is bright aluminum. It is extremely malleable, fairly inexpensive, and very lightweight; it's so shiny that it's commonly mistaken for sterling silver. But, I think my favorite metal is copper. I love the warm glow and it's so easy to work with. I'm intrigued by the thought that copper will help with inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis. I also love to see the different colors that copper can show with oxidation. It's a really beautiful metal.

What is your life like outside of Etsy?
I have a wonderful little family: Scott is my man of ten years and I have a wonderful kitty cat that adopted me when we bought our house a couple of years ago. I enjoy keeping active with yoga, pilates, biking, swimming, and more. I love reading and watching TV & movies. Spending time outside is something else that I love: whether it be a walk on the beach or even wandering around a farmers market. Something else that's pretty much taken over my life... I've recently undertaken an incredible challenge: I'll be walking 60 miles over the course of three days and raising a minimum of $2,300 to benefit the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure. The purpose of the 3 Day is to raise money for breast cancer research and breast health programs, to educate, and to raise awareness. It means the world to me to be able to do this event: there's the possibility that some of the money that I will raise will help find a cure and if even just one woman remembers to do her monthly self exam because she saw me out on a training walk, then I've helped make a difference. If you'd like to support me and the fight against breast cancer, you can find my personal page here:

What other interests do you have?
I've recently started studying herbalism with Rosemary Gladstar through her correspondence course. The medicinal uses of herbs fascinates me and it's empowering to know that I can take care of myself and my loved ones through the power of plants. My interest in herbs led me to discover the Florida Herb Society: I've been learning a lot and meeting all kinds of new people.

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?
I have regular posts on my blog including Friday Finds, Simple Joy Sunday, and weekly Progress Reports for The 3 Day. I also feature new work and have a series called Woman Warrior where I feature women who have made a difference in the world. You can find my blog here:
I'm on twitter all the time:
I love flickr, too:


  1. Just a lovely interview. Three cheers to you for walking for the cure!
    I love that chainmaille head piece. Amazing!

  2. Janine is THE most amazing Fester!!! She is a talented chain maille artist and a dedicated fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation =) I admire your enthusiasm and keep it going!!! Thanks for the Pink bracelet and lovely letter!

  3. Thank you both for the kind words! And thank you RecreationalArt for doing this interview with me!

  4. Oustanding interview! Love that punched leather bustier!