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Ride of the Valkyries by ilkela Ride of the Valkyries by ilkela
I got tired of everything being utilitarian and ugly. All through history people made everything they used beautiful in some way. I find it completely ridiculous that as it gets easier to make something, we put that much less effort into making it beautiful.

This is a fully functional set of headphones completely re-outfitted.

The wiring is encased in a rope of inverted captured ring maille of bright aluminum.

Behind-ear attachment made of aluminum tubing wrapped in cotton thread. End pieces cut from nickel sheet and set with lapis.

Ear dome cut from 18ga nickel sheet. Pattern acid etched, set with lapis.

Spring-loaded hinge attaching dome to behind-ear wire made of 22ga nickel sheet, 14ga nickel wire, and steel spring.

speaker casing (normally black foam) crocheted 50% wool 50% cotton yarn.

Entire project weighs about 2.5 times the original plastic casing, which weighs the equivalent of about 15 pennies.

I plan to do a whole series along these lines, possibly for my senior thesis.

Questions, comments, criticism are extremely welcome.

PS- Name comes from the first thing listened to with these.

Resubmitted due to DA glitchiness. Now with a better photo!

EDIT: I would just like to clarify for everyone that these are NOT steampunk. Not in intention or by definition. If anything, they were inspired by Islamic work. So there. Thank you all for your comments, but really, not steampunk.
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:iconlexwinter:
LexWinter Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013
these are absolutely amazing and the coolest earphones i have ever seen!
Any chance i could commission a pair off you?
beautiful design, can't wait to see the rest of the series!!!
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:iconilkela:
ilkela Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much! I'm afraid I'm not taking commissions though, sorry!
Reply
:iconcallofthedeath:
callofthedeath Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2010
RAAAAAAD
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:iconreticentpurple:
ReticentPurple Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2009   Traditional Artist
Very cool! I'd be scared to do anything to headphones that might require taking bits and pieces apart, but it's very inspirational and makes me want to find something I can modify in a cool way.
Reply
:iconraethe:
Raethe Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2009
these are great! I like your idea on utilitarianism, I've been looking into making my own pair of headphones as well!
Reply
:iconsilverdiamonds:
SilverDiamonds Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2009
pretty little thing. :heart:
Reply
:icondivulged:
Divulged Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2009
Wow! That must have taken a lot of work!
Reply
:iconilkela:
ilkela Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! It did, though I don't remember how much anymore.
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:icondivulged:
Divulged Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2009
Oh, OK!
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:iconmattmaus:
mattmaus Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Very very nice.

I've seen enough chain weaves to not really be impressed by them any more, but it works really well on this piece to disguise the plain wire for the headphones.

I love the etching, particularly the depth (or apparent depth) and the crispness of the details.

I also very much like the contrast between colors on the ear bands. The dark blue thread and shiny metal very much ' pop ' but without being obnoxious or gaudy.

I just hope that it's easy enough to replace the electronics, because the (extremely pretty) case that you have made for them will last much much longer than the 'guts' I'll wager.
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:iconilkela:
ilkela Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! Actually I can't get the electronics out of these, but I plan to make more designs, and work on that functionality of it.
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:iconelenahasdna:
elenahasdna Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I love your argument and your idea. Kudos and <3
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:iconilkela:
ilkela Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you very much!
Reply
:iconbiancaneve81:
biancaneve81 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009
O my I love them!!!I need to make a pair or ornate head phones!!You have inspired me!

But this are just amazing!!!:iconlove:
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:iconsilver-zaira:
silver-zaira Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2009
Wow !
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:iconladyblacksword:
LadyBlacksword Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2009   Digital Artist
Lovely. Very neo-victorian steampunk.
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:iconcoyote-walker:
Coyote-Walker Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2009
Very steampunk. Was that on purpose?

I love these though. :)
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:iconilkela:
ilkela Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Steampunk? Doesn't that usually involve brass and clockwork?
No, I didn't intend anything steampunk at all.
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:iconcoyote-walker:
Coyote-Walker Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2009
Usually yes, it would. But steampunk -- by very loose definition -- is exactly what you said in your description. Making something of use double as something of beauty and since you went with a old-world flare it would be considered steampunk.

lol, you planing on doing any more in different styles? I bet they'd sell like hotcakes on etsy.
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:iconilkela:
ilkela Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Yes, I will be making more of these. As I stated, there will be a series, probably as my senior thesis. As such, I will not be selling them for a few years, and especially not on etsy. There's nothing wrong with etsy, it's just I don't really intend to sell my thesis project on the internet. And yes, they will be in different styles, though none will be steampunk.
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:iconcoyote-walker:
Coyote-Walker Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2009
Alright. :) I'll check back to see them all. Since you're not going to sell them, have you got any tips on how to make them? I never could take headphones apart without completely breaking them.
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:iconilkela:
ilkela Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Ummm, yeah, you kind of have to break them to get them apart. I rewire everything when I work on them anyway. And I will be selling them, but not for a few years, and only as commissions. They take A LOT of time to do.
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:iconcoyote-walker:
Coyote-Walker Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2009
I'll bet, with that nifty chainmail cover for the wires. :)
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:iconflurik:
Flurik Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009
They are absolutely beautiful,
I'm building my own headphones right now and got curious if anyone else had the same idea!
Fantastic! Peace
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:iconluusan:
Luusan Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2009
Brilliant. I find myself shunning a lot of ';progress' and technology because it's just so bloody ugly. Especially architecture. Modern American suburbia is a cancer. But i digress.

I wish mass-produced didn't mean ugly, functional, value-less crap. Built in obsolescence. There is so much importance in beauty. I value any object made with care and aesthetic in mind.

Sorry for babbling! Go you!
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:iconilkela:
ilkela Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
I absolutely agree with you. And thanks!
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:iconkironaoftheskies:
Kironaoftheskies Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009  Student Photographer
FREAKING AWESOME

=D
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:iconeuni:
euni Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009
Woohoo I have talented friends.
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:iconvisionsofthor:
visionsofthor Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
That is awesome!!!
Reply
:iconilkela:
ilkela Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! And thanks for the fave!
Reply
:iconvisionsofthor:
visionsofthor Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! You did a great job on it.
Reply
:iconx-xmusicx-x:
x-XMusicX-x Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009
Oh wow. These are really cool. I really like how you think that everything is too.. plain. I mean, way back when everything used to be beautiful. (Except their giant wigs :3 those things were odd XD) I really like this concept. Very nice job. :3
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:iconilkela:
ilkela Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you very much! The lack of beauty on our modern things is my main ranting topic.
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:iconx-xmusicx-x:
x-XMusicX-x Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009
Well you're welcome very much :3 It's rather beautiful.
Dude I know! I mean like, technology ain't that pretty no more. Its jsut about how tiny they can get it. See one of my favorite things in the world is glass work. Its just absolutley beautiful what they can do. Then again thats art. (HOWEVER - dude you seen some art in museums? O.o looks like a child got at some finger paint) sugar work amazes me even more. But yeah - this is awesome.
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:iconpenginiki:
penginiki Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009   Interface Designer
These are gorgeous! I love this idea- Please please please make more like this!
I'm a bit envious too- been meaning to try and find a way to learn more about metalworking for years now.
Good luck with future endeavors!
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:iconilkela:
ilkela Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much! I am definitely planning to make more. Working on a new case for my mp3 player right now, actually. The design for that will go with these.

You should definitely delve into metalworking. It's the best stress reliever in the art world. Mess up a project? Go to the scrap bin and hammer or melt a bit of scrap into oblivion. It's fantastic!
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:iconpenginiki:
penginiki Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009   Interface Designer
I hope to take a class at college soon-!

Also- I love this concept (did I say this enough?) Of the meld of modern technology and ancient artisans. I've always been a fan of like, Steampunk and Victorian-Future themes. This reminds me of that. Why shouldn't the same appeal of craftmanship go into things like iPods?
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