|Another view of the back yard, with the semi-transparent perforated sheet metal fence, and the raised garden beds, all designed by Coast Chimes artist Tim Kline|
Friday, July 25, 2014
Friday, May 09, 2014
Thursday, May 01, 2014
|Cobalt Blue Glass with Copper Handcrafted Wind ChimeView at|
The picture taking struggle continues — the never ending story! However, I am happier these recent days than I have been in a long time, regarding taking pictures. We finally have our new fence, and a very fine fence it is! It is my own design, and features perforated metal and cedar. This creates an unusual effect, as the fence is slightly transparent! That makes an excellent backdrop for my pictures.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
|Natural Beach Stones Wind Chime|
|Detail Image of the Beach Stones|
Friday, April 11, 2014
Thursday, April 03, 2014
Between thinking up new designs for Coast Chimes, and making them, I sometimes turn my dreaming to other projects. Having recently moved to our new home, we found ourselves feeling a little exposed to a neighbour and a road. I needed something to fix this, but also modern, to go with the home design. I just finished making and installing my solution. There will be evergreen clematis growing up this red cedar trellis, soon.
|Privacy Trellis, Red Cedar|
|Modern Design Privacy Trellis|
|Detail Image, Privacy Trellis|
Friday, March 28, 2014
|Brooklyn Bridge, New York City|
It was terrific fun to visit with family in Florida. New York City impressed me enormously. We saw the play, The Book of Mormon, and that was so much fun. MOMA was a treat. The food, the accommodation, the liveliness-- all wonderful. I'll be heading back to New York City as soon as possible. What a remarkable city!
Monday, March 03, 2014
|Raw Pacific Beach Stones and Heavy Copper Wire|
|Soldering the Copper Hook|
|Drilled Beach Stones and Soldered Copper Hook|
|Finished Natural Beach Stone Wind Chime|
Available at Coast Chimes
There is more to putting together a beach stone wind chime than some may think. It all starts with the stones, and that means a trip to a beach with good stones. That is not just any old beach. Although there are a lot of stones on the beach just a few minutes stroll from my house, those are not suitable. I need to drive to Sechelt, half an hour away, to get the really great stones I use.
Once I have great stones, I need to sort them out into a pleasing combination, and then drill them with diamond bits. I write 'bits' in the plural, because these stones are very hard on the diamonds, and it frequently takes several bits to cut the seven stones.
After drilling the holes, the rest is relatively easy. I bend a copper hook and solder it. I form a copper hooklet wire to string through the stones. I string the stones, and form the bottom hooklet. Then I just have to hang the chimes (making those is another whole story!), and take my pictures.
Be sure to visit Coast Chimes for many styles of beach stone, glass, driftwood wind chimes.
Friday, February 28, 2014
|Large Beach Stone Wind Chime at its New Home, Customer Photograph|
More beach stone wind chimes at Coast Chimes
I love when customers send me pictures of my work. Seeing my wind chimes and suncatchers in a new setting is always a little strange, for me. I am so familiar with them, but not in the new setting. I like to see how people have hung them. Above is a particularly lovely location, and very nice hanging job, too. That is a massive hook that is supporting this chime, because the chime is not small! That's a good thing, as the chime is also not light. I always include instructions to use a strong nail or hook for these beach stone chimes, and I am happy these people followed the instructions.
Friday, February 21, 2014
|Natural Pacific Beach Stone Wind Chime|
Available at Coast Chimes
I love using natural materials. Beach stones are high up on my list of favourites. Fortunately, there are a lot of beach stones here on the Sunshine Coast. Oddly, though, it takes time to find suitable ones. I am fussy when it comes to my stones! Not just any old beach stone will do; they need to be the right size, the right shape, the right colour... and so on.
The only really bad thing about working with beach stones is that they are exceptionally hard on my diamond bits (for cutting the holes in them). A diamond bit might easily last for many hundreds of cuts through my glass. But sometimes it takes several bits just for one chime, such as the one pictured above. On a brighter note, shipping is great. For once, I do not have to worry about glass breaking in the mail.
Also something nice-- they are popular. It makes it all the more enjoyable putting these together when they get such a positive reception.
Friday, February 14, 2014
|Handmade Copper Chimes, two sets of Copper Wind Chimes|
Available at Coast Chimes
I sometimes see website tutorials on making your own copper wind chimes at home. They make it sound like you can read two paragraphs and make great chimes. I have to laugh. I've been making copper wind chimes for twenty years, thousands of sets, and I am still learning!
Above are some of the components that I hand make for my wind chimes. And ' hand make' should be underlined and bold. Sure, you can just saw up some copper pipes and string them onto a chunk of plywood with some fishing line. But that is not going to be beautiful, nor long-lasting.
From the old growth reclaimed red cedar roundel to the hand formed copper hooklets, these are the elements that take time, skill and experience. Most people figure out how to do something, and get better and faster at it. I have found with my chimes that I learned how to do them, and got better and slower at it. These days, I take far more care and pay far more attention to each element. They are a source of enormous pride for me, and so it's all worth it. And I know that no one is going to be reading a short tutorial and making anything even close to what I do.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
|Natural Pacific Beach Stone Wind Chime|
Available at Coast Chimes for $75.00
I sell my work almost exclusively on the Internet— these days through Etsy and my own website, Coast Chimes. I've been doing this for about twenty years, and it works pretty well. The funny thing is, you would think that I would have it all figured out by now, that it would be natural and easy, like breathing, no thinking needed. Nope. I run into new situations and problems all the time.
An example from just yesterday. The beach stone wind chime, pictured above, sold. That's great. But then I saw it sold to someone in Switzerland. That's nice-- my wife is Swiss. But I knew right away that this would complicate things, as I had put $25 down for shipping. That is the standard price for some small, light weight package to Europe, airmail. But, sadly, beach stones are not light!
I packaged it up all nicely, cutting away every ounce of extra cardboard from the box. When I weighed it, it came in at well over one kilogram, which meant I would have had to pay nearly $100 in postage.
I unwrapped the whole thing, and tried using a padded envelop. That did it; well under a kilogram. The only problem is all the time I spent wrapping and unwrapping and re-wrapping, and, more importantly, the customer will have a far less pleasant experience when receiving the chime, as I had to unhook the chimes, and also, honestly, an envelop just is not the same as opening a box. But hopefully they will forget about the ugly envelop and unhooked chimes when they hook it back together and see just how neat and beautiful it is.
Monday, February 03, 2014
|Wind Chime, Freestanding, Double, Beach Stone base|
Available at Coast Chimes
The other night I was lazily browsing through images on Google, and stumbled across some of the design posted above. I had almost forgotten about these! They were popular, and fun / challenging to make. So the next morning I could hardly wait to get down to my workshop and put one together. I happily had a suitable beach stone for the base, and the other materials were all at hand, too. So it was relatively quick and simple to assemble. Magic!
Now I just have to remember, the next time I go down to the beach, to keep my eyes open for more suitable beach stone base stones.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
|Glass and Copper Kaleidoscope Wind Chime|
available at Coast Chimes
After determining that my indoor photo studio lights were not doing justice to my works with glass (okay for beach stones, driftwood), I moved back outside to take advantage of natural sunlight. Side-by-side, it was immediately clear that natural light was far superior. So I retook all the pictures. I was somewhat happier with the resulting images-- not thrilled, but less unhappy. I thought early morning, blue sky, indirect sunlight, was the best.
But there was one last kaleidoscope wind chime that I forgot to take pictures of. So although yesterday was quite overcast, I decided to get it done. Well, it turned out that the overcast sky was better than blue sky!
Now I think thin white high clouds are the very best. Today is more thick, grey clouds, so I don't believe that would be any good. But you can be sure that the next bright cloudy day, I will be back out there, trying to capture the perfect image.
|Top Section, Detail Image, Kaleidoscope Wind Chime|
Thursday, January 23, 2014
|Customer's Snowy Wind Chime Picture|
I love when my customers send me pictures. However, it is always a slightly strange feeling to see my work in a foreign setting! This one especially struck me, as we have been enjoying spring-like weather here on the Sunshine Coast for several weeks, and one tends to forget that many other places are still mid-winter.
People often do not think of wind chimes and suncatchers in the winter. But look! They can really add a bright spot to your garden-- colour just when most needed. What a beautiful contrast! And Coast Chimes wind chimes and suncatchers are truly ideal, as being constructed from all glass, copper, first growth reclaimed red cedar, they are very durable. So add some wind chimes to your winter garden, and enjoy a splash of colour!
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
|Blue Glass with Copper Wind Chime|
available at Coast Chimes - inspired by nature
Then we sold the house and moved to a rental where it proved next to impossible to get any decent pictures. The light was always wrong. Also, the backdrop was not ideal. Fortunately, that only lasted for seven months.
Getting into our new place, for a while I happily, and naively, thought all my problems were solved, since I created a photo studio and invested in some quasi-professional lights. As is so often the case with my photographs, those early pictures that delighted me became turned out to be less than optimal, as my eyes began to see many issues. The backdrop sheets were drab. The light was not bright enough to really show off the glass. Those I put new backgrounds in, like the ocean, looked phoney. Sigh.
So I started taking pictures outside, where at least there would be bright sunlight to show the true beauty of my glass. Alas, my wife decided to get an early start on digging up the small yard, in anticipation of the amazing garden beds she would make in the spring. My picture taking space shrank, and shrank. Now I have one little corner-- happily, it turns out to be the best corner!
I found many of my images were not in focus. Time to read the camera instruction booklet, and check on photoblogs. (Ha, probably should have done that first thing-- but I'm not like that.) I learned some tricks, and wish I had read this stuff years ago! Live and learn.
Now I just have to learn a bunch more, wait for decent light, hope the constant breeze we get from being so close to the ocean dies down a little-- and then, maybe, just maybe, I will get a few decent pictures. That will certainly be when my wife builds the fence-- further diminishing the quality of my limited background opportunities! Oh well. I do the best I can.
Friday, January 17, 2014
|Glass and Copper Kaleidoscope Wind Chime|
Since moving from our old house, picture taking has been a major headache. It was always a challenge, but lately it has been a real problem. I moved inside to a photo studio, but the lighting was not nearly as nice as sunlight, especially for my glass pieces. Then outside again, which was okay, but I had to learn about the light on the new property. Then my wife started digging in the garden, which is very small, and I had to move again, and learn about the light, again.
I have a little corner with no dirt piles, an okay background, and on certain days, at certain times, decent light. However, we live on a hill with the ocean just below, and this, it turns out, creates interesting air currents (wind), and so it is a fun time trying to get a shot without the windsails flying around, the chimes twisting, the whole subject turning!
I have a ways to go, in my photo struggle. Right now, I am going out to struggle some more.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Natural Pacific Beach Stone Wind Chime: Naturally Beautiful!
Beach Stones with Copper
Available at Coast Chimes
At our new home, we are only a minute from the beach. There is a walk which takes me down to the beach, along the beach, and then up back through a trail in the woods. I go several times a week.
It's an interesting walk, because one feels remote from civilization. There are several points where you do not see houses, or hear traffic. I like that a lot.
It is not the best beach combing on the Coast. There are not stones, such as those in the wind chime pictured above. Although there are plenty of stones, few are of the sort (smooth and rounded) that I like to use in my work. But that's okay. Other beaches with better stones are not far away. So this walk is for pleasure-- a break from my work. That's kind of a good thing, actually.
Monday, January 13, 2014
|New house, Coast Chimes|
I haven't posted here since November 9, 2011-- how time does go by!
My excuse is simple: I've been too busy!
We sold our home and lived in a rental for seven months, while building a new one.
Above is a picture of our new house. The upstairs is living area; the downstairs is my workshop, and office / photo studio. It was a job and a half building it, but it is wonderful, now that it is (almost) done. Especially nice is having the entire ground floor as workshop, office, photo studio.
It was also a job trying to maintain my wind chime / suncatcher stock and sales, while all this was transpiring.
Things are finally settling down. I look forward to a calmer year.
I had time lately to completely redo my website: Coast Chimes. It is much easier to navigate, much faster, and it has a better shopping cart.
Below, a screenshot of the homepage of my new website. I hope you will have time to visit it, and enjoy the new layout.
|Picture of the new homepage of Coast Chimes|
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
250 feet of seven strand bare copper wire.
I use a lot of copper: copper pipe for chimes, heavy copper wire for hooks and loops and hanging stones, and slightly lighter copper wire for wrapping glass. I go through a spool as pictured above about every six months.
These spools hold 250 feet of seven strand, and I unwrap the strands giving me a total of 1750 feet.
I calculate over my wire wrapping career, I've wrapped well over 9 miles of wire!
You can see what I do with all this wire by visiting my website: Coast Chimes.
Friday, November 04, 2011
Pacific Beach Stone Wind Chime
Recently I bought 100 high-speed diamond bits. As you can see from the picture, I have been busy with them! I love beach stone, and I am happy that my beach stone works are becoming increasingly popular.
Stone is a great choice. There is the beauty, and also the durability. When they get wet from the rain, they look even nicer!
You can find a selection of beach stone wind chimes on my website: Coast Chimes, Gallery Page.
They are also available on the arts and crafts website: Etsy
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Very large, and Very beautiful Pacific Driftwood Wind Chime
See it on my website: Coast Chimes
It's not so often that I find really gorgeous driftwood, and the piece shown above is truly special. As soon as I saw it, I new I could make an amazing wind chime with it. It worked out even better than I anticipated!
You can see larger pictures on my website driftwood page: Driftwood, Coast Chimes
Or find it on Etsy: Coast Chimes, Etsy
Monday, October 03, 2011
Perfect for a sunny windowsill.
I've been very busy making as many things as I can for the fast approaching holiday rush. One of my new designs is pictured above: I like it! When the sun comes out and shines through the glass, it really comes alive.
There are a number of these now on my website: Coast Chimes
They are also on Etsy.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Click on the images to see them larger
3094 Grauman Rd., Roberts Creek, BC, for sale by owner
We've enjoyed 16 wonderful years in this beautiful home on fabulous acreage. But now, empty nesters, it is time to move on. It's a difficult thing, as this has been not only my home where so many sweet family memories were created, but also my work site— my artist studio is around the back. But I am a firm believer that change is a good thing, so here we go.
I am selling this house myself. At the same time, I am doing the marketing for my friend and neighbour, who also has a beautiful home on acreage just down the street.
I know these are each some of the nicest properties on the Sunshine Coast. Very peaceful and sunny.
See lots of pictures and read all about these two properties on the website: Sunshine Coast Homes for Sale.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Framed glass with mosaic kaleidoscope section
I have been known to make a mistake or two with my business. Not being by nature the most organized person around, it is surprising I do not make even more. I try, I really try.
My latest mistake resulted in the creation of the above framed suncatcher. I had made a couple of that style back in late 2010, and a customer fell in love with one of them and asked if she could pay over several months. That was fine with me. Time went by, and she emailed that she was ready to make the final payment. That was great, except I discovered that somehow I had sold it to someone else-- I no longer had it! What a sad day for her, after saving and waiting. I felt terrible.
I offered a refund, or told her that I could try to make a similar one. She opted for the similar one, and I put together three, while I was at it. She was very happy with the replacement for her original one. And now I have two more in my Etsy shop, and on my website.
Happy ending to a sad story.