Friday, June 08, 2007

Always Trying to Improve

To the left: old style. To the right: new style.

I'm always looking for ways to improve my work. I'm constantly making small changes, learning new tricks. Most often, it is something small that most people probably wouldn't even notice. But every once in while, there is something major.

Thanks to an extremely sharp-eyed and thoughtful customer, who was kind enough to share her thoughts, I have now radically changed the look of my chimes. For years I have made them with a double-brushed mat finish. No more. The customer was right. Same great sound, same beach stone clapper, but now even prettier. They are richer and more elegant looking with a shiny, polished finish. Thanks for the wonderful idea, Kim!


  1. Quick question if I have not already asked you. On average how long does a piece take you to do.

  2. Great question. Tough to answer. It varies, since I make so many different types of things.

    The quick answer is a long time. The chime section, for example, was very time consuming before, but now even more so (much more so!). From cutting out the cedar roundels, to the lengths of copper, cleaning the copper, slicking it, polishing it, and then making and soldering the copper connections, not to mention cutting the holes in the beach stone, making and soldering the connections on the stone, Oh~ and then the windsails, and treating all the cedar with tung nut... well you can begin to get an idea. And that's just the chimes. The top sections are a whole different game, and also very labor intensive and time consuming.

    The thing is, it's worth it. I do charge a fair amount for all my work, and would not feel right sending off anything where corners were cut. That's also why I am constantly thinking about new and better ways to do things. I don't mind putting in the time, as long as I get paid for it! The satisfaction comes from being about to invest the time and effort to make something really special.

    Thanks for the good question. Tim