Saturday, December 12, 2015

Wind Chimes: Natural Beach Stone with Handcrafted Antiqued Brass Chimes

Natural Pacific Beach Stone Wind Chimes by Coast Chimes
Natural Pacific Beach Stone Wind Chime $65
by Coast Chimes

25 plus years ago when I started making wind chimes, I used only glass and copper. Over the years I have added new materials to my inventory, especially local natural things, like driftwood and beach stone.

What I find interesting is that while the glass looks its best when the sun is shining (sun catchers), the beach stone and driftwood looks best when wet from rain. If you have ever walked along a Pacific beach shoreline as the tide goes out, you will know what I mean. The stones when wet show dark and their features, like speckles or lines, become more intense. So I have wind chimes for the sun and wind chimes for those cloudy wet days. Actually, they all look great all the time, just even more beautiful at certain times!

Something else interesting: if you have walked a Pacific beach you might think I can just go and pick up buckets of stones--  a short task. Not true. Depending on my needs, I have to go to the right beach and spend a long time walking about, choosing the stones that call out. I know the best beach for the small rounded stones I use for the clappers of my large copper wind chimes, another beach is the best for the larger rounded stones used in chimes like the one pictured above, and yet another beach for even larger beach stones I use as bases for freestanding works. Over the years, I have learned where to go for what I need.

When I finally get my stones back to my workshop, I spend time selecting those that fit together nicely, before proceeding to drill. Stone is a lot harder than glass, and so drilling the holes is a lengthy process, and also hard on my diamond bits. I can cut many holes through glass with a single diamond bit, but stone wears them out fast, so it's more expensive to work with stone.

I love beach stones, and more and more customers seem to share my enthusiasm. You can see all the different things I use beach stones for at my website: Coast Chimes. You can find the beach stone chime pictured above here: Beach Stone Chime

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