Friday, June 30, 2017

Awesome Garden Decor: Freestanding Suncatcher Wind Chime

Freestanding suncatcher with a beach stone base by Coast Chimes
Freestanding Suncatcher Wind Chime
Beach Stone Base
See it at Coast Chimes
This freestanding wind chime is brilliant. The beach stone base fits anywhere, but looks especially wonderful partially buried in mulch. It is also suitable for rock gardens. Many enjoy this style on their patio or sundeck, as well. Versatile, and a high degree of cool factor.

The glass is artist-made sea glass. The chimes are hand cut brass, 7, 6, 5 inches long, and attached to the handcrafted hanger with nylon coated stainless steel via sterling silver crimps. This is made to provide years of pleasure.

Visit Coast Chimes to see all the awesome designs.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hiking, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada

Hiking British Columbia, Canada, day hikes Powell River
Cool Hiking Trail
Inland Lake, Powell River, BC

There's nothing to clear the head and raise the spirits like a good long hike. This past weekend, we went on one of the nicer ones I have been on, and that says a lot, since I have been on hundreds, maybe thousands, of hikes around BC.

Inland Lake Provincial Park is just a short drive from Powell River. Although it is a top rated destination, GPS is useful to find the start of the trail, near the boat launch. The trail follows the entire perimeter of the lake, about 13 kilometres (8 miles). We spent an exceptionally pleasant day frequently pausing for swimming. Warm, clear water, and a pristine view.

The trail is in excellent condition: wide, and completely flat. A very easy hike. Although highly rated on Trip Advisor, on a beautiful Sunday we saw very few other people.

The entire Sunshine Coast is loaded with awesome hiking opportunities. Tough to beat.

When you visit the Coast, take time out to visit my studio gallery in Granthams Landing, Gibsons. You'll see glass, copper, beach stone, driftwood works that you won't find anywhere else You can preview them on my website: Coast Chimes.

Happy trails!

Friday, June 23, 2017

High-quality Wind Chimes: A Little More Money, A Lot More Quality

Glass and copper handcrafted outdoor wind chime, Coast Chimes
Artist-made Sea Glass and Copper Wind Chime
Great Outdoors all Year Long
Coast Chimes
Some people are hesitant to hang something like the glass and copper wind chime pictured above outdoors, especially through the winter. But I have invested a huge amount of time and research finding the finest materials and discovering the best methods of design to be able to confidently assure them that it will be just fine. Having made my glass and copper creations for nearly 25 years, I still hear from some early customers that they are enjoying their wind chime to this day. I am not surprised. Yes, a Coast Chimes wind chime or suncatcher is a little bit of an initial investment, but it is made to last.

Visit Coast Chimes and see all the awesome designs.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Beach Combing, Sunshine Coast British Columbia

Natural Pacific Beach stones wind chime with five copper chimes: Coast Chimes
Natural Pacific Beach Stones
with Five Copper Chimes
$175 plus $10 Expedited Shipping
Coast Chimes
Beach combing is one of the things I really enjoy about my work. I love to use natural materials, and living on the coast, that most often means driftwood and beach stones. These are awesome materials!

The wind chime featured in the picture is beautiful in its simplicity. I consider it a very west coast, very Zen, design.

Best of all, it looks even better on wet days. When the stones are wet, they shine, and the colors become much more intense. Enjoy this extremely well made wind chime outdoors, all year round.

Visit the Coast Chimes beach stone section to see many more designs.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Beach Stones and Driftwood Make Really Great Wind Chimes

West Coast driftwood, beach stone, glass wind chime
West Coast Driftwood, Beach Stone, Glass & Copper
Wind Chime
$95 Coast Chimes
Spending a lot of time walking along the local beaches searching for great driftwood and wonderful beach stones is part of my job. A good part! The second part is searching through all the driftwood, stones, and glass pieces I have in my workshop, and combining them to make a creation that works for me aesthetically. The wind chime pictured above is an example of success.

Finally my shipment of new diamond bits, long needed for drilling beach stones, has arrived, and there will be many new works appearing on my website featuring beach stones. You can see all the beach stone works HERE, and all the driftwood works HERE.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

West Coast Wind Chime Beach Stones Driftwood Copper: Coast Chimes

Coast Chimes beach stones and driftwood large outdoor wind chime
West Coast Driftwood & Beach Stones
Wind Chime
Five Copper Chimes
Coast Chimes
Part of my job is to go beach combing-- quite a perk! Although there are tons of driftwood here on the Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada, it is actually quite challenging to find pieces suitable for my needs. Most pieces are way, way too large, and many of the smaller pieces are all smashed up. So I spend quite a few hours on the beach, looking for the 'good' stuff.

The design above is popular. I have been out of stock for several weeks, and only now am I starting to get a few more set to list on my website. Once I have all of them made, and photographed, i plan to place them on my website all at the same time. Probably around June 16-20th.

I also plan to make a few of the smaller chimes with driftwood and beach stones: I have some amazing wood for those. So keep an eye on Coast Chimes to see all these new West Coast chimes.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Copper Wind Chimes, Coast Chimes

Copper wind chime hanging at a customer's home
A Coast Chimes Copper Wind Chime
Hanging at a customer's home in Ohio

It is always such a pleasure hearing from my customers, especially when they are so excited to have just hung up their new wind chimes. All the better when they send along a picture of the wind chime at its new home. Happy customers is really what it is all about.

I also like to hear from customers from the past. I have been making wind chimes for almost 25 years, and sometimes I do hear from those early customers. These chimes last! Using the finest materials, and designing for durability, makes all the difference.

Visit Coast Chimes to see all the different styles of wind chimes and suncatchers.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Hiking, Sunshine Coast, BC

Hiking on Mount Elphinstone, Sunshine Coast Canada
Hiking on the Sunshine Coast
Gibsons, BC, Canada

The Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada is rich in hiking adventures. The picture above is from the Mount Elphinstone trail, an estimated 6 hour round trip route. My wife and I did not push too hard, and managed to complete it in about 4 hours, including a lunch break at the top enjoying the view. It is one of the more beautiful hikes out of a very long list of gorgeous hikes I have undertaken on the Coast, but also, no doubt about it, one of the more strenuous.  In fact, I was not wearing very good shoes, just slip ons, and coming down was so steep that my toes constantly banged forward hitting and now, about a year later, I still have two black toenails! Such a beautiful trail, a little pain is nothing.

From Langdale through Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Sechelt, and on up to Pender Harbour (and beyond, to Powell River) there are hundreds, if not thousands, of short to long hikes, full of stunning scenery, and the likely hood of seeing some interesting wildlife, too (i.e., bears).

Be prepared to be wowed, but also be prepared. Know where you are going, tell someone where you are going, and when you plan to be back, dress appropriately (don't wear crummy slip ons for mountain hikes!). I know from early hiking days, a step off the trail, a little turn around, and you can get very lost, very fast. Most trails are well marked, but some certainly are not!

When visiting the Sunshine Coast, pick up the Purple Banner guide of artists' studios and galleries, because the Coast is also full of serious talent. Lots of fun to stop in and visit the art scene. You can certainly stop by Coast Chimes, and see wind chimes like you never imagined (also enjoy a unique house and urban food garden).

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

What to Do, Gibsons, British Columbia

Natural Pacific Driftwood Wind Chime with Five Copper Chime by Coast Chimes
Natural Pacific Driftwood Wind Chime
5 Large Copper Chimes
Handcrafted by Coast Chimes

I love natural driftwood, and the huge piece forming the wind chime pictured above is gorgeous. It is naturally silver-colored, from the salt water and from the sun bleaching. It goes perfectly with the 5 antiqued copper chimes, with their beach stone clapper / striker.

I do ship large works like this, although it is the sort of chime I honestly hope someone will stop by and buy locally. Coast Chimes is open 7 days a week, and if you are able to drop by I am sure you will enjoy seeing the workshop and touring the gallery. You will also enjoy a considerable discount from the website prices! Gibsons, BC, is an awesome town, and the Sunshine Coast, BC, is an amazing place to visit.

All the works in my gallery are also viewable on my website. So why not visit my site, and if you can drop by, I'll be happy to see you, and otherwise ordering from my website is easy. Visit the website Coast Chime, or the Gallery Coast Chimes.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Copper Handcrafted Outdoor Large Wind Chime

Handcrafted high quality copper wind chimes by Coast Chimes
High Quality Genuine Copper Wind Chime
by Coast Chimes

At Coast Chimes, most of the wind chimes feature art on top of the chimes. But many people want a simple, very high-quality wind chime, without the art. Pictured above is the perfect solution.

The large copper chimes at Coast Chimes are completely handcrafted. The metal is cut, smoothed, double brushed, treated with a reactive (not paint: this finish will not peel or flake), and polished.

The hardware is all handmade. On the large copper chimes, the hardware is all copper: no fishing line or cotton to wear out and break. These chimes are made to be beautiful and also extremely durable.

The cedar roundel is solid wood: not laminated plywood as found on many mass produced wind chimes. The wood is treated with an wonderful tung nut oil, a finish which will also never flake or peel.

Copper is a soft metal, and it is a challenge to achieve a nice sound. Coast Chimes uses a beach stone clapper, or striker, to produce lovely, soothing sound.

Beautiful, durable, and wonderful sound: this is an awesome wind chime. Visit Coast Chimes to check out all the amazing wind chimes.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Purple Banner, Sunshine Coast BC Studio and Gallery Guide

Sunshine Coast BC Art Studios and Galleries Purple Banner
Sunshine Coast British Colombia
Art Studios and Galleries
Purple Banner

The Sunshine Coast, BC, has a very large and active art community. Many artists and galleries, including Coast Chimes, take part in the Purple Banner promotion, through the Coast Cultural Alliance. This year's guide is a work of art in itself, simply beautiful! If you visit the Sunshine Coast, pick up a guide which is available on the ferries, in tourist centres, and in Vancouver at the main tourist office.

The Sunshine Coast is a fabulous place to visit, and with this guide, or simply looking for the flying purple flags, you can enjoy visiting awesome studios and galleries all up and down the coast.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Lighting for Glass Studio

Lighting for art glass studio challenges
Lighting Challenges for Art Glass Studioe
Coast Chimes

Since moving into our new home almost 4 years ago, I have had the pleasure of space for a small gallery, so I can be open to the public and participate in our local Sunshine Coast Art Crawl.

A major challenge has been lighting. Many of my works fall into the suncatcher category, and really come alive when bright sunlight is shining through from behind the glass. We have a lot of rain, cloudy dark days, so it is really tough to explain to people dropping by how the glass is not showing at its best.

Lighting from behind with strong lights tends to blind people, as the light leaks out from behind right into their eyes. A lot of lighting also throughs the colors of the glass-- not natural, and not as pretty as sunlight.

I got the idea of using fairy lights, and ordered one sample string from Amazon. I thought they worked pretty well, and could work really well with a few more strings. Those on Amazon were expensive, and so I ordered five sets from eBay, for much less money. Sadly, those from eBay are okay, but just a bit less bright and a bit more yellow than my Amazon string. They do not shine through the glass very well. Sigh. Solution still not found.

You can visit my website to see all my wind chimes and suncatchers, photographed with natural sunlight behind the glass, of course. Visit Coast Chimes.