|Artist-made Sea Glass and Copper Wind Chime|
Great Outdoors all Year Long
Visit Coast Chimes and see all the awesome designs.
|Artist-made Sea Glass and Copper Wind Chime|
Great Outdoors all Year Long
|Natural Pacific Beach Stones|
with Five Copper Chimes
$175 plus $10 Expedited Shipping
|West Coast Driftwood, Beach Stone, Glass & Copper|
$95 Coast Chimes
|West Coast Driftwood & Beach Stones|
Five Copper Chimes
|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.
|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).
|Natural Pacific Driftwood Wind Chime|
5 Large Copper Chimes
Handcrafted by Coast Chimes
|High Quality Genuine Copper Wind Chime|
by Coast Chimes
|Sunshine Coast British Colombia|
Art Studios and Galleries
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.
|Lighting Challenges for Art Glass Studioe|
|Kaleidoscope Wind Chime|
|Freestanding Kaleidoscope Suncathcer|
Available for $57 at Coast Chimes
Coast Chimes is more than unique handcrafted art wind chimes. Not everyone enjoys wind chimes, even when they are beautiful and produce a gentle, soothing sound. So Coast Chimes also specializes is many styles of hanging and freestanding suncatchers.
The freestanding artist-made beach glass style of suncatcher pictured above is awesome on a sunny windowsill. When the sun shines through the glass, you are treated to a kaleidoscope of color!
Visit Coast Chimes and see all the amazing suncatchers and wind chimes!
|Glass and Copper Wind Chime Coast Chimes|
|Freestanding Double Wind Chime|
Natural Pacific Beach Stone Base
Glass and Copper
Find it at Coast Chimes
Even after over 20 years of making unique high-quality creations for the home and garden, it amazes me what I come up with. Look at this wind chime!
I love using natural materials, and beach stones are right at the top of the list. They make such an excellent base for freestanding wind chimes. The only drawback is that they are obviously very heavy for shipping-- but that is not much of a problem for my customer, since I pay most of the postage (all my works ship for a flat $10 charge to the customer, even when the actual postage is closer to $100).
This type of wind chime is ideal for placing on a deck or patio, or, even better, bury the stone part way in your rock garden. So beautiful! It is not bothered at all by snow, rain, sun or wind. Simply enjoy it!
|Handcrafted Kaleidoscope Wind Chime|
Five Copper Chimes
Beach Stone Clapper
|Natural Pacific Driftwood Wind Chime |
5 Large Copper Chimes
I've started putting together some cool new wind chimes with the beach stones and driftwood from my recent beach combing working holiday to the west coast of Vancouver Island and Washington State. These are such wonderful materials! The stones are so nicely rounded and shaped; the driftwood hard and smooth.
|Olympic Peninsula, Wild West Coast, Beach Combing Paradise|
|Olympic Peninsula, March 2016|
Last year at this time I quickly passed through the Olympic Peninsula.I was amazed by the beauty. I was also so impressed by the beach stones and driftwood (I use both to make wind chimes). I took a little of my beach combing finds home with me last year, and immediately regretted both not spending more time on the Peninsula, and also not taking home more raw materials.
So I went back.
The Olympic Peninsula truly is one of the most awesome areas I have ever explored. And it definitely has some of the finest beach stones and driftwood I have ever enjoyed discovering. This year, I took home plenty for my work, and I am so excited to soon start making things. You can see the types of things I make with these materials on my website: Coast Chimes.
Nine days of hiking, fine resorts, beach combing was not enough. I probably have to go back next year!
|Handcrafted Cedar and Copper Bird Feeder Wind Chime|
|Mountain Goat Ice Sculpture|
Ottawa Ontario Canada
Absolutely amazing what artists are able to accomplish with ice, as I discovered during this past weekend during a trip to Ottawa Ontario. Despite the unusually warm temperatures, coming from the Pacific Coast it seemed plenty cold enough to me, and it was cold enough for most of the ice sculptures to remain more-or-less intact. The one that most impressed me was this one of mountain goats. Just beautiful!
We went to Ottawa not for the sculptures or other Winterlude festivities, but because my wife has always wanted to skate on the Rideau Canal. A few days before leaving for Ottawa, the canal was open. As soon as we booked the tickets, they had to close it. It remained closed for the entire weekend. On the day following our return to BC, it opened. Such is life.
For me, it was still awesome to visit a wintery place (we have had zero snow here on the Sunshine Coast this winter). It was so much fun to walk around in the cold, snow lightly falling. A visit over the bridge to Gatineau was very special as well. It was a treat to be able to use my rusty French.
My only regret is that I wish I had known that Ottawa has Uber. We used taxis, and I must say the experience was universally awful. The drivers never knew how to get to where we wanted to go (although these were always major destinations in a small city), they hardly spoke English or French, they were often borderline rude. From now on, wherever I travel, I will certainly remember to check and see if Uber is available.
|Rough Cut 2 X 6 Cedar Boards|
Soon to be a Beautiful Bird Feeder Wind Chime
|Red Cedar and Copper Bird Feeder Wind Chime|
My four sided deluxe cedar bird feeder wind chime is always popular. But despite being on the expensive side, they are not very profitable for me: they use a lot of expensive materials, and even more time.
I start with raw rough cedar, as pictured in the first image above. You can imagine how many saw it takes to make the finished feeder!
Every year I make 4 - 5 of feeders, all at the same time, as it is a little more efficient to build a few all at once. It is enjoyable to build something this complex and where great attention must be paid to exact measurements. I'm proud of them! But when I am done for the year, I am done. No matter if they sell out early in the year, or later, I don't build more for that year. The reason for this is that there is only one fairly slow part of the year (February and part of March), and after that, there simply is not enough free time to build these properly.
It always feels good when I have a few in stock. This year, with luck, they will probably be back on my website mid-February.
|Colorful Cedar Framed Glass|
Five Copper Chimes
Available at Coast Chimes
|Round Smooth Beach Stone Flow|
Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada
One thing is certain: The Sunshine Coast, BC, is all about natural beauty. I've lived here for 25 years, and still get wowed by the beauty almost everyday.
The longer I live here, the more grateful I am, as I realize how this natural beauty influences my work as an artist. Not only do I use the natural resources, such as rounded smooth beach stones and driftwood in my wind chime designs, but I know my love of rounded edges and sea glass comes directly from hikes along the shore and through the woods. Nature knows a thing or two about design, and all I have to do is look closely and try to get some of the elements I see in the natural world into my own designs.
You can see how the naturally Pacific Coast beauty has influenced my work by checking out my website. Probably the Beach Stone section or Driftwood section would be a great place to start.
|Coast Chimes: New Website|
WWW. Coast Chimes
I've made half a dozen different websites for Coast Chimes, starting back 20 years ago. They have ranged from okay to not very good. The further back in time you go, the more easily one could get away with a sloppy website, as at the start people did not expect much! These days, you better have a pretty decent website if you hope to sell.
Today you need to go beyond just okay. You have a fraction of a second to grab the attention of the new visitor, a visitor with a very critical eye, or their finger hits the back button and goodbye potential customer.
Even without any prior website building experience, I believe any artist-crafter could build a fairly decent looking website using Shopify without too many headaches. Taking that website beyond the basic shop to where I feel a website needs to be in today's competitive world will be more challenging.
After my basic shop was up, I felt like I hit a wall. I had ideas I wanted to implement, but the supporting documentation for Shopify was frankly scary complex, and I was scared of really messing up my website.
I approached several experts for hire. Prices were far steeper than I had hoped they would be (in the thousands was not unusual). Also, very few provided a clear vision of what they hoped to accomplish for my site. Why would I hire them if they had no vision? Do they do the same site for a seller of imported plastic toys as for an artist?
So I got thinking, and decided the first thing I should do is figure out exactly what I wanted for my site. That way, I could tell the experts what I needed, and they could tell me if they could do it, and how much it would cost. This seemed a much better approach than my initial: 'my site is a mess, how much to fix it?'.
However, after figuring out what I wanted for my site, I realized that maybe, just maybe, I could tackle this thing myself. So defining what was needed helped enormously. A logo was number one, as everyone says this is extremely important. They also say it is a big deal, and a job for a professional. This can cost in the hundreds, easily. Wanting everything as simple and clean as possible for my own site, I did my own simple and clean logo. It took me 15 minutes. I doubt it is up to professional standards, but I think it looks fine.
The biggest challenge was to arrange all my stock into different collections, and make clickable buttons (rather than visitors having to scroll through 12 pages of mixed stock). I decided on 9 categories, and got busy reading how to make collections in the Shopify help section. It seemed overwhelmingly complex, but once I got going, following each step in the instructions as I went along, it turned out to be not too bad after all. Then I just made small buttons from pictures I already had handy (a picture of driftwood, for example, for my driftwood section), figured out how to place these on my homepage using a grid, and made links. Not bad at all.
Could someone with zero website building experience accomplish this? Probably, given enough patience, asking for help on forums, being bold and trying. I would say the written instructions make things sound a lot harder than the reality, which is often the case with technical things.
So instead of spending a thousand dollars or more, I got to learn some cool things, I got the satisfaction of doing it myself, and, most importantly, I got a much better looking website that I am proud of and happy with.
|View of Snow Covered Coastal Mountains|
From Gibsons, BC, Sunshine Coast, Canada
Most of my yearly sales are online, and about half of those sales are for Christmas: pre-Christmas is a very busy time for Coast Chimes. So I didn't much mind that the skies were grey, the clouds dumping rain during November and early December. But what a treat to have those skies clear and the local mountains snow dusted for this quieter, post-Christmas period! Most of the packing and shipping is done, and I have time to head out, take long walks, and enjoy the scenery.
I walk along the beach, and dream up new ideas for the weeks ahead, when I plan to devote time to creating new works to replenish my stock.
I see these mountains, this ocean, the beach, the trees, and feel so grateful to live here. Of course, I am also pleased to be able to retrieve many fine natural resources from the shoreline-- the stones, the driftwood, the sea glass. From this nature I get my inspiration and lots of my materials. What a pleasure!