Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Natural Beach Stone Wind Chime

Natural Beach Stone Wind Chime by Coast Chimes
Natural Pacific Beach Stones Wind Chime

It is really nice having these beautiful natural materials available from local beaches: driftwood, beach stones, and sometimes glass. While the materials are free, it does take time to find good things. But I seldom object to a long walk along the beach!

I discovered during the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, when so many people visited my studio, that it was not clear to them that I make pretty much every component of my creations. No, I do not buy mass produced chimes from distant lands for pennies! I use raw brass and copper for my chimes, and they are very labour intensive to produce-- there are so many steps! But the results are worth it. Also, I never skimp on the materials that I do buy. For example, instead of using something like cheap fishing line for my chimes, I use, for the small ones, 49 strand nylon coated stainless steel with sterling silver crimps: that's quality! For my large copper chimes, all the chimes are hung with handmade copper rings-- those will never break.

The beach stone chime pictured above is available on my website at Coast Chimes (and it's a great deal, at only $75.00).

Friday, November 14, 2014

Picture of My Creations

Coast Chimes Kaleidoscope Glass and Copper Wind Chime
Kaleidoscope Glass and Copper Handcrafted Wind Chime
Ever since we moved to our new house, I have struggled— really struggled —with taking decent pictures of my works. Now, after more than a year, I discovered that morning light coming through the semi-transparent metal fence, with the ocean far down below, makes for a very interesting background. How could this possibly take me over a year to discover? I don't know-- I am just happy to have found it.

As soon as I realized how much better the pictures could look, I spent a week retaking almost all my art work. Thats over one hundred items! You can see the updated images on my website, at Coast Chimes.com.  I'm very proud of my designs, and now I am a little proud of my pictures.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Sunshine Coast Art Crawl

Banner Signs, Coast Chimes, Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, 2014
Banner Signs at my Home for the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl

Coast Chimes, Tree Ornaments, Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, 2014
Tree Ornaments for sale for the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, Coast Chimes

Sunshine Coast Art Crawl

Between moving into the new house, getting the workshop organized, figuring out how to photograph my creations at this new location, and, not least, enjoying summer walking to the beautiful beach and warm ocean steps from our house, I just never had time to give this blog any attention. Maybe now that it is dark, wet, and cold, I can do more.

I just participated, for the first time, in the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl. This is a three day event, and boy, way it busy! On the Sunshine Coast, there were 141 galleries participating, 320 artists, and 21,000 studio visits. Coast Chimes attracted a great deal of attention. People seemed to enjoy seeing a bit of our new house (it is different!), the garden, and my work. It is a funny thing that I have been making wind chimes and suncatchers for 23 years, but almost all of them have been sent to the USA, through my online sales. I believe more have gone to Europe and Australia than to Canada. Since prior to the art crawl I did zero local promoting, there was a lot of fun in seeing people discover that someone is doing something really unique here on the Sunshine Coast. I was very happy with the sales.

It was even more fun to hear what people had to say, face to face, about my work. Yes, I enjoy praise! I think I deserve a bit of praise, too, having invested so many years exploring, learning, designing. I am very proud of my creations.

Oh! I also gave my website a major facelift. Based in large part on what reviewers at Peek (free, online, video reviews for websites-- an excellent service), I listened to what several people had to say, and fixed what they found troubling. Please visit Coast Chimes, and see for yourself. I think it is way better, so thank you Peek!