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PATIO ART : HOW TO MAKE STAINED GLASS WIND CHIMES FOR YOUR HOME AND GARDEN
Make Your Own Spiritual Relaxing Glass Wind Chime!
Not too long ago I discovered the beautiful art of creating stained glass wind chimes! Now that I have perfected the art, I would love to share it with you!
CLICK HERE to see some of my crystal wind chimes creations!
Did you know that the ancient Chinese invented the wind chimes, using them to balance the Yin and Yang energies of a home by placing the chimes outside the doorways? It's all in the Feng Shui!
I have always loved the sounds of wind chimes tinkling softly when a slight breeze moves them. Walking in a garden and hearing chimes ringing gently amongst the trees. Falling asleep at night or upon wakening in the early morning hours to the gentle clinking of chimes has always relaxed and made me feel safe. I find that chimes have a spiritual sound and have often used them when searching for answers to certain questions. They always seem to tinkle at just the right time!
The most beautiful sounding chimes I have ever seen where those that I saw while vacationing in Cuba. The local craftspeople make their glass chimes from small bits of stained glass, shells, bead and seeds. When I came back home, I decided to make my own since all I could find in the local stores here were chimes made with metal tubes. Glass has a unique sound that resembles tinkling crystal ware, more delicate and uplifting.
I did some research on the internet on different wind chime models to inspire me. I ended up using bamboo as a starting point for my creation to hang from. Actually, you can use wood, metal, bamboo or whatever you feel inspired to use. Do some research and you will find something that appeals to you.
The best place to go and pick up your starting materials, is your local dollar store! Go to the craft section and buy some semi-precious stones like rose crystal quartz and amethysts that have been pre-drilled, ready to make into necklaces! Pick up some glass beads, tiny beads and anything else you feel drawn to! Pick up some bamboo rods, hanging metal chains that they sell to hang plants outside and you're ready to rock!
If you have a local glass store where they cut and make mirrors and other glassware, most likely they will sell stained glass. Don't buy big pieces, but ask them for their cuttings and pieces they sell for scrap, which is much cheaper. I buy most of my stained glass scraps on E-Bay!
If you can, draw a design of what you would like your glass chime to look like, or just go on your intuition, as I do!
You will need pliers to cut your metal chain, a dremel hand tool, fishing line (minimum 10lb. weight), safety glasses. You will need a diamond bit 1/16" to drill into your glass pieces which you can buy at your local hardware store. You will also need the same size or a bit larger in steel to drill your bamboo wood.
Drilling stained glass is an art in itself!! It takes patience and a light hand. Too much heat and pressure and you break your piece of glass when drilling it. First, choose your glass pieces. Sort by colour and size; try to keep 3-4 pieces per strand for a 3 to 4 strand wind chime. If your pieces are too big, cut them with a glasscutter, and if you have access to a glass grinder, grind the edges so that you won't open a finger up while putting the chime together (youch!). If not, well be careful, and with time, the pieces will dull themselves with the movement of the wind and their rubbing against each other.
I use an old wooden bowl filled with a bit of water and a drop of dish detergent to help in the cooling process of the drilling. I place a piece of old sponge in the bottom of the bowl and place my piece of glass on it. I keep my dremel at 2800-3000 rpm and start drilling sideways to get a good "foothold” in the glass (if you go straight down, the bit will slide off and scratch the glass). Once the bit has dug into the glass, I hold it straight. Make sure that the water covers your drill bit (1/4") so that it will cool while drilling. Let the weight of the dremel drill into the glass don't use any pressure whatsoever or the glass will break! It should take about 30 seconds to drill through. Once all your pieces are done, wash them, dry them and you're ready to begin your project.
You can take the wire chain with the hook and tie it to your bamboo. Drill holes in the bamboo and attach your fishing line. Then begin threading your glass pieces and beads. After each piece of glass is attached, tie it off securely with several tight knots and proceed with the next one. If your piece of glass is long, drill a hole in each end of the glass to attach the line. Small pieces need only one hole; you simply continue the knotting process using the same line. Once you are finished, find a place to securely hang your project and enjoy it! Listen to the different tones that the glass pieces make as they move in the wind. Long pieces of glass have deeper, almost gong like sounds, small pieces have higher tinkles.
© 2009 K D Martel