Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stained Glass Suncather Wind Chimes

The construction of stained glass suncatcher wind chimes is similar to the basic construction of stained glass suncatchers.

Almost any stained glass suncatcher pattern can be modified  into a beautiful sun reflecting wind chime.  

It's just a matter of strengthening, balancing, and adding the appropriate sized wind chimes.

In general, suncatchers are some of the smallest projects made from stained glass. 

They are created for hanging in a window or from some point in the ceiling to gather and reflect light into the room.  

Their function is strictly decorative like Christmas balls on your Christmas tree and are usually free-form, round or constructed in small frames.

When constructing stained glass suncatcher wind chimes, you are adding audio functionality to your creation.  The pleasing tinkling of the wind chimes contributes to the aesthetic quality of the stained glass suncatcher.

In addition to adding another ring below your suncatcher pattern, there are three other changes you need to keep in mind when making stained glass wind chimes.
  1. You need to strengthen the outside edges of the suncatcher pattern you choose to use.
  2. You need to select the correct wind chime material to use with the pattern you chose.
  3. You need to correctly balance the finished stained glass suncatcher wind chime.
The top part of the Chinese suncatcher wind chime (pictured below) is made from relatively larger panes of glass which adds additional weight to the project.

The outside edges are fabricated from a copper foiled steel rod which strengthens the entire project.  

5/64 Round U Lead Hobby CameA copper or brass channel could also have been used by the artisan to strengthen the project with equivalent results.  

Round U came is produced in lead, copper or brass and can be purchased in bulk from a variety of suppliers.

The added ring below is centered for balance to hold the wind chimes
in line with the upper hanging ring.

With a free-form suncatcher like this one, centering is not much of a
problem however, it takes some finesse to locate and solder the rings of a square or rectangular stained glass suncatcher wind chime.

Selecting the correct wind chime material can become a challenge but regardless of what materials you choose to construct your wind chime with, they all follow a certain set design.

Most wind chimes are circular in design, like the example above.

They will all have a lid and a center mounted wind catcher surrounded by several sound producing hangers.  

You can use almost anything for the hangers; bells, pipe sections, old keys, marbles, stained glass pieces, seashells, bamboo, old silverware, etc.

The center mounted wind catcher hangs below what is called a "banger".  This is the object, usually round and hard, that actually creates noise and causes the chime effect.

The wind catcher hanging below the "banger" picks up the slightest breeze and moves the "banger" into contact with the surrounding chimes. 

In order to be effective, the center banger must be light enough to be easily moved by the wind catcher, yet hard enough to make a noise when it bangs into the surrounding chimes.

We will provide more on wind chime construction in upcoming posts.

When your wind chime is completed to your specifications just hang it from the lower ring of your reinforced stained glass suncatcher pattern, check for balance, and hang the completed stained glass suncatcher wind chime assembly in a breezy location.


Arts & Craft Books

No comments:

Post a Comment