Wind Chimes ~ Hand painted wood with shell pendulums

Windchimes closer

Recycled wooden circles, with geometric acrylic varnished painting decoration.

Pendulum ‘chime’ shells hang on knotted leather cords tied to metal rings on lower edge of wooden circles.  Razor shells make a pleasant gentle mid-toned ‘clatter’ when moving.

Windchimes 4 designs, varnish drying ANNOTATED

Windchimes two geometric distressed designs drying on wall - 50% res. - ANNOTATED
Distressed layers of paint design, varnished over.
  • Paint circles black with emulsion (water based paint).
  • Paint acrylic colour over, leaving border for another colour.
  • Paint ‘crackle-glaze’ solution (purchased).
  • When just about dry (not to dry), paint over gently with a large soft artist’s brush in a contrasting colour.  Paint should not be too thick (i.e. not straight out of tubes), but mixed with water to a single cream consistency.   Move brush carefully, and in a slightly blobbing like fashion, in circles, to avoid unbalanced marks and encourage circular markings.  Water content and drying times, will determine how the crackle layer works.
  • Note:  Crackle-glaze is unpredictable: practice with drying times of the glaze and water content of covering paint mix helps.  If it does not crackle well, some sanding will produce a distressed surface, showing paint colour layers through.
  • Draw geometric designs in dark pencil: paint lines with ‘liner’ brush (a narrow and long brush head, which spreads to required width and holds the line evenly as paint is dragged along one side of pencil line. (no need for two pencil lines)
  • Spirals can be painted with just one stroke of an artist’s round brush, starting in the centre and sweeping in an ever increasing curve. (practice on paper before if needed)
  • Coat circles art in at least 3 layers of water based acrylic varnish for protection.  It dries in 20 mins, but leave 2 hours between coats.  Note: Long lasting oil based polyurethane varnish can be used as a fourth coat for outdoor protection.  (16 hours drying time)
Windchime tying on razor shells - 50% res
Fixing razor shells to wood circles with leather cord.
  • Screw metal ‘screw eyes’ into one edge of wooden circle.
  • Drill holes carefully into top of razor shells.
  • Lightly sand off any brown seaweed stuck to shells. (they are brittle and can break) Paint could also be rubbed into razor shell grain at this stage to tone in with wood.
  • Using thin leather cord (available in colours), attach to razor shells to screw eye rings.  Metal wind chimes can be included, to nestle in the concave side of the shells, to increase the wind noise: also smaller shells can be tied on at the tops.  Note:  I found a clearer sound resulted form purely the razor shells alone.
  • Experiment with shell length and positions for ‘sound making’.
  • Use thick leather/suede strips to make hanging loops to hang onto trees, or hooks outside.
Painting circles on wood scraps - 800 px
Circles painted in advance of cutting out on softwood

Circles are cut incrementally from squares; sawing and filing off 4 corner facets.


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