Friday, April 25, 2014

Silent Wind Chimes

I love wind chimes and outdoor mobiles, so I thought, "Why not make a set of wind chimes out of Creative Paperclay modeling material?"

I started by rolling out a thin piece of clay, then cutting an 8" circle from it. I used a plate as my template, laying it on top of the rolled out clay and trimming away the excess with a craft knife. I used a handle-less teacup as a mold for the dome of the chimes. The cup had an indentation on the bottom that I didn't want on my finished piece, so I filled it with its own circle of clay. So that this insert would adhere to the piece of clay for the dome, I scored both the clay insert and the clay circle that I would use for the dome, and liberally coated each with slip. [You can learn more about slip from this blog tip.]

Next, I covered the up-turned teacup with my 8" circle of clay. I had to remove some of the excess and gently smooth out the clay. I give it a smoother finished (and help reduce sanding) I coated the dome with a layer of slip. Next, I pierced holes in the top and sides for attaching the dangles.

For the dangles, I rolled out a piece of clay, cut it approximately 5"x7", and sandwiched it between the leaves of an embossing folder. I used a rolling pin with gentle pressure to emboss the clay. I cut the embossed clay pieces about 1.5" wide (some a bit narrower) and between 3" and 5" long. Again, I pierced holes for attaching the dangles to the dome. I let these dry overnight, and was pleasantly surprised with the curves and twists that occurred naturally during the drying process.

For the center dangle, I coiled a 3/8" wide piece of clay around a soda straw, and pierced hanging holes at the top and bottom. 

When the pieces were completely dry and sanded, I used acrylic paints to paint each of the dangles. 

Color palette for dangles

When the embossed pieces where dry, I thinly coated them with raw umber paint, and quickly rubbed it off, leaving them with a weathered, antiqued appearance. Lastly, I coated all the pieces—dangles and dome—with two coats of PPA Gloss by USArtQuest.

Painted dangles

The final step was to assemble the pieces. I added a crystal to the bottom of the center, coiled dangle, and used fishing line to attached the dangles to the dome. I love the way the crystal catches the light, and casts rainbows of color!! 

I couldn't wait to hang them and enjoy the lovely wind chime sounds. But, wait. What's that I hear? Nothing. The dangles are moving, but, alas, no sound. :) I hadn't considered that the clay just wasn't the right medium for producing sound. So now instead of wind chimes, I have a brightly colored outdoor mobile!!

Finished silent wind chimes :)

Here's a quick video of my mobile in action.


Jean Berryessa said...

Love the wind chime idea. I never would have thought of that. I have used the paper clay to make a rather silly doll face. then mounted it on a canvas. Was a fun media to use. Very pretty your chimes. Love the bright colors.

Rachel Whetzel said...

What a cool idea!! I'm waiting for the video to load... gotta hear what it sounds like!

Diane said...

I'm making them :)

thank you Carole :)