Fused Glass Wind Chimes

A few years ago, when helping my mother organize her craft supplies, I found a rock tumbler that had been my grandfather’s. My mother was not planning to use it, so I took it home thinking that I would put it to some use. When I returned from that trip, I stored the tumbler in my glass studio. Unfortunately, I then forgot all about it.

After I retired, when organizing my glass studio, I ran across the storage box. Instead of leaving the tumbler in the box, I took it out and put it to use. In another storage container, I had some stained glass scrap glass that I was given several years ago. I decided it would be nice to try to make some Sea glass out of these scraps.

Fall of 2021, I was able to make several pieces of sea glass. Each batch took about a month to sequentially go through the abrasive grits. Unfortunately, the motor in the tumbler burned out during the third batch of glass that I was tumbling. I’m sure that my grandfather’s tumbler had been sitting and not used for a really long time. So, I was not too surprised that it didn’t last very long. I am glad that I had it to try out. Knowing that it was a useful craft tool, I purchased a replacement.

Last January, while on a walk on the beach in South Carolina, I had an idea for a way to shorten the time needed to create the sea glass. Sea glass is made naturally when broken bottles tumble in sea water which has sand in it. So, I collected a container of white beach sand and packed the container in my car. When I returned to Minnesota, I did a test by tumbling glass with the sand. I was extremely pleased with the results. After only three days, the effect was similar to a month of tumbling with commercial grits.

After making the sea glass, I used some of the glass to make a wind chime for my mother’s birthday. For the top of the windchime, I made a fused glass flower. I drilled holes in the sea glass and then connected each piece onto sections of chain attached to a piece of a wood branch.

After making this windchime, I designed a couple more to give as Christmas gifts. For the first one, I cut leaf shapes from the scrap glass, tumbled the glass for three days and then strung the chime to look like a tree. I really like how this one turned out and may actually make one for myself.

The rest of the sea glass that I have made are small pieces and not useful for windchimes.

To make a windchime for my other sibling, did not include any of the sea glass. Instead, I designed and fused pieces of glass to make a cat themed windchime.

One thought on “Fused Glass Wind Chimes

  1. I just love seeing what you are creating. I’m living vicariously through you, my friend. 🥰

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