|Jean and Ted Chalfant|
There it goes again--a glass windchime tinkling in the breeze making a bright happy sound. It's like a choir around here with the different sounds of the clay bells of Hazel Olsen ( see last week's blog) and the Bottle Benders glass chimes. As you listen you can tell the sounds apart just as you separate the tenors from the sopranos in a choir. These glass chimes have a very interesting history, Jean and Ted Chalfant began making their glass chimes in 1970, about the same time that Wally and I, as well as Hazel Olsen, began our careers in the arts. Now, more than 45 years later, the Chalfants have three generations of family in their business. Bottle Benders is a very appropriate name because the chimes began life as wine bottles! After they are sliced, they along with the bottom of the bottle, are melted in a kiln on their way to becoming music
producers. Marbles are also melted to make the dots in the middle of the chimes. The parts are all combined with string that will last for more than ten years, stainless steel chain, 16 gauge steel decorative tops that have been powder coated to prevent rust, and other parts American made parts that have been tested for quality. The result is a beautiful musical chime that delights both the eye and the ear.
The chimes are made to go outside but some care should be taken in choosing the appropriate spot for them. They really love sheltered places like screened porches and other areas protected from strong wind. But don't worry should the unthinkable happen and your chime have an accident, Bottle Benders has constructed them in a way that makes repair/replacement a simple matter.
Smith Galleries is located at 1000 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, SC, on the second level of the Village at Wexford in suite J11. Gallery hours are 10-6 Monday through Saturday. Call 800.272.3870 to for more information.