The Japanese wind chimes are known as fuurin (風鈴). They are good luck amulets that can be mostly spotted during summer. The sound they generate, makes you aware of the wind when the weather is hot (or rather boiling hot), so I’d say they act as a sort of mind refreshers. And they look beautiful too.
This type of fuurin in particular is made of blown glass, a tubular glass clapper and a card with a nice message or poem called Tanzaku (短冊). The tradition of making fuurin dates back to the Edo period (1603-1867) when the glass making thechnique was introduced in Japan. It has been popular ever since.
This is the one I made last weekend. Blown by myself with the help of an expert and hand painted from the inside. I have to admit I wish I could have a second chance to paint it nicely but in my defense, you’ve all read the header of this page (if forgotten please see above ↑↑↑ where it says IMPERFECT). Go ahead and watch closely, you’ll also notice my sphere is not straight either so let’s say it all makes it a perfect fit for this little blog!
The glass is heated at almost 1300˚C and blowed in couple of stages to create the right shape. Then is left to dry for ten minutes or so and opened on the bottom (the edges are left unpolished for a more effective sound effect). The painting stage begins afterwards, followed by tying the glass clapper and tanzaku.
If you’d like to buy or make your own wind chime, you can visit Shinozaki Fuurin Honpo, the place where my friends and I made our wind chimes. Remember you’ve been warned: the painting bit is the toughest one 😉