About Davis Blanchard Wind Chimes
Here at Davis Blanchard Wind Chimes, we take great effort and joy to provide you some of the most soothing, durable, and melodic wind chimes in the world today. Whereas most musical wind chimes are mass produced, many of them overseas, ours are handmade one at a time here in Austin TX USA. And whereas most wind chime websites sell products made elsewhere, all the wind chimes offered here we make ourselves. We choose peace of mind by keeping our company small, and to focus more on the quality produced by own hands, rather than focusing on how many units we can produce and how much $ we can make. Thus our 'artisan' wind chimes are unique, and you won't find them everywhere and just anywhere.
One thing we spotlight is a lower pendulum cord guard to protect the wind chime's greatest vulnerability, where the lower pendulum cord rubs against the bottom of the tubes. No other wind chime maker offers this safety feature. On top of that we back our work with Free Lifetime Repair
. See more in the Wind Chime Design section below about how we create our very durable long lasting wind chimes.
To achieve the lush symphonic sound in our wind chimes, we employ 8 tubes, rather than the standard 5 or 6 that other musical wind chimes do, to express what we call super-octave voicing, by spreading 8 tones over a 2 octave range. The others simply feature the few tones within a single octave pentatonic scale. We offer more variety in unique original compositions, and were the first to give tribute to the 4 Seasons, the 4 Elements, the Celestials, and the Zodiac.
We utilize an ancient tuning system, called Just Intonation, to ring out pure musical intervals for a more pleasing listening experience. We tune our wind chimes to Concert Pitch A448 for harmonizing with the fundamental resonances of the Earth and Moon. See more information in our Music and Design sections below about Just Intonation and Schumann Resonances.
You won't find any other quality musical wind chimes that are more affordable than ours. For comparing models of 1 inch diameter tubes, divide the price of the wind chime by the number of tubes to get the cost per note.
About The Artists
built his first Pipe Song Wind Chime in 1980, after being inspired by a gift of a musical wind chime, to soothe his newborn son, and to enhance the garden at his home-built cabin in the Bastrop TX woods. Family and friends wanted some too. Soon they were constantly selling out in outlets such as Artstanding, Missouri Botanical Gardens, National Ornamental Metal Museum, Disney World, Dallas Arboretum Botanical Society, Buchanan's in Houston, Natural Gardener in Austin, Handmade USA, Down to Earth in Eugene, Handmade in Oregon, Ocean Annie's, World of Science, Coop America, Manchester Woodcrafts, The Wind Chime Store, Living Arts, In The Wind, Whimsical Winds online, and the list goes on. Internet retail sales took off at the end of 2007, and wholesale was gradually phased out. Experienced as a musician, song writer, and audio engineer, Davis knows quite a bit about music theory, physics of music, and history of music origins. After his son, Franz, took over the business in 2016, he was able to retire, while retaining the responsibility of running the website promotion. He currently operates a mobile recording studio and an intimate production studio for songwriters. For examples of his musical work and engineering, see his Deja Studio page at SoundCloud
, son of Davis, controls the business as a subsidiary of his parent company, Earthtones Windchimes, named for the fact that we base our reference tuning to the resonant pulse of the Earth and Moon. He began as an apprentice in 2008, and took charge of production in 2014, allowing his father to retire after servicing the business for 37 years. Accomplished on guitar, Franz has a good understanding of music theory. His specialty is Custom Tuned Wind Chimes
Hand Crafted America with Jill Wagner
recently interviewed us for a spot on their show, featuring Franz Connor and Jill Wagner producing a Custom Tuned Wind Chime pitched to the melody of The Yellow Rose of Texas. It aired on February 17, 2017. Here is a copy of the interview text:
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Franz Connor Blanchard & Davis Blanchard
The sound of wind chimes is synonymous with relaxation. But what if those wind chimes could be customized to a song of your choosing? That’s exactly what father/son duo Davis and Franz Blanchard specialize in. Davis has been making wind chimes since 1980. He started the business with a set selection of songs. When Franz took over, he started making custom songs. As an experienced musician, composer, and audio engineer, Davis was able to bring in all aspects to create unique wind chimes that can be enjoyed all year round.
GET TO KNOW DAVIS
What drew you to your chosen craft?
I was living in the woods in between careers when a friend gave my wife Beth and I a musical wind chime as a birthing present for our newborn son, Cedar. This was 1980. I liked it so much, I made another one like it, then another, and so on. My mother wanted one, then my aunt, and so I made a dozen or two for the May reunion, and sold all of them to my family.
What do you enjoy most about your craft?
I enjoy working with my hands, being creative with the music, and the joy it brings to me and others while listening to the music. I also enjoy the freedom of working my own schedule, and problem solving engineering challenges.
Why is it important for people to make things with their own hands?
For me, working with my hands helps to distract me from all of the problems in the world. It feels good to accomplish something by having a finished product that all can enjoy. It is a way of connecting with the creative world.
In what ways are handmade goods better than those that are mass-produced?
There is a personal connection between the person making the goods and the person using the goods. There is uniqueness, and a non-defining element of character and soul imbued with the item.
What does the future hold for your type of work?
The future looks better than I could imagine with my son, Franz, having the interest in the business, and the initiative to make his part in carrying on the enterprise, along with his desire to excel in music making.
GET TO KNOW FRANZ
What drew you to your chosen craft?
I have always loved working with my hands, and music. As I grew older, I realized what my father had built was the opportunity to do exactly that. Also, the opportunity to further something my dad created out of nothing is an honor.
What do you enjoy most about your craft?
Turning song arrangements into wind chimes, and then hearing the new sound of those arrangements once they are expressed through a new medium is the most satisfying part of my job.
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About The Music
What is sound? - The wind moves the wind catcher. The wind catcher moves the pendulum. The clapper strikes the tubes. The resulting vibration of the tubes disturbs the air around it, sending out pulses in a spherical pattern. Those pulses reach our ears and in turn vibrate our ear drums. The nerves attached to those ear drums send signals to our brain which then interpret them as sound.
What is music? - When 2 or more sounds have a simple mathematical relationship, they sound pleasing to our ears. The relationship involves simple ratio numbers like 2/1, 3/2, 4/3, 5/4, 5/3, 6/5, etc. This means, for example, that a sound that has twice the frequency in vibration, measured in cycles per second, of another sound, has a pleasing relationship to it. Those two sounds are consonant, and resonate sympathetically with each other; they reinforce each other. The musical interval between these 2 particular notes is called an octave. 3/2 is called the fifth, the second most pleasing musical interval. For every 2 cycles of the first, or lower note, the second note vibrates 3 cycles. 4/3, which is the inversion of the fifth, is called the fourth. Simple pentatonic scales can be built from these 3 musical intervals. The method of tuning with simple ratio numbers is called Just Intonation.
3M Brand Rube Goldberg Machine
Philip Goddard Recordings - UK
About The Wind Chime Design
One Size: 8 Notes x 2 Octaves x 40" Length x 7-3/8" Width x 1" Diameter Tubes x 6 Pounds
- Tuning Standard: Just Intonation for purest harmonic musical intervals.
- Concert Pitch: A448 for compatibility with the Fundamental Resonant Frequencies of Earth and Moon.
- Super Octave Voicing: Eight 1" diameter tubes featured in our compositions provide a fuller lush symphonic experience across 2 octaves of musical expression, twice the range of other brand musical wind chimes that implement only 4 to 6 notes. Divide the price of the wind chime by the number of 1 inch diameter tubes for a more accurate comparison in cost.
- Stainless steel ring.
- The injected molded UV resistant ABS top plate is extremely durable, will not warp or crack, outlasts wood, and needs no special treatment. Its smooth hard surface helps to reflect and amplify the music.
- Nickel plated brass crimp sleeves attach the cord to the ABS plates.
- Stainless steel washer adds support for the sleeve attachment to the top plate.
- The first thing that wears out on a wind chime is the cord. The UV weather resistant black 300 pound test braided polyester cord we implement endures many years of harsh outdoor conditions. Compared to nylon, polyester is minimally less strong and shock resistant because it does not stretch like nylon, but it is more abrasion resistant, more UV resistant, and will not hold water like nylon, thus will not attract mildew.
- Internal suspension of the tubes delivers more action and resonance, less wear, and a sleek appearance. It is the most effective and attractive method for the least damping of the tube's vibration, and avoids the abrasion of passing the excessive cord through the holes in the tube. Furthermore, this method allows the tube to swing with no directional restriction. Galvanized wire pins attach the cord internally and are bent in the middle to allow the cord to center itself.
- The fundamental nodes are found at 22.421% of the length from each end of the open end tubes. This is where the fundamental tone vibrates the least and where to suspend the tubes to avoid damping their vibration as much as possible, and permit their full resonant potential. This is the attachment point with the internal wire pin. The holes are drilled so that the top of the hole, the place of contact with the pin, is the exact node point.
- The anti-nodes are found at both ends of an open end tube and also at the midpoint of the tube's length. This is where the fundamental tone vibrates the most, and where not to suspend the tube to avoid damping it's vibration. But it is where the tube should be struck to activate its vibration. The midpoint is the most advantageous attack position for uniform resonance and smooth action. The tubes are arranged in vertical symmetry so that the 5" diameter ABS clapper strikes all their midpoints. The clapper is centered vertically on the pendulum cord to maximize its strike force.
- The eight .922 inch diameter galvanized steel tubes (3/4 EMT) produce bright articulate tones with long lingering resonance. Most other tuned wind chimes feature only 5 or 6 notes within only one octave. 8 tubes in our design allow a full 2 octave range for a fuller symphonic expression.
- A 9" aluminum cord guard is located directly above the wind catcher to protect the lower pendulum cord from abrasion against the metal tubes in strong winds. It is held in place with a keeper pin at the top. This is where the most wear on a wind chime occurs. We are the only wind chime producer that takes this extra step.
- The extra large ABS wind catcher is designed for steady ambient breezes from 3 to 15 mph, measured at the location of the wind catcher (airport weather stations measure stable wind speed from 30 feet altitudes). Each wind catcher is signed, along with the name and notes of the tuning.