March/April 2002

Chimes of the Island

Even indoors in a northern climate, the softest of breezes will evoke island memories and dreams if you have one of these wind chimes or mobiles. Lovely to listen to and lovely to look at, they are available at local shops or galleries.

Mobile art
It’s easy to tell that “Susan M.,” a Florida artist now living in Virginia, has lots of fun making mobiles with dazzling aluminum and colored stones. They come shaped as dragonflies, stars and moon, or even martini glasses, and are available at Island Style Gallery. Or create your own mobiles out of single ornaments. On a tiny scale, metal artist Karen Rossi’s studio line features such intricate mobiles as this blue mermaid with flowing gold tresses and nautical charms. Chadwick’s Square, Unit 210, Captiva Island, 941/472-4343; Periwinkle Place, Unit 16, Sanibel Island, 941/472-6657; or 620 Duval St., Key West, 305/292-7800;

Songs from the Sea
These attractive and melodious ceramic wind chimes are handcrafted in Peru and Chile by Caramba Inc. The company says its “nylon-blend cording allows for many years of outdoor use” but recommends taking the chimes indoors “during snow and ice, or winds exceeding 30 miles an hour.” You’ll find the chimes of your choice at The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum store. 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, 941/395-2233 or 888/670-6450;

Tubular Tones
“Let the good chimes toll,” states Grace Note Chimes Inc., the California maker of high-quality, tempered-aluminum tubular wind chimes that come in different chords. They’re designed by a musician “for ultimate clarity and purity of tone” and can be found at The Sandpiper of Sanibel. Shop owner Nola Francis loves chimes and mobiles and has hundreds in stock, including magnetic fish, sea turtle, or frog chimes for refrigerator doors, or multicolored Messofish mobiles that are “darling for babies’ cribs.” 2330 Palm Ridge Road, Sanibel Island, 941/472-4645.

Whim Chimes
The sea’s the limit when it comes to wind chimes and mobiles made of shells. Many favorites at She Sells Sea Shells come from the Philippines, including a spiral-design wind chime/mobile combination painted pink, white, blue, and yellow. Also popular are colorful “fish” chimes or chimes made of mixed shells, coated with lacquer to be extra shiny and sturdy. 1157 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, 941/472-6991 or 2422 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 941/472-8080.