The craft sale season
Friday, November 25, 2016 4:43 AM
Yes, indeed, I enjoy brewing wine from the wild edibles that grow along the creek, blackberries, pawpaw and dandelion. I also brew wine from some of the crops that I grow, such as strawberry, watermelon and marigold. And, yes, I do enjoy sitting back in the evening and drinking a glass of homemade wine. I savor the subtle flavors of the creek valley as I sip.
And when the bottles are empty, I wash them out to save them for my next brew, unless, that is, I feel a different sort of creativity tickling my senses, and I pull out my glass cutter and sit down to make wine bottle wind chimes.
I must confess that Greg is really the master glass cutter. He found a saw that he can set to different sizes that allows him to gently turn each bottle against a diamond bit and make a perfectly straight score all the way around the bottle’s base. He then pours boiling water over the scored line, quickly followed by turning the bottle under the kitchen sink’s cold water faucet. After two cycles of alternating hot and cold water, the bottom of the bottle simply falls off.
I then grind the bottom of each bottle on a thick glass pane that I have covered with a slurry of carbide grit. In just a few minutes, the sharp edges have dulled and I am ready to make a wind chime.
I run a stainless steel chain first through a hole drilled in the cork, then through a wooden clapper that hangs low in the bottle and finally down to whatever recycled treasure I choose to hang from the bottom. Some bottles sport old flattened spoons or curly tined forks or even ancient keys that clatter against shiny computer hard drives. I wonder what stories these wind chimes whisper to the breeze as they gently sway in the wind. One bottle has been hanging on our front porch for the past five years. Its mellow song greets me throughout the seasons all year long and always brings a smile. I imagine it will continue to chime for many years to come.
So I have been giving wine bottle wind chimes to family and friends, and yes, in time, I actually ran out of folks to whom I could distribute my creations. Alas, I still felt the urge to create, and eventually the sugar shed was filled with hanging bottles of all sorts, dangling everywhere, and I was quickly running out of room. Then, my friend called. Would I be interested in setting up at a craft show? My dilemma was solved!
When fancy struck, I could sit back and make wine bottle wind chimes to my heart’s content, and create I did.
I have now set up at four different shows, but the real lesson I have learned is not that folks seem to gladly bring my creations home with them. It is rather that I have met so many different folks, and I have made so many new friends.
I have also learned that sitting behind a table filled with my wind chime wares is so different than passing by the front of a craft show table. I have learned to share in the camaraderie of my fellow crafters, the excitement of setting up before the show starts and the smiles and goodbyes as we pack up and eventually head home.
I have learned of the curiosity in the show’s passersby, as I tell my love of gathering and growing plants, making wine and creating the chimes.
And of course, there is the seasonal joy shared by everyone planning for the upcoming holidays and the excitement of finding the perfect gift for a special person. Mostly, though, I have learned of my own reaffirmation that our county’s craft sale gymnasiums are filled with folks I am so fortunate to count as my friends and neighbors.
Christine Tailer is an attorney and former city dweller who moved several years ago, with her husband, Greg, to an off-grid farm in south-central Ohio. Visit them on the web at straightcreekvalleyfarm.com.