In many cultures around the world from China and Japan to
the ancient Mediterranean, wind chimes have existed in
one form or another since prehistoric times. The chimes were
carved, cast from metal, or made from elaborately decorated
lengths of bamboo and they were hung from the eaves of
shrines, temples and other sacred buildings to attract
beneficial spirits and bring good luck.
In China and Japan, wind chimes were also used in domestic buildings
and by the later 20th century their popularity had spread widely
among western countries. According to Chinese philosophy, "the
practice of Feng Shui"
(pronounced: fung shway) is intended to create a sense of
balance in your home and workplace by harmonizing the flow of
energy (called "chi") through the environment.
Wind chimes are often hung in doorways to help energy flow
and the rhythmical tinkling sounds made by the chimes moving
against each other are thought to have a healing effect on
both our bodies and minds.
In 19th century Japan, before the age of air-conditioning,
the tinkling of wind chimes (furin) hung from the eaves made
people feel cool in the sultry summer. A small rectangular
paper with a poem was attached to the clapper, not only to
catch the breeze, but also to give the chimes a literary tone.
A mobile is a hanging device that has moving parts
which twist and sway in the breeze whereas a wind chime also hangs and moves in the air, but
the moving parts of the chime, usually a series of metal or
wooden tubes, vibrate against each other and they make an
have been a popular decorative feature for several decades in
children's bedrooms, but their origin is actually in the world
of fine art. Mobiles are associated with Alexander Calder
(1898-1976), an American artist who was one of the founders of
Kinetic Sculpture. Calder experimented with hanging wire
constructions during the 1920's and by the 1930's was creating
suspended moving sculptures made out of delicately balanced
colored spheres and wires driven by a motor. His later,
wind-powered creations were made from fine wire tipped with
metal "sails" to catch the breeze.
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968),
a French artist, is thought to have coined the word "mobile"
to describe Calder's moving sculptures after seeing an
exhibition of them in Paris in 1932.
chimes in your yard will serenade garden creatures...
fairies and angels."