A while back a lady from Port Townsend asked me to makes a set of four matching hooks. She wanted to put two hanging baskets on either side of the entrance to her bungalow. She couldn't find anything in the local "big box" store that had any character. She was also very particular as to the length of each long hook.
It was a project that I knew I was going to have fun with and I was all over it. It was fairly wide open and really a hook is a very straight forward devise that easily succeeds. Conceptually I gravitated towards the idea of a vine. We used to have this native clematis vine that got into a holly tree and went crazy. It was ascetically beautiful but it was chocking the life out of the poor holly. We were forced to cut it back severely. But I still missed the way it looked. My new hook for the potted plants was to borrow that twisted vine look.
Trying to satisfy my customer...I made many of these vine hooks in various lengths and hung them one under the other suspended from the gutter on our house so I wouldn't forget to take them to the street fair the next Saturday. As soon as I hung the up and stepped back I realized that I had made a "rain chain". The lady with the bungalow was delighted and took all the hooks I had made.
Since this is the year that I decided that I was going to start keeping and using my own art in my own yard, I have made a bunch more of what we now call the "rain chain" link. I have been using these "rain chain" links all over the yard. Really, they don't do anything that a bent coat hanger wouldn't do...but they sure do look better. I particularly like them chained together and hung under the Maple tree out back like a vine. It's like a vine that never dies and never grows. And a vine that never dies is cool but (since our adventure with the native clematis and the holly tree) a vine that never grows is way better.
I have since discovered that if you open up the hooks at the ends...the links will fit over the outside of the rain gutter. This makes them absolutely fantastic for positioning bird feeders and the like so they are squared up in front of a window and close up enough so you can watch
those little scamps playing around. You also get the added advantage of being able to easily move them around without putting a bunch of drill holes under your eaves.
So just about now you are asking yourself...this has been a nice little story ...but what about the "splash" that was promised in the title? Well Dungeness Studios is in Dungeness, Washington and we only get about 9 inches of rain a year. So this "rain chain" works great for us. But I wanted to test it out in heavier rain conditions before offering it to other people as a "rain chain". So I climbed out on the roof and using the water hose I ran a bunch of water into the gutter to see how it worked with a real "toad choker" of a rain. It unfortunately, was a splashy failure in heavy rain. But it still works great here in the "blue hole" rain shadow and I love them as decorative hooks. We are always finding another way to use them and would love to hear how you are using yours. By the way, The finches love to sit on the different loops in the vine as they work their way down to their turn at the feeder.