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Whilst visiting Cold Spring School in New Haven, I spotted a rather fetching item in the outdoor space – a rain chain. The purpose of a rain chain is to allow water to run off a length of guttering and to trickle into a specific place below but to do so in a decorative way. It can be used to replace a down pipe. In this instance it was a water butt – however this could be a drain in the ground or a soakaway such as gravel.

The children and their teacher, Laura Sheinkopf, had created this functional sculpture using collected sea glass and wire. A quick search on Pinterest brought up many other possibilities including:

  • Chain links
  • Pine cones
  • Metal buckets
  • Plastic cable ties
  • Unwanted cookie cutters – plastic or metal
  • Copper items
  • Old cutlery
  • Spare keys
  • Shower hooks
  • Soda bottles

Common sense says the plastic versions are more likely to fade and disintegrate sooner than other varieties. There’s lots of instructions about how to make them if you do a quick online search.

I’m rather fascinated by the potential of rain chains to add interest and variety to water walls that children make. I feel a little summer project coming on…

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