Former landscape designer and country innkeeper Daryl Johnson began creating his Wind Echoes chimes and sculptures on a beautiful fall weekend in the mid-1990’s. Johnson and his wife, Erni, then innkeepers at the Hannah Dudley House Inn in Leverett, MA were taking a rare afternoon off to visit a sculpture gallery in the western part of the state. There, while viewing an outdoor exhibit, they came across a large metal sculpture positioned on a secluded wooded path. As a gentle breeze stirred the metal components, soft, melodic reverberations filled the autumn air, and they both knew the creative juices were flowing in Daryl’s mind.
Soon he began sketching designs in every spare moment. Early chimes were made from such objects as an old firehouse bell, horse shoes, pipes of all sizes and compositions, a 16 pound shot put, and even an old sewer pipe. Twisted wooden branches often served as hangers. Wind Echoes’s evolution officially began with the construction of a truly wonderful creation using an antique wagon wheel rim nearly five feet in diameter with 13 heavy steel pipes hung within. The chime was the inspiration for the current widely used Wind Echoes logo. One-of-a-kind chimes and sculptures are now part of Johnson’s repertoire, and comprise an unusual artistic balance to many of his smaller, simpler garden-size creations.
Despite his relatively recent entrance into the field of sculpture, Daryl Johnson is no stranger to either the art world, or to the metal working industry. His father was skilled at metalworking from the 1930s until his death in the early 80’s, and his mother, once a talented ballerina, spent most of her adult life at the other end of a paintbrush. In addition to working through numerous traditional art media over the years, Johnson also spent some 15 years designing and building home landscape areas. His wind chimes and sculptures are designed to both complement and enhance these type of settings with which he became so familiar during those years. Now living in Barnstable, MA on Cape Cod, Johnson has incorporated his and his wife’s love of the sea into both the sound and sight of his newest creations.
Daryl Johnson takes pride in the fact that each and every one of his chimes is hand crafted to blend with any aspect of a landscape setting, translating each captured breath of wind into gentle expressions of nature. Wind will forever creep around every corner, and Johnson’s wind sculptures will be there to enjoy and reflect its music.