Saturday, March 14, 2009

Arcosanti Artifact

When I was in Arizona a few days ago, I hoped to visit the desert town of Arcosanti, but there just wasn't enough time.

Arcosanti is possibly the first city designed around the concept of sustainability. It is the life work of visionary architect Paolo Soleri. The city is entirely hand-built (it won't be completed in our lifetime) by volunteers and funded by donations and by the sale of cast bronze bells, designed by Soleri.
When I got home my Aunt Barb called. Barb has visited Arcosanti several times and met Paolo Soleri. I told her I was disappointed not to make it there and we talked about Soleri's idea that the city should face outward to the farms that sustained it.

So, it seemed especially serendipitous that the very next morning when I made a quick stop at Savers, I found this Arcosanti bell! What are the chances of that? The bell has a piercingly beautiful, clear tone. I hung it from the windmill tower, together with the Arcosanti bell Aunt Barb gave me many years ago and the more elaborate one Sara and Rog brought home after their father-daughter backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon when she was fourteen.

That's two unusual bells in a row (see previous post)...Coincidence?

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Good Reason to Get a Water Buffalo

Yesterday I found the coolest bell at Goodwill! Well, I guess you call it a bell, despite the fact that it is hand-carved from wood and makes more of a clattering than a ringing sound. It has two hinged external clappers.

It looked sort of southeast Asian to me, but I could envision it worn by one of my hoped-for Icelandic sheep. It would also make a terrific percussion instrument for the musicians in the family.

I searched the internet last night trying to learn its origin. I only found two references to a similar bell: one was an image of a cow in Thailand wearing a bell much like this, and the other was a description of a wooden bell with two exernal clappers used on water buffalo. Hmmm...water buffalo might be good on a small sustainable farm...