A collection of wearable bells designed by jewelry artist Gordon R. Barnett and cast in silver, bronze and gold.
Created for fashionable gifts and symbolic talismans… delightful in sight and sound, touching deeper sensory connections as well. Each bell rings its own story.
GRB Bells are cast using traditional lost wax methods along with many contemporary refinements in technology. They are brought to a rich finish with a jeweler’s skill, plus unusual care.
More than two decades ago an impulsive notion made a connection for me to the old-fashioned idea of a precious bauble which makes sound. I’ve come rather to believe that an ancient archetype wanted to live more lively again… if I hadn’t paid attention they would have found someone else… indeed, I am happy to know I am not alone in this enthrallment! My trail of more than 170 Bell designs makes probably the largest Collection in production by a single designer... Apparently, they are not finished with me yet!
I made the first Bell Design believing I could sell only one a year, as a limited edition, & that ONLY at Christmas..! Time showed me otherwise as the IDEA of bells kept ringing clearly true for me. They are about celebration in general, not just the “high holidays”. They celebrate all the hours of everyday… in many private ways. I am eclectic… my designs are responsive to many sources. I learn from historic style & numeric concept plus all sorts of fantasy… bringing a wide appreciation to new combinations older forms. Almost 30 years of carving wax has honed the skill required to realize the remarkable detail with a passion I know to be unusual. I thrive on the challenges from such diversity … I love learning to hold the threads of those concepts in a way that they can dialogue together & weave into new visual forms… each having a resonant voice!
After all of that… the music of bells, as I experience them, is simple magic. That is to say, I have little essential control over how they sound. I’ve tried to figure it out. I’ve come to appreciate how makers of more musical bells, like those used by hand bell choirs or in Carillons, work their craft to near perfection of tone… the traditionally shaped larger bells are the result of aeons of study in the musical resonance. But, I’m a miniaturist… a jeweler, a sculptor.
While I love the music of bells, & the physics of sound, I am first a visual artist… I must explore their aspects primarily in the visage of aesthetic form.