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The Periodic Musings of a Bellmaker

I have kept a journal for most of thirty years. There are then "those Letters". Some would seek & wish for more, while others have shrunk from, my history of writing & widely sharing "daunting" letters. For decades they were in a highly stylized & personal calligraphy written in India Ink with a technical pen, photocopied... for my archive & sometimes for sharing... it happens so automatically now, but at the time they were playing with the edges of privacy & proprietary. One day I would like to have a font mimicking that calligraphic style for my currently digitized writing... I intend to post open letters, some journal entries, & perhaps other writing to share on this page...

BIRTHING THE MOLDS…

GRB Bells recently participated in our VIVA [Vashon Island Visual Arts] Spring Tour the first two weekends of May. [Our Holiday Tour is the first two full weekends of December.] As part of the studio’s presentation I demonstrate wax injection, one part of the process of the bells’ manufacture which I am capable, within the constraints of time, to demonstrate simply. I am thus encouraged to explain here the process of making the mold into which the wax is…

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CROATIA-VENICE- AMSTERDAM… PART SIX…

While Amsterdam is another city built on an ancient system of canals, it could hardly be more different than Venice. The spatial aspects of both cities are unique in spite that each is flat to the sea. The Dutch, coming from the land, built yet more land. Venice… perching precariously on pilings anchoring only a few small unstable prehistoric islands, squatting in the shallows of a lagoon… Protected by all those walls we walked in Croatia… Venice arched inwardly upward, hoarding…

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CROATIA-VENICE-AMSTERDAM… PART FIVE: VENEZIA…

Our room has rich silk brocade on the walls in a stylishly remodeled building where Stephen had stayed a decade ago. It is smaller than expected… not the same upper room he thought he had reserved. But we have all of Venice… probably our favorite city… just below the window facing the facade of the church. On the hotel’s top floor is a sitting area offering chilled prosecco adjacent to a roof-top terrace overlooking Saint Stephen’s…

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CROATIA-VENICE-AMSTERDAM… PART FOUR: SPLIT…

The first morning in Split I was awakened early by several long peals of bells… I counted 100, then a bit later dozens more all around 6 or 7am! Those were soon followed by the brushing sound of a miniature street-cleaner…  soft humming whine of electric golf-cart-sized trucks… small enough to negotiate the narrow stone streets we walk, often brushing shoulders with other tourists. Squeals of their brakes… delivering goods or luggage or hauling trash? The ancient inner city of Diocletian’s palace…

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SILVER BELLS – CROATIAN BELLS – CELEBRATING HOLIDAY RESONANCE…

As I post about Croatia during this holiday season I’m poring through the 1,700 photos made on the trip & realizing how many images I made of bells. I suppose I was thinking of the requests I get to do slideshows at ABA conventions. [The American Bell Association is an international organization for bell collectors of which I’ve been a member for 30 years.] Of course the “silver bells” part notes my long time passion for making small bells, usually…

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