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Jingle Crotals…

JINGLE BELLS… are they wrong? Please, don’t get me wrong too! I’m just an artist, a maker of resonant small silver bells who loves also to play with words… in this case the Latin word CROTAL, which means rattle. Thus, all “jingle bells”… because they have a pebble or bead rattling loosely inside them to make the sound, are actually Crotals… unlike bells, which have attached clappers. Most ”sleigh bells” are thus also crotals! So… lets sing this…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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