Ages ago, I worked on a really big conference down in Scottsdale. Thousands of people to get in and out of sessions, lots of VIPs, and really no end to the stress and the hours of work that went into it. At the end of the event, I was gifted a small bronze bell by one of the slave drivers who brought me down there to work. The bell was a funky, lumpy affair but I loved the tone of the chime and the patina. I brought it home and hung it on my East Village fire escape, where it was promptly stolen and probably sold as scrap metal.
Lucky for me, I tracked down Paolo Soleri at his workshop Cosanti. He is in his 90's now and a highly respected architectural genius, and he and his elves still hand-make all the bells. It's a lovely place- all the structures on the sprawling property are hand-made, organic designs and blend nicely with the desert surroundings. There are shady paths and gardens to stroll around, and so many bells. So. Many. Bells. Bronze and ceramic and brass. Small bells, enormous bells, clusters of bells. When a nice breeze blows through the compound, the sound is just incredible. It's magic.
The grounds are open to the public. Oddly enough, we encountered no one person locally who knew about this place. Even if you aren't that into bells, it's lovely to meander around and drink in the peace.
This time, I'll be hanging my new bell up with a heavy duty padlock and chain. Just in case.