Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tubular temple bell - for peace

In an earlier post I indicated that I was creating a tubular message bell for the ALaW 2010 challenge. I started with the idea of randomly attaching the letters to the pipes I found. But in the end it evolved into something a little more meaningful.
I decided to create some quietness and temple related words using the vowels. I came up with: pax (peace), joy, zen, hum, and lit (light) to be attached to five pipes. I decided on an odd number of pipes for the bell - so why not the sacred number 7. The left over letters were used to embellish two other pipes. The word pipes are the central five. The peace pipe is in the centre.
Initially I had thought of a making wind chime but the combination of brass and black pipes made me think of a Japanese temples. So I decided to suspend the pipes in a black stand like a gong in a temple. This of course meant that the form of the pipes needed to structured as well as looking good. The letters are riveted to the pipes with six black rivets each. The words curl around the pipes with each letter offset from the other by a half turn. This results in glimpses of different letters rather than having the words all standing out too plainly - one has to look for the words.
All the time I made the piece I was conscious that I knew nothing about tones, pipe lengths - so would it be all form and no function (no quiet harmonious sounding gong)?

The piece (Tubular Bell for Peace) took quite a while to execute but I am happy with the finished product. And the good news is that the pipes do make a lovely sound both when struck singly and when the touch each other. I like the idea that when one strikes a pipe with the word on it that a little vibration of that word might go out into the world. And when all five word pipes are gonging what a combined message.


  1. I've been thinking about these since you first posted... loved them then, but was trying to think up a couple of words... what you have created is very similar to something i imagined. Did i pick up your thoughts or you mine... was it already out there just waiting for someone to find? How the Muse works. More wonder. S

  2. S - glad we are on the same wavelength - it is good that these thoughts are out there swuirling around to be found and at time to be given another spin along. B

  3. I love the words chosen and the tube pipes creating bells-- creating harmony and 'music'..


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.