Wednesday, August 26, 2015

For Whom the Bell Tolls

In addition to the molded carp, I was also able to purchase a large bell for the garden from the Portland Japanese Garden gift shop.

I have been considering some sort of ornamental bell for several years. I came  across many examples while visiting Japan this summer, both medium sized and huge, which further inspired me to consider the inclusion of a bell in my own garden. 







When I saw the bell  (below) on display at the gift shop, I was intrigued. The bell was the creation of Tom Torrens, a well known and respected sculptor. I liked the simple design and the bronze color. The bell did not resemble a traditional Bonsho (tsurigane) bell, or hanging bell, like the ones found in most Buddhist temples (pictured above). Instead, it reflected an arts & crafts style associated with the Pacific Northwest. Nevertheless it held some Asian inspired elements. 




More importantly, when I heard the tone of the bell, I was instantly convinced that this was the bell I was looking for. Watch the video below to hear what the bell sounds like:


Now I have to decide how to hang the bell. It weighs 18 pounds, so its a bit heavy. It came with a matching hook that mounts to an upright post, like a 4 x4. However, I am considering several options. Primarily, I would like the structure which holds the bell to have a roof, preferably four sided and similar to the fukihanachi style of Japanese bell towers.

Below are some examples of bell stands I have come across online:






The first three are obviously too large, while the last three could work. However, I was hoping for a four legged-roofed structure. It would have to be narrow and appropriately sized for the bell and the space where I intend to place it, most likely near the back door where it could act as a sort of door bell. I will spend a good part of the next few months planning and working on a design.

1 comment:

  1. Nice addition. I love the sound! Makes me want to immediately meditate! I like the last one for the tower. Just my unsolicited $0.02.

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