Anklet at the Bell Convention, 230611

June 25, 2011

We went to see the bells exhibited at the Bell Convention yesterday, because

Gordon Barnett

makes exquisitely-designed bells, and was exhibiting, too.

For photographs of the various kinds of bells we saw, go to my Facebook album …

click here

if you have a Facebook account.

Gordon told us that there were only two or three bell-makers, most of the delegates were bell-collectors. And he was no exception! As we walked around, we all drooled over one particularly well-wrought, chunky anklet…but it was Gordon who went ahead and bought it! Here it is, rather incongrously on his sock-and-sandal:

anklt flsh 230611

I took this one with the flash:

ankltnon flsh 230611

I do think that well-made jewellery is the poetry of adornment!

I learnt about mechanical bells (the kind we still see in Government offices in India, where the officer presses the button on top, and the bell goes “DINGGGG” to summon the peon), crotals (no, no, that is NOT scrotal spelt badly, but the shape is certainly ball-like…it is like the “maNi” we have on our bharatha nAtyam shalangai), and though I’ve seen ThanjAvur “thalai Atti bommai”, this was the first time I saw “nodders”…where the clapper of the bell, below, extended above the arch of the bell as the head of a nodding figure! Here’s a video I took of a nodder:

In another room, called the “Behold” room (where more bells were exhibited), there were several bells up for auction (people could write down their bids) and being raffled too.

We had a very enjoyable and informative evening, and though I am afraid I will never be an avid bell-collector (the bells didn’t “speak” to me the way some of the collectors described!), I did enjoy looking at the variety of bells.

Gordon tells me that from an attendance of 1400 people in 1977, numbers have rather dwindled to 170 or so this year.

You can go to Gordon’s blog if you

click here

I am still very curious about how these bells are packed and brought from all over the country, and abroad (there were delegates from several other countries, too)….but that must wait, I suppose!