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Cosanti Bells | Arcology Inspired Desert Decor

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Soleri Chimes In | ICONIC Cosanti Windbells

Photography by David Blakeman

David Blakeman
Artisanal craftsmanship and ethereal sound combine to support ecological sustainability at Paradise Valley’s Cosanti, founded by Paolo Soleri in 1965.

Paolo Soleri might find it slightly ironic that his anti-consumerism philosophy, so beautifully displayed at Paradise Valley’s Cosanti (an Arizona Registry of Historic Places property), is now supported by a consumer product. But the Italian-born Arizonan whose development name translates to “against things,” would likely approve of the resulting artisan community formed in his honor and based on his beliefs that humans can live in balance with nature—a concept he termed arcology (architecture + ecology.) And he would no doubt approve of the homage-like means by which his beliefs are sustained.

Soleri founded The Cosanti Foundation in 1965 (predating the Environmental Protection Agency and Earth Day) to advance his ‘ahead-of-its-time’ philosophy that communities can live more fully with less, with less detrimental impact on the ecology of the Earth. Today, with that philosophy more relevant than ever, The Cosanti Foundation continues to promote sustainability through experimental architecture and agriculture, the efforts of which are supported by the sale of Cosanti Windbells, modeled after the first ones cast by Soleri in 1955 with natural Arizona clay. 

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David Blakeman

The Italian-born Arizonan whose development name translates to “against things,” would likely approve of the resulting artisan community formed in his honor and based on his beliefs that humans can live in balance with nature—a concept he termed arcology (architecture + ecology.) And he would no doubt approve of the homage-like means by which his beliefs are sustained.

Cosanti

Handmade today in the same tradition, Cosanti ceramic windbells are cast directly into sandy soil or in plaster molds after which skilled artisans carve tribal patterns, figures, animals and designs inspired by nature before kiln-firing. The Cosanti bronze windbells are handcrafted with original techniques and traditional designs utilized at Cosanti for more than 65 years. A third collection, Cosanti Cause Bells, depict images that represent the cause that each windbell supports (i.e. an oak leaf for The Nature Conservancy and a dog for Canine Companions for Independence). 

For each purchase, Cosanti sends a portion of the proceeds to an annually selected nonprofit organization. Cosanti windbells are instantly recognizable as truly authentic Arizona desert décor, emblematic of the arrestingly imaginative Cosanti earth-casted structures and the sustainability that each symbolizes. Every Cosanti windbell chime harkens a greater good.

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Want to know exactly what each windbell style sounds like? Cosanti’s interactive website features audio of each.

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