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Cosanti Originals Windbells
designed by architect, Paolo Soleri
“If you had told me fifty years ago that I would build my activities from the proceeds of windbells, I would have said you were crazy.” Paolo Soleri
The man who created and designs the bells is Paolo Soleri, born in Turin, Italy in 1919.
After receiving his Architectural degree in Italy, he came to the United States in 1947 and spent a year and a half with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West in Arizona, and at Talieson East in Wisconsin. During this time, he gained international recognition for a bridge design which was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art.
Returning to Italy in 1950, he was commissioned to build a large ceramics factory, “Ceramica Artistica Solimene.” During this project, he became familiar with the processes of the ceramics industry and these skills eventually enabled him to create his award-winning designs of ceramic and bronze windbells as well as the siltcast architectural structures for which he is now famous.
In 1956, Soleri returned to the U.S. with his family and settled in Scottsdale, Arizona. At that time, he and his wife Colly, made a life-long commitment to pursue his noted architectural and urban planning research, and they established the Cosanti Foundation. Today, the Foundations' primary areas of work are education, hosting cultural conferences and performing arts events, and ensuring the ongoing construction of Arcosanti.
Arcosanti is the Foundation’s major project. Designed by Soleri, it is an experimental town in the high desert of Arizona, 70 miles north of metropolitan Phoenix. Under construction since 1970, Arcosanti will house 5000 people when completed, and demonstrate ways to improve urban conditions and lessen our destructive impact on the earth. The project is based on Soleri’s concept of “Arcology”, architecture coherent with ecology.
For over 30 years, the proceeds from the windbells have provided funds for maintaining the Cosanti facilities, and to ensure ongoing construction to complete and test this theoretical work. Arcosanti is visited by 1000’s of visitors each year. So, when you purchase a Cosanti bell at Elysian Fields, you have not only purchased a work of art, you have contributed to a great cause!