13 November 2008


In my last post I talked about the experience of going to a place you've spent so much time at, and seeing it through a new lens (in this case, the camera lens). Cosanti is a place that's always been just a few minutes drive from my grandparent's place, but somehow I've managed to never go there.

Cosanti is where they make the Soleri bells, which are amazing. But it's also sort of an artist's colony, and sustainable community. The buildings sort of made me feel like I was on Tatooine (I know, I'm a bit of a Star Wars nerd, blame my older brother). Each building was in itself a work of art, yet at the same time, they all fit so perfectly into the desert landscape.

Photographs of the bells were not allowed (though photographs of the buildings are), and I definitely felt like I was respecting that request as I was shooting (certainly I was happier to respect that request than the no photos rule at the cupcake place the day before). Clearly, after I got my film back, I saw that the bells made an appearance. Oh well, they weren't the focus.

I could have spent hours wandering around and touching each and every one of the hundreds of bells they had on display all over the grounds. But, it was hot, and people were ready to go. I'll definitely be going back there the next time I'm in town.

Cosanti has a "sister" site further out in the desert, called Arcosanti, that is focused on sustainable architecture and design. Given all the crazy growth and development that's going on in Arizona, it's heartening to know that there are some people who are thinking about ways to continue that growth in a sustainable and harmonious fashion.

Oh yeah, and it was obviously just beautiful there too.


  1. How amazing! I'm slowly making a list of places to explore in the Southwest, and this clearly needs to be on it.

  2. Cosanti is the original architecture and sculpture studio of Italian architect Paolo Soleri. If you really want to get some great photos, you should visit Arcosanti, Soleri's main educational project, an urban laboratory. Arcosanti offers guided tours daily (except major holidays) and other visitor's services. Soleri bronze and ceramic bells are also made and sold at Arcosanti.