This small bell is made of forged brass. Brass is a metal that possesses a high degree of resonance and has been primarily considered a voice, such as the voice of a canon or a bell, both of which are powerful. Brass was a sacred metal that was used to make instruments of worship from antiquity to Buddhism and Christianity. This strong metal was the symbol of incorruptibility and immortality as well as unswerving justice.
The bell has been considered an echo of some primordial vibration, the symbol of heavenly voices, princely music and a standard of universal harmony. The bell represents communication between heaven and earth and it is considered wisdom as opposed to law. The bell has been seen in some cultures as a divine protective voice that invokes celebration and awakens the soul.
The base of the bell is composed of fifteen dentals representing the graduation year. In numerology 15 represents positive change, independence, sensibility, creativity, the teaching of others, and the energy of love. The number 15 is considered a message that reminds us to maintain our thoughts and aspirations on our goals in order to manifest our highest ideals.
The ceramic bead that rings the bell is completely composed of clay that I pinched from each one of the student’s sculptures that were in progress. I also took the letters that they write the first day of the academic year that declared their goals and aspirations and cut a strip from each letter and ceremoniously burned them. Fire is a symbol of rebirth, purification, transformation and knowledge that penetrates and illuminates. It is essential in rites of initiation because it purifies or transforms the old, allowing the new to be born. Once burned, I took the ashes of the letters and mixed them into the clay that forms the beads. The ceramic beads were glazed in white to represent integrity, purity and new beginnings.