The Commitment Bell

 2014-03-14 09.17.33


7’9’’x 8’3”x 4’9” open house like structure encasing in the center a 26 pound bronze bell 12in x 11.5in diameter. Roof is made of tin material, side walls are made of cedar wood, only 2 sides. Platform is of brick and concrete, reinforced with steel linings.  Bronze bell is placed in the middle of the structure, inserted inside an aluminum/bronze cylinder and a steel rod runs through the sidewalls, the metal cylinder and the bell.  The steel rod is used as a turning rod to sound the bell.   The structure is placed next to the Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory on the westside of the building.  The structure is to engage the public to involve a physical action of rotating the handle not by one person but two people.  The visitors would step on to the brick/concrete platform; one person on each side would grasp the handle.  Two people are to form a synchronize work to turn the handle forward and lift the 26lb bronze bell by rotating into a full upward circle where the force of gravity will create a downward speed and will ring the bell.  Sound of the bell confirms the unity of work.

I chose the tin material for the roof to create the sound of calming effect when the rain falls, also it is lightweight and weather resistant.  The cedar wood for the sidewalls are selected for its strength, durability and slow deterioration.  The combination medals of aluminum/bronze are picked for its weather resistant strength and being environmentally safe which will not breakdown and contaminate the environment.  The bronze bell is preferred for its unique character sound over brass and also bronze is durable and weather resistant.  Sound of the bell will be muffled by the conservatory building acting as a barrier and will not have any harmful effect to the wetlands’ inhabitants.

commitment bell

commitment bell location

The prices for the items selected are researched and presented.


Estimated Total cost: ~$3400 – $5000 (consideration of the fluctuation of price of labor and demand of supplies)

 Artist Statement:

I call it the “Commitment Bell.”  I want the people come to the Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory and feel the sense of empowerment to change for the better.  When there is a new change in their lives such as new love, graduating from college, new job, new family, and even death in the family, this bell is to represent commitment to oneself and to other for the better.  The students can come down when they might have done badly in their studies, they can come to sound the bell and commit to do better.   The physical act of rotating the handle,  hearing the sound of the bell and feeling the vibration of the bell sound are working together to transfer the energy of empowerment to the persons rotating the handle.  Once the energy has transferred on to them, the individuals interacting with the Commitment Bell have confirmed the commitment. The commitment is to change for the better.

This “Commitment Bell” is also to represent unity, requiring two people to rotate the handle.  It is to support and encourage one another, acquiring each other’s the source of strength.  The circle (cylinder tube) outside of the bell symbolizes earth and that we the people are to help those around the world globally who are vulnerable.  We are to change to make the world better for all living inhabitants locally and globally.

 Materials used:

Platform – Concrete – brick layer on top of concrete  platform.  The concrete platform would be 1 foot in height and reinforced with steel frames if necessary.


Side wall – cedar wood, known for durability and slow deterioration.

cedar wood

 Roof – Tin material, lightweight, known for roofing material, sound of rain on a tin roof brings forth soothing and calming effect.

tin roof

Polished Steel Rod 1.5in diameter x 72 in length

iron rod

 M19 – $ 949.00 Why Bronze is the Best for Bell Makingbrass vs bronzeOur bells are made from pure bell bronze. The words “brass” and “bronze” are often used interchangeably, but they are very different metals.  Both are alloys and both contain a lot of copper – but that is where the similarities end.Comparatively, brass is a very soft metal. For example, it is used for plumbing fixtures because it is easy to work with and easily tooled. Brass is not as hard as bronze.  Brass  is also prone to corrosion, so most plumbing fixtures are coated with another metal such as chrome to make it more durable.  You will find that a brass bell does not sound as pure as a bronze bell.  Brass bells have kind of a “clangy” or “brassy” sound to them.Bronze on the other hand is very hard and can last forever.  In fact, there are several grades of bronze. A type called  admiralty bronze was used for cannons and is used for propellers on boats.

Bell Bronze is the purest type of bronze in the bronze family.  There is no contamination from other metals in the alloy.  This is the reason that a bronze bell gives you such perfect tone and clarity.


6 responses to “The Commitment Bell

  1. Great! I like your idea when I first saw the art piece model. After reading your research for materials and detailed concept, I definitely appreciate what you have done and I hope others can get your idea of working together to make a better world too.

  2. Your design is amazing and thoughtful. You have considered a lot on the budget and materials, and this is a full-fledged plan. I really like the tin material which you used for the roof to create the sound of calming effect when the rain falls, it makes the bell has different sound for different weather.

  3. Great work. I really like your work and how the engagement work. People will be attracted because they can play with it together.

  4. I have tried to edit the location part. It’s actually going to be on the westside of the conservatory so the sound will not disturb the wetlands due to the building acting as the barrier of the sound waves.

  5. I really like the overall design. It reminds me of one of the temples in Japan. I love how you include senses into this sculpture. Sound of bell, vibration as you turn the bell and the shapes of design.
    Also I think the main concept “the sense of empowerment to change for the better” is really powerful especially for college students. For freshmen, it would be being more responsible and trying to figure out what they want for their future. And for seniors who are close to graduation, it would be getting ready to go to the real world, planning for the future.

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing your art work.

  6. Your project is well thought through, and I really like that you included every small detail. I think the key aspect of your project is that two people have to turn the handle to make the bell ring, rather than just one person, because it forces the users to cooperate, think, and “commit.” The tin material is a great choice for the roof, because it really is the best relaxing sound when it rains, and very durable/weather resistant. I like that it is named a “commitment bell,” because it’s enjoyable to have that final sense of “official” when there is a commitment, like a graduation or a relationship, by hearing that strong tone of the bell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s