August 10th, 2021 Newsletter

August 10th, 2021 Newsletter

Castle Hot Springs...Cool and Coastal Vibes...Cosanti's Yale Connection


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Artful, One-of-a-Kind Gifts

Handmade Decor Pieces

and So Much More


August 10, 2021 Volume 16

Finding The Keys to the Castle

Restored Sculptural Bell Mobile Adds an Artful Element to Resort Known for its Restorative Waters


Located at the northwest tip of Lake Pleasant in the Bradshaw Mountains, the steamy, restorative waters at Castle Hot Springs have attracted people to it for over two hundred years. Among the earliest visitors were Native Americans, followed much later by gold miners.


Celebrities and prominent public figures have also visited. Filling the guest register in the early part of the 19th century are familiar names of industry magnates like the Rockefellers, Astors, and Vanderbilts. President Teddy Roosevelt even stayed at Castle Hot Springs Resort for the dedication of the Roosevelt Dam and in the 1940's, the resort's restorative waters made it the ideal rehabilitation spot for wounded soldiers during World War II, one of whom was future president John F. Kennedy.

A True Barn Find


Antique hunters call them barn finds: the classic cars or highly desirable and rare objects that have fallen off the radar of collectors but end up being discovered in a barn or an outbuilding on properties that likely haven't changed hands in several decades.


The sculptural bell mobile was originally owned by Mrs. Russ Lyon, Jr., who purchased the impressive bronze art piece in 1979 from Cosanti Originals. Where it hung or where it went over the next 39 years, is unknown. Fast forward to 2018 when the large sculptural bell mobile was discovered in pieces in a barn, far from the toney enclave of Paradise Valley where it had been cast. How did it get there?


The new owners of Castle Hot Springs contacted Cosanti Originals for help in figuring out how the disassembled sculptural bell mobile should be put back together, what elements (if any) were missing, and how the large art piece might be best displayed on their grounds.


A grainy black and white photo of the hanging sculpture was found among the files at Cosanti Originals and artisans Corey Rosen and Jeff Hildebrandt began the complex renovation and reassembly of the piece based upon it. Once the sculptural bell mobile was finished,

an artisan team helped to install the impressive sculptural mobile on a nature trail between the resort’s luxury casitas and famed hot springs. There, its serene bell sounds mix with the babbling brooks and streams, adding an artful element to this luxurious Southwest oasis.

Photo credits (from top): Jessica Jameson, Courtesy Castle Hot Springs Resort, Jessica Jameson, Courtesy Castle Hot

Springs Resort

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Full-Scale Yale at Cosanti This Summer

Whatever ideas you might have about what students at the Yale School of Architecture do upon graduation or during summer breaks, chances are “working with artisans at Cosanti Originals” didn’t instantly come to mind. Earlier this spring, recent Yale graduate Amanda Hu began an apprenticeship with Originals ceramicist Spencer Smith while last month, Josh Greene, a graduate student at Yale, did an internship in the Cosanti foundry. “I was excited to come back to Arizona and re-learn the desert,” Josh says, “to get energized, motivated, and inspired by it.”


Amanda grew up in Arizona around some of the most influential architecture of the 20th century. “My family actually lived at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West,” says Amanda. Her father, Scottsdale architect Bing Hu, was an apprentice at Taliesin in the late '80s, learning the ins and outs of organic architecture, much like Paolo Soleri did a few decades earlier. Amanda was looking forward to staying on the East Coast after graduating from Yale in 2019 and forging her own career in architecture. But, when the pandemic hit, her plans were upended. In September 2020, Amanda’s dad called with a job offer: to manage the restoration of a historic property he co-owned: the David Wright House in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona. So, Amanda moved back to Arizona and got to work on the high-profile project, and also began looking for a creative outlet that existed outside of her new job. “For a few hours a week, I wanted to get my hands dirty and create something,” says Amanda. Since December, she’s been making ceramic tiles where the meticulous nature of what it takes to individually create each one came as a surprise to Amanda. “It taught me patience… and that it’s fun to squish my hands into clay,” she said with a laugh.

Josh also grew up in Arizona and points to an insightful visit to Arcosanti as his inspiration for becoming an architect. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2017 with his undergraduate degree in Architecture and shortly after, Josh moved to Kigali, Rwanda where he spent three years designing various schools and hospitals for a local nonprofit. After his transformative experience in Rwanda, Josh decided to continue his education at the Yale School of Architecture. Working outdoors, within the otherworldly structures and buildings at Cosanti has been an amazing experience for Josh who describes his time at Cosanti as “all fun.” He’s had the chance to try out each step of the bell-making process, from carving to casting, and finishing assembling, and was surprised at how labor-intensive making a single windbell can be. “It was eye-opening,” says Josh. “Every artisan has their own style or designs they favor...when I was carving my patterns, I was told to find inspiration from the architecture. I developed an eye for detail by just walking around Cosanti, learning to translate those iconic lines and curves into my designs on windbells,” he says.

For both of these young architects with Yale ties, an appreciation for creativity and experimentation brought them to Cosanti. “The notion of ‘learning by doing’ has always been a part of the Cosanti Originals culture,” says General Manager Vickie Mayer. “Soleri recruited architectural students to build Cosanti’s experimental architecture. He attracted artists, too, to learn how to make the windbells we’ve become known for.” Amanda agrees. “We are all just trying to make beautiful objects to add to this world,” she says, “whether a tile, a windbell, or a house, really, it’s all the same.”


Photo credits: David Blakeman

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Artisanti Editor & Creative Director: Kelly Bird

Contributing Writer: Chloe Sykes

Graphic Designer: Jesca Wales

Header and footer photo credit: Jessica Jameson Photo