June 15th, 2021 Newsletter

June 15th, 2021 Newsletter

Artisanti E-Newsletter...Like Father, Like Son...Work It Girl!...The Soleri Solstice Connection


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June 15, 2021 Volume 12

Like Father, Like Son: Larry and Buzz


Foundry artisan Buzz Golsh looks and acts the part - tattoos, spiky hair in a bandana, and a free-spirited attitude. You can almost imagine a punk rock rebelliousness, that coupled with his artistic ability, is what led Buzz to Cosanti. But actually, his path is a lot more like following in his father’s footsteps. With Father’s Day approaching, we thought it was the perfect time to tell the unique story of Buzz and his dad, Larry and their Cosanti connection.

As an ASU fine arts student in his 20’s, Larry Golsh first came to Cosanti in 1969 as an apprentice. He was assisting Paolo Soleri with the logistics of organizing a sculpture exhibition that was to travel to several major art museums in the U.S. and Canada. He decided to stay on after Soleri’s museum exhibition concluded, making bronze windbells in the foundry.


“Obviously, I loved being around art, learning new art forms, making art so Cosanti felt like the right place for me to grow as an artist myself,” says Larry. “I was always, always seeking out other artists to learn from.” Around this time, Larry met Hopi jeweler Charles Loloma, and the relationship inspired Larry's interest in jewelry design.

As Larry was pursuing his jewelry career and working in Cosanti’s foundry, Larry’s son, Buzz, then a small boy, was often seen running around Cosanti’s grounds. “I have vague memories of going to some weird place where my dad was and then going swimming,” Buzz recalled with a laugh. “It was not an intentional plan, this following in my dad’s footsteps, but almost 20 years later, here I am,” said Buzz, adding “I felt like I already belonged here.”


Larry especially likes the eclectic designs Buzz carves into his bells. Many of his son’s windbells are in his huge personal collection. It’s no wonder, really, as Buzz uses many of the same carving tools that Larry had used when he worked in the foundry, giving their carvings a similar look and feel. “I like to go old school and mimic my dad’s old designs,” Buzz says. 

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These days, Larry likes to drop in at Cosanti to visit Buzz and reconnect with a part of his past. He considers his time at Cosanti Originals to be a catalyst for thinking creatively about new possibilities, like how he could be both a sculpture student and a foundry artisan, then pivot again and become a jewelry designer.


Says Larry, “It’s an amazing place where you’re encouraged to be creative, to be inspired by your surroundings and the people you’re with...all this stuff in here. I mean, it's just so creative. It's just so neat. Not everyone has that experience in their lifetime, to work in a setting like this with this kind of culture. I'm glad Buzz is here, creating, continuing this cool work I once did.” Buzz agrees. “We have a lot in common besides being father and son,” says Buzz, “I am honored to have this shared connection with him.”

Photo credits (top to bottom): Jessica Jameson, Larrygolsh.com, Jessica Jameson, Chloe Sykes

Work It, Girl!

Many people think of foundry work as traditionally being a man's job.

But at Cosanti Originals, women have held positions as foundry artisans many times over the years, pouring, carving, machining, and assembling... alongside their fellow male artisans.


On May 21st, Cosanti's first-ever all-female bronze pour took place and we all came out to watch, cheering on apprentice artisan Rebecca (left) and master artisan Celeste (right) as they performed the careful choreography of casting bronze windbells before sharing a laugh and a hug.


Fun fact: while this all-female bronze pour at Cosanti was a first in its 66-year history, it was not the first ever in Cosanti Originals history. That feat happened at Arcosanti's bronze foundry first.

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Sun Seeker: The Soleri Bridge

Marking Solstice in the Valley of the Sun

On June 21st, the summer solstice will enliven the Soleri Bridge, just 6 miles away from Cosanti, along the waterfront in Scottsdale at the recently renamed Solstice Park. Designed to mark the solstice (fun fact: the summer solstice also happened to be his birthday), artist and architect Paolo Soleri precisely designed the structure there to interact with the sun, much the same way other significant built structures, like Stonehenge, have for centuries.


The Soleri Bridge

Though Soleri had been designing bridges since 1948, the City of Scottsdale was the first in the world to commission and construct one of his provocative designs. Coordinated by Scottsdale Public Art and dedicated in 2010, the Soleri Bridge and surrounding plaza features monolithic silt cast panels and the same slanted "drizzle walls" seen throughout Cosanti.


The bridge is 130 feet long and 27 feet wide on the south side, narrowing to 18 feet on the north. Rising six stories, a pair of brushed steel tubular pylons are anchored by steel cables to the bridge and the two-story bell tower. Designed as a “solar calendar,” the bridge is aligned on a true north-south axis so that daily, precisely at solar noon (which can vary as much as 40 minutes from 12 noon) when the sun is at its highest in the sky, the six-inch gap between the large modernist-style pylons casts a shaft of light onto the plaza and bridge deck extending across the canal.


Angled at exactly 80 degrees, the pylons cast no shadows at solar noon on June 21st, the summer solstice - the longest day of the year. The opposite is true on December 21st. Being the winter solstice (and also the shortest day of the year), the shaft of light projected at solar noon is the longest, extending down the bridge across to the other side. A red-painted line symbolizes this path of the sunlight.


What Exactly is the Solstice?

Scientifically, the solstice relies on the fact that the earth is tilted on its axis and is defined by the exact moment in time when three key things occur simultaneously: the North Pole is angled closest to the sun, the sun appears farthest north relative to the stars from Earth; the sun passes straight overhead at noon along the Tropic of Cancer (approx. 23.5° north of the equator). As a result, both hemispheres spend six months of the year tilted towards the sun, and the other half tilted away. This gives us the experience of seasons on Earth. When the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, it receives radiation at a more direct angle, leading to warmer temperatures and the summer season. In winter, the reverse is true.

Architecture and the Solstice

Stonehenge, the megalithic site built in England between 3,000 and 1,600 BC, is one of the most well-known examples of a sacred structure aligned with the summer solstice. It’s actually aligned with various astronomical events, but if you stand among the stones and face northeast on the summer solstice, you’ll see the sun rise directly above the Heel Stone.


As solar observatories go, Stonehenge is in good company. Egypt’s Temple of Amun at Thebes (2,000 BCE to 100 CE), Peru's Thirteen Towers at Chanquillo (circa 350 BCE), and Mexico’s Temple of Kukulcan (built 600-1,200 CE) at Chichen Itza are other examples of structures built to be aligned to various solar events, including the summer solstice.


Mankind's fascination with incorporating the solstice into architecture wasn't just a preoccupation of the ancients. Built more recently is a Romanesque cathedral in Saint-Lizier, France, where the windows in the side apses align with the solstices (and equinoxes) ...and, of course, the Soleri Bridge right here in Scottsdale, Arizona.




Images top to bottom: Jessica Jameson, English-Heritage.org.uk, Wikipedia, and Chichenitza.com

Shop Our Collection of Artisan-Made Windbells Here
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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