May 4th, 2021 Newsletter

May 4th, 2021 Newsletter

Artisanti E-Newsletter...

E-Newsletter of Cosanti Originals

Artful, One-of-a-Kind Gifts

Handmade Decor Pieces

and So Much More


May 4, 2021 Volume 9

What's the Story With...

The Cosanti square symbol stamped onto just about everything we handcraft?


Have you ever noticed the small square symbol on Cosanti Originals' handmade goods from bracelets to bells and everything in between? If so, maybe you've even looked more closely and wondered, "Are those letters? Is it a design? Does it spell something?"


The answer, in a word, is "yes." All of the above, in fact. The interlocking lines within the square are stylized letters that spell the word "Cosanti," a word created by blending two Italian words: cosa, meaning "thing," and anti, meaning "before." Interpreted together, the portmanteau is thought to express "something more important than things," and embody the philosophy of Cosanti founder, artist, and architect Paolo Soleri, one that de-emphasized what he saw in the 1950s as a growing trend of hyper-consumerism and mass production. Individually made by hand and with deliberate focus on craftsmanship, the artful windbells and other decor items Cosanti Originals is known for have always been a creative counterbalance to the American culture of consumerism.

Before logos were commonplace, artisans working in metals, especially jewelers and silversmiths, were stamping their work with symbols meant to convey the purity of the metal, the town in which the metal purity was certified, the maker, and the date. But the practice is not unique to metalsmithing as other industries and professions have used identifying marks as well. It was suggested that Soleri was inspired to develop his own "brand" mark after observing that Frank Lloyd Wright used a red square when signing his sketches and architectural drawings.


When Soleri was an apprentice at Taliesin West, Wright and his students made seasonal caravan trips between Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona and Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin in pursuit of temperate weather all year-round for the architectural school where much of the instruction was done out-of-doors. En route to Wisconsin in the spring of 1948, as the group passed through New Mexico, Soleri sketched his Cosanti square mark logo for the first time into his Taliesin student sketchbook. 

Iterations of Frank Lloyd Wright's red square mark

Iterations of various marks used by Paolo Soleri

What inspired both Wright and Soleri to adopt a distinctive symbol? While the answer is unknown, some think it was likely the distinctive red signature seals that at one time were commonly used in Japan. Traditional craftsmen there used unique symbols to identify the work they'd created without having to write one's entire name on the pieces they made.


Over the more than 65 years that Cosanti Originals artisans have been handcrafting windbells, jewelry, pots, and other beautiful decor pieces, the Cosanti square mark logo has become a kind of “maker’s mark.” It is used with pride on almost all of our products, even the smallest bells and sterling silver jewelry pieces, identifying each as being authentically a "Cosanti original" individually handcrafted in our time-honored tradition.

Photo credits, top to bottom: Jessica Jameson Photo, David Blakeman, Paolo Soleri Archives at Arcosanti, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Paolo Soleri Archives at Arcosanti, Jessica Jameson Photo

Vote for Cosanti Originals! Phoenix Magazine's "Best of the Valley" Awards are here!

Thank you to everyone who nominated Cosanti Originals for Phoenix Magazine's 2021 Best of the Valley Awards and helped us make it onto the coveted Reader's Choice ballot!


Now through May 21st, cast your vote for Cosanti Originals in the category of "Shopping: Best Outdoor Decor." We think you'll agree that "Best in the Valley Winner" has a nice ring to it!

Cast Your Vote for Cosanti Originals

Photo credit: Jessica Jameson Photo

Shop the Entire Collection of Bells for a Cause


Just Hanging Around

Cosanti Windbells Proudly Featured on Recent Valley Garden Tour

On a recent April Saturday, a selection of Cosanti Originals windbells and rain chains were displayed in beautiful backyard of a lovely Paradise Valley home as part of Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine's sell-out event: The Annual Garden Tour.


Gracefully suspended from the spreading branches of a mesquite tree, several bells and rain chains (some part of the homeowner's personal collection!) wowed tour-goers who were taking in the gorgeous grounds and sparkling swimming pool of this outdoor oasis.


Never underestimate the power of a great backyard! From wide open spaces to happy places, capture that sunny state of mind for yourself with Cosanti Originals decor...handmade here in Arizona.

Artisanti Editor & Creative Director: Kelly Bird

Contributing Writer: Chloe Sykes

Graphic Designer: Jesca Wales

Header and footer photo credit: Jessica Jameson Photo