Ann Arbor Artist Spotlight: Custom Bell Creator Bradley Cross

 
 

For 49 years, Harmony Hollow Bell Works has handcrafted bronze wind bells, chimes and other pieces of indoor and outdoor art designed to adorn patios, porches balconies and yards. Many are themed to celebrate and commemorate life events.

Owner and metal artist Bradley Cross learned the craft from his older brother and his father; he assumed the business after his brother died unexpectedly and since, has led and expanded it to five decades of success.

Harmony Hollow Bell Works is best known for bells, but also holiday ornaments, window designs, mobiles, keyrings, garden lights, brass dishes and its pedestal tables that come in several sizes and price points.

Of all his designs, Bradley Cross remains partial to the belIs.

“My specialty, after all these years of making art, are my gift bells,” he says. “I found out that since I make my bells to be heirlooms, most people are set once they find their vibration in a bell. Once people live with with a Harmony Hollow bell, they tend to want to share the experience, and gift them to their friends.”

He creates more than 20 dedicated gift bells to commemorate weddings, housewarmings, retirements, remembrances, new babies, friendships, graduations.

“I like the bells the best because there are only four bell makers in the U.S. which makes the bells stand out from anything else in a gallery or art fair,” he says. “The bells are sandcast while other products are fabricated.”

Cross works in copper, brass, bronze some aluminum.

“I cut, drill, punch, solder, tumble, sandblast, and quickly color the pieces with a verdigris patina. The patina gives an aged look to the designs. All designs are original, even the klappers, and windcatchers.”

Harmony Hollow Bells Works was, for the third time, featured in this year’s twice annual Westside Art Hop with Cross’s home as its display venue in October.

Harmony Hollow Bell works, which, according to Cross, is one of only four of its kind in the nation, is an exhibiting member of  Electronic Cottage Gallery where customers can connect directly and purchase artwork from websites of over 2000 contemporary and traditional artists and craftspeople.

Alongside many local artists, Cross considers Ann Arbor an ideal place to be an artist.

“I was born here, so it is a great place to live and do art. I have participated in around 450 art fairs, and always love coming home to Ann Arbor,” he says.” “No other place would feel like home for me, my friends, my bell works, my neighbors. It is all here where I know where to go exactly to get what I need for a project.”

Ann Arbor’s next Westside Art Hop will be held on May 19, 2019

For more information on Bradley Cross and his work:

Visit: Harmony Hollow Bell Works, where you can browse from – and even listen to – the bells and chimes before ordering

On Facebook: Harmony Hollow Bell Works on Facebook where you can watch videos of Cross at work

Contact Harmony Hollow Bell Works

P.O. Box 1303

Ann Arbor, MI 48106

Phone: 1(800) HOTBELL (468-2355)

FAX: (734) 668-1376

Email:  bcross@harmonyhollow.com

 

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