May 15, 2008

Hippie Or Hipster? Harmony Ball Company Chiming Spheres Rattles At Areaware

areaware_rattles.jpg

So I read on notcot that Areaware, the NYC design studio/distributor is planning to launch a kid's collection called Areaware Jr. [they already distribute Salvor Fauna's silkscreen t-shirts and Onesies, as well as a few toys].

Then I see these kind of swanky-looking rattles, credited to HBC. I go in for a closer look. They're not cheap--$70-200--but they're made of "German Silver," overlayed with gold and hematite. Plus they're "hand-tuned."

Sounds great, a lot better than electroplated nickel and copper, which is what it is. But what's HBC? The Harmony Bell Company, a Columbus, Ohio collectibles outfit founded in the 80's by a couple of wayward Brown grads, who found enlightenment on the road in Mexico. Where artisans now make their non-silver Celtic chiming spheres. The company has since branched out into tchotchkes of all kinds, including an entire forestful of little animal figurines. Holy smokes, there are thousands of them.

On the front page of their Harmony Kingdom figurine site, they call HBC their "sister site," and Areaware their "step-sister site," which sounds like a deeper relationship than just "one of our distributors." Not what I expected--in many ways--but entertaining nonetheless.

HBC Rattles, $70-200 [areaware.com]
AKA, Celtic Chiming Spheres by Harmony Bell Company [harmonybell.com]
Harmony Kingdom--About Noel & Lisa [harmonykingdom.com]

3 Comments

Those look a lot like the Sterling silver Barbell rattle from Tiffany.

We have one we received as a gift (from a rather impractically-minded family friend), and I believe it actually says somewhere on it that it's not intended for children.

That picture reminds me of a particular scene from "Glengarry Glen Ross."

best detective work... EVER!! You've made my morning. I'm still laughing (probably as only someone who spends their day trolling products can). I still love Areaware though, even if their relations (step-sister?!) come from a different branch of the kitsch family.

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