What makes a Harmony Ball Chime?
A Harmony Ball is admired as a wonderful piece of jewellery not only for its dazzling appearance and cultural heritage but most notably for its soft chiming sound. So what makes a Harmony Ball Chime? Looking at a Sterling Silver Harmony Ball Pendant there is nothing to give away how the sound is made. From the outside a Harmony Ball, sometimes called Angel Caller or Bola Necklace, is a lovely, and sometimes stunning, piece of jewellery but it is what is inside that creates that “harmony”, that wind chime type of soft soothing sound.
With some styles of Harmony Balls it is a bit easier to figure out than with others. The “cage” style generally have an ornate sterling silver cage, or ornate figure (like an elephant, a butterfly or dragon fly) encompassing the harmony or chime ball itself which is generally brass. The combination of sterling silver and brass is what makes some harmony balls absolutely stunning to look at — combine that with a sparkling colourful gemstone and you have a jewellery piece to behold, and hand made into the bargain. With this style it is evident that the brass ball is the chime ball of the harmony ball pendant where as in the solid skin sterling silver harmony ball there is no outward indication of a separate chime ball. In either case it is what is inside the chime ball that creates the sound — so how is it done. How have the village silversmiths in Bali managed to have a small jewellery ball make a charming soothing sound?
The chime ball is a sphere made in two halves, two domes. Inside one dome the silversmith solders in small strips of brass of different widths and different lengths in slightly varying curvatures as well. When looking at these strips it appears a little like a combination of organ keys and organ pipes. Into the dome he places a very small solid ball of steel, not unlike a small ball bearing. The solid ball moving across the array of brass strips is what creates the sound, again in principal not unlike how a piano or organ works. The silversmith then solders the two domes together to create a sphere and then meticulously files and polishes the joint so as it cannot be seen. So now we have a chime ball which is the integral part of a Harmony Ball and in some cases of the domes being sterling silver the silversmith will then set about creating the ornate features on the outer skin of the chime ball turning it into a Harmony Ball Pendant as we know it. In the case of the chime ball being a plain brass ball the silversmith will then put the chime ball into the cage of the Harmony Ball.
The outer cage of the Harmony Ball is often made from a sterling silver wire or thin sterling silver sheet and then hand crafted into two domes. These domes are then hinged on one side and a clasp is made and fitted to the opposite side, one dome having the tongue of the clasp and the other the eye. Harmony Balls of the ornate cage type are examples of the intricate craftsmanship and skill of these village silversmiths in Bali, skills handed down through the generations. Some silversmiths are fourth and fifth generation of Harmony Ball makers using much of the same traditional tools. Silversmiths form part of a considerable cottage industry in Indonesia and are renown worldwide for their unique craft. Harmonyballpendant.com offers its customers an extensive range of handmade sterling silver Harmony Ball Pendants, products of these talented artisans.
About the Author: Mike O’Shannessy is an expert in Harmony Balls and writes for a number of Online Jewellery sites. This article is subject to copyright.
Alternative names for a Harmony Ball include Angel Caller … Bola … Chime Ball Necklace … Bola Necklace … Pregnancy Necklace … Pregnancy Gift … Bola de Grossesse