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les jongleuresses

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Unique, hand-crafted bells by Jana Kolpen


jongleuresse: the  French term for a type of female wandering entertainer in medieval Europe living on the fringe of society. The jongleuresses often set poetry to music as well as sang and recited works composed by others. They were also known to be jugglers and acrobats. Many jongleuresses combined various forms of entertainment as they meandered from village to village.
bell feet

Each jongleuresse bell is a unique piece of art handcrafted from clay, glazed and fired in either a reduction or oxidation kiln. Each jongleuresse is a bell possessing its own unique clapper created either from clay or other found objects and assembled with pieces of recycled wire and other hardware.

Why the jongleuresse?

During the medieval period woman were not allowed to participate as higher-level musicians. The Jongleuress were women who lived on the edge of the society in order to express themselves artistically through music.

Why bells?

Creating a series of ladies who are also bells represents the confluence of inner and outer beauty. The sound of the clapper is different for each one sometimes a small tinkle and sometimes resonating deeper but unique to each jongleuresse and always a surprise.