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When it comes to being a Ben’s Bell volunteer, the concept and mission is simple. Anyone (with any level of artistic skill) is welcome to stop by during studio hours, Wednesday through Saturday, to paint and mold beads from clay. These beads are then strung together vertically with a Ben’s bell at the base for its signature style.
By the time one bell is complete, about 10 different people have participated in constructing it.
“Whether that is creating the pieces out of clay, painting and assembling, it is kind of this neat symbol of people coming together and making something,” Brown said.
As the studio gets busier, even during these summer months, Brown said that it is comforting to see different groups of volunteers interacting in the tiny workspace borrowing paint and exchanging stories.
The Ben’s Bells studio is a quaint and comfortable environment, and usually produces about 100 to 150 bells per month.
The Phoenix studio is the newest of the four locations including their headquarters in downtown Tucson, a studio at the University of Arizona, and the Bethel, Connecticut studio.
To reach people outside of the studio, Ben’s Bells brings educational workshops and curriculum to businesses, schools and other organizations. They provide specific “Kind Colleagues” workshops where businesses and employees can learn about developing a more positive work climate. The nonprofit also provides K-12 teachers with monthly materials needed to practice intentional kindness through its free “Kind Campus” curriculum.
“You can’t help but take this in and hopefully infuse that into your life,” Brown said about seeing the community embrace Ben’s Bells. “I definitely think that Phoenix is seeing a kind movement.”
The Phoenix studio is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on First Fridays. Small donations are encouraged and walk-ins are welcome on these open studio days. Groups with six or more are suggested to try out a Group Experience craft event where you can even have Ben’s Bells come to you.