André Bergh gave a talk and demonstration of what were described in the last newsletter as “quartz singing bowls”. But as things turned out, the bowls were made of frosted glass, in China. There was a selection in various sizes, and they are tuned to musical notes. When tapped with a drumstick, or using one in a stirring motion rubbing against the inside, sounds are produced. To my mind, they resembled either the sounds of wind chimes or that of the humming tops we played with as children. They cannot produce a tune, but a high pitched vibratory sound. If they are placed too close to each other when played, the vibrations can crack the neighbouring bowls. There was even a small brass bowl – that produced a different sound. The object of these untuneful sounds is to produce vibrations that have therapeutic benefits to those attuned to them. Exactly why tuneful music, played with instruments and accompanied by beautiful voices doesn’t have the same relaxing qualities is unknown. Or even for that matter a row of equal sized glass bottles, filled with varying amounts of water and tapped with a spoon to produce a tune. But it seems only the Chinese glass bowls do the trick. However, André’s presentation was well appreciated by those who like to learn something new, and the afternoon was enjoyed by all. Maurice Conradie and Jo Wicht brought along some lapidary items for display. Of great interest were Jo’s facetted spheres. It seems she has successfully picked up where Father Tony Garman left off. Keep up the good work. And finally, just in passing, did anyone notice the “Now and Then” photos in last Saturday’s Cape Argus? The “Then” photo was taken by Mirl Panzenberger, a former long-standing member of our club.  TVJ   (18 members attended)

According to the internet (

Frosted quartz crystal singing bowls are the most common type of crystal bowl and are so named because of their translucent rather than transparent appearance. This type of bowl was developed for growing quartz crystals to be made into silicon chips. Absolute purity and cleanliness are essential for this so the quartz powdered used for making these bowls is highly purified - only a few parts per million of impurities are allowable.

The bowls are made using a carbon mould. This is spun and a metal arm follows the shape of the mould a few millimetres from the inside surface. Quartz powder is poured in to the rotating mould. Electricity causes an arc to jump to the mould and the heat from this fuses together the particles of quartz to form the bowl. This is all done in an enclosed computer controlled machine. The crystal bowl is removed from the mould when it has cooled and the top rim is cut to height. Looking at frosted bowls you can see the graininess on the outside caused by the small pieces of quartz used in its construction. The inside of the bowl has a smoothed and polished appearance caused by the electric arc.

Frosted bowls are in larger sizes from about 10 inches (30 cm) upwards. They are generally played with a rubber ball stick and a ring is used to hold them steady as the base is rounded.(From the description of the bowls it seems they are made from fused quartz frit; crushed quartz fragments ‘glued’ together with melted silica glass to make high-temperature crucibles.  DM)