Tibetan or Himalayan singing bowls, mainly used by Hindus and Buddhists, are a useful aid to the practice of meditation, relaxation and religious ceremony. A player will sit in a calm and non-inhibiting environment in a comfortable position with the singing bowl on the front of the palm and make a humming sound by rubbing a striker around the rim. These bowls, made of metal alloys, wood or crystal and sometimes wrapped in leather, are made my skilled artisans and craftsmen.
Mix together and melt the raw metal alloys (copper, tin, zinc, iron) in an open furnace (crucible) with an exit orifice and a heating temperature of 1,083 degrees Celsius.
Remove the hot melted alloys from the crucible and use a dice (a metal block used for forming materials like sheet metal and plastic) to pour the hot liquid into an already prepared sand mold.
Take the round metal sheets and roll and turn by hand beating or hammering to the desired size and weight and thickness of the bowl.
Take four or five of the metal sheets prepared above and pile them atop one another while simultaneously heating them to a 'red hot' burn. The heated metal sheets should then be hammered until the heat remains in the metal which is them beaten into the shape of the singing bowl.
Continue the heating and beating process with the sheets until a desired shape and size bowl forms. The metal should be kept hot in order for it to stay pliable. If allowed to cool too soon, it will become hard and will break or crack under the pressure of being hammered.
Once the bowl is of a desired shape and consistency, begin the process of final hammering to fine tune and smooth and shape the bowl with more detail and to prepare it for the finishing touches.
Clean and smooth the singing bowl either by hand sanding it to a matte finish or by buffing or polishing it for a more glossy finish. If desired, use the etching tools and chisels and paints for decorating the bowls with hand carvings, antique staining, colors or for engraved designs. Finished bowls will vary in tonal quality and harmonic sound depending on the shape, size, weight and thickness, but in all, singing bowls have only two true tones.
Use the rubber mallet or the "Puja" you have purchased to bring out the true sound quality of the Singing Bowl. Whatever you use as a striker, be sure to strike the edges of the bowl closest to the rims for the gong sound and rub the insides of the bowl closest to the rim for a continuous echo or ringing sound. Striking the bowl's bottom will give you more of a timpanic sound.
- ['Master casting mold prepared with sand and clay', 'Dice', 'Metal alloys, copper, tin, zinc and iron', 'Heating furnace or crucible', 'Chisel', 'Sander', 'Buffer (or polisher)', 'Specialized tools of various kinds for painting, tinting and etching designs']
It will take some practice, but in no time at all, you can make your bowl "sing," too.
The process of metallurgy and crafting is done by skilled metal workers who have years of training, most of which is handed down through hundreds of years of tradition. Metalworking should not be attempted by anyone who is not skilled in using these processes and the tools needed.