Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Baoding Balls

I received a set of Baoding balls (保定健身球; my box called them by the simpler name "Chinese iron balls") from my sister Ashley [1] after she spent some time in California at a high school choir competition (I think it was called the Heritage San Francisco Festival). Some are made of two hollow spheres of iron with a chime in between. As the balls are manipulated, the inner ball strikes the chime against the inner surface of the outer ball, creating a ringing noise.[2] Others are a single hollow ball with a spring inside that acts as a chime. I'm unsure what type my set is, but it consists of two balls (some sets have more) and their chimes ring on different notes. With my set of Baoding balls, the outer ball is further covered in cloisonné, a decorative vitreous enamel.[3] They are used for relaxation, to improve hand dexterity, and to help with recovery from hand injuries. But Lillian doesn't care so much about all that. She just likes how they ring when she shakes them.

(She keeps looking at the picture on the wall, which was painted for us by Leann's sister Sherri, so that's why I give you a shot of it.)


[1] See her blog at http://ashterally-thisisnotablog.blogspot.com/.

[2] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baoding balls.

[3] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloisonné.

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