This is the crew of artists who make the gongs - standing with me in front of an 80 inch beauty. It is a very labor-intensive process. First, they take the round plain piece of nickel-silver metal alloy (stacked in the shelves), then they burn the edges as shown with the two disks against the wall. That is the easy part. Next is all the hammering by hand to get the tuning that sounds great or matches the fundamental note for the planetary gongs. Then they warm it up for a few hours in an oven. Finally, they check the tuning with tuning forks and equipment that measures the tones. If it is not right...back to hammering.
I was really moved by their dedication and skill. They were also so friendly and took a lot of time to show me around. Then I got to play ALL the gongs, including some 60 inch beauties. What a wonderful day. I was there from 10:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and at the end thanked them by giving them a 20 minute gong bath. Unbelievably they'd never experienced this and left feeling quite relaxed. Wow, what a great adventure at Paiste. I'll never play a gong again without feeling great respect for these men who hammer away all day with great skill to bring us these glorious instruments.