After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Staying in Touch:


I first met Peter Fels, a self-taught metal sculptor, when I was bellydancing at the seminal California Renaissance Pleasure Faire in the 70s, where he exhibited and sold his work. All of the serious bellydancers at the time, myself included, tried to get Peter to make them their zils, or finger cymbals, for their beauty and tone. (It was also really cool to have a set designed especially for you and engraved with your initials.)

Some time later my husband Jack and I moseyed up the coast to visit Peter in his Workshop-by-the-Sea outside of Cambria. We were so enchanted by his fantasy iron sculptures of fire-breathing dragon fireplaces and other exotic yet practical pieces that we commissioned him to make a sculpture for over the fireplace in our Los Feliz home.

Peter knew how important music was in the life of our family, and so designed an instrument of forged iron to hang on the hearth. Strung with piano wire, it was tuneable, gorgeous, unique--and playable! (Now it hangs over the fireplace in my son Jason's Hollywood condo.)

When I more-or-less retired from bellydancing and moved on to other dance styles, I sold my costumes but hung on to my Peter Fels zils, taking them with me to Mexico and to Argentina.

And a couple of weeks ago, Peter found my post on The Bellydancing Librarian and made contact! And he made my day! I've been smiling ever since. How grand is the internet; how lucky we are to find treasured people we thought lost to our lives. How fantastic to stay in touch!

Phoebe Palmer, Peter's wife also an artist, works in ceramics and pastels:

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