Saturday, July 31, 2010

What's next this summer?

Dear Friends,

July was amazing for the Bowls Project with many awesome friends coming to share music, ritual and workshops. And we have many more coming up this month! Charming Hostess invites you to The Bowls Project at YBCA where you can share a secret and listen to the secrets of others during gallery hours. Or, participate in music on Thursdays, ritual on Fridays and hands-on workshops on Sundays. We will be playing music from The Bowls Project to introduce the weeknight programming below, and some weekends too. All events take place at:

Please join us at the dome this summer!

Charming Hostess


Sunday 8/1
One Taste leads a workshop about sacred orgasm

Sunday 8/1
Susan Duhan Felix speaking on contemporary Blessing Bowls: Origins & Present Day Uses

Thursday 8/5
Rachel Valfer-Sills of Qadim plays Iraqi Jewish music, sacred and secular

Friday 8/6
Kismat-Mahal Kirtan Ensemble leads ecstatic chant

Sunday 8/8
Pamela Reitman from Makor Or and Everyday Zen leads Jewish meditation for all

Thursday 8/12
Susu Pampanin Middle Eastern percussion ensemble

Friday 8/13

Sharanya (R)evolutionary Shakta Tantra honoring Kali Maa, the Dark Mother

Saturday 8/14
Big Idea Night at YBCA
Screening meditative work by film artist Shezad Dawood in the dome, with ChoHo performances from 11PM to 12AM

Sunday 8/15
Maggid Jhos Singer teaches chants and songs in the Jewish mystical tradition

Thursday 8/19
X-Alfonso, Cuban hip-hop star, unplugged!

Friday 8/20
Sister Sara Femme leads a botanical celebration of labia and plants

Saturday 8/21
Dan Cantrell and Lily Storm

Amazing special guest I am not allowed to annunce yet

Sunday 8/22
Orisha Girls from Satya Yuga: sing the Bowls safely toward its next journey.


Sunday 7/11
Jewish Music Festival open dome day!

Thursday 7/15
InkBoat: Butoh in (and on) the dome

Friday 7/16
Jewlia: Shamanistic Shabbat

Sunday 7/18
The Bowls Project CD Release Party (inside YBCA Forum)

Thursday 7/22
Women of the Real Vocal String Quartet
Strings play medieval madrigals and Malian love songs

Friday 7/23
Alleluia Panis and the women of Kularts lead a ritual that Balances the Elements

Saturday 7/24
Cornelius Boots Multi-Reed Shamanistic Extravaganza

Sunday 7/25
Amy Kassiola leads a workshop on demon-proofing your home with amulets.

Thursday 7/29 (Jewlia's birthday!)
Faun Fables: Songs about the domestic world

Friday 7/30
UnLocked: The sacred geometry of the African diaspora in braids

Saturday 7/31
International Body Music Fest preview and fundraiser: Keith Terry, Evie Ladin, Derique McGee, Alex Feng
30 min shows @ 6, 6:45 & 7:30
Suggested Donation $10-25

PS: SECRETS: Don't forget to call our toll-free number and leave us an anonymous secret we can use for the dome: 1-800-420-4459 or

PPS: DOCENTS: Did you want to be a dome docent but you haven't told us yet? Now's the time.

what's happening next?

youtube videos:

the secrets blog--share a secret, we'll put it in the dome. it's anonymous:

the whole thing:

the press:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Bowls Project by Charming Hostess Opens July 6 at YBCA

Dear Friends of Charming Hostess,

Dome day draws near! The Bowls Project at YBCA opens this Tuesday July 6th! Our immersive installation based on sex and magic in Babylonian Jewish amulets, The Bowls Project takes place within a masterwork of ancient-meets-modern design: a double vaulted masonry dome designed by architect Michael Ramage. The Bowls Project dome is a place to share a secret and hear the anonymous secrets of others, listen to live music on Thursdays, participate in ritual on Fridays, encounter embodied text on Sundays, and dig on the apocalyptic intimate whenever YBCA is open. We’ll be sending out a schedule of events in the dome next week.

Please join us as we dedicate the dome with procession, performance, ritual, secrets, and bowl inscription. Welcome!

Charming Hostess presents The Bowls Project
Tuesday July 6
Meet in Great Hall of YBCA at 701 Mission
Walk to Bowls Project on corner of 3rd and Mission
San Francisco, CA

  • Can’t come, but you want to participate? SHARE A SECRET! Easy and anonymous! Call our toll-free number: 1-800-420-4459 or click here:

Dome out! Love,
Jewlia/Charming Hostess

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Small dome complete!

Well, inside at least! Jason and Michael put in a long Sunday to finishe the first layer of the small dome, and get the second dome ready for complete rings. Soon we can remove the interior intersection guidework!

Starting to take shape

Michael works on the final courses

Dome done!

Jason and dome both finished at the end of the day!

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Great progress on Friday and Saturday

Friday and Saturday saw more great participation from BAC Local 3. Pete put it well when he commented how it was a pleasure to volunteer where your profession is actually needed. We're so grateful to have these skilled craftsmen with us.

Dave J. laying the "herringbone" belt around the base of the small dome

The inside of the large dome begins to define the space

Tim lays tile in the second layer

Father and son team of Tim and Pete make great progress with the tile on the inside of the big dome.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Beginning of the day Thursday

End of the day

Another view of The Bowls at the end of the day Thursday

The final course comes to light

Union Craftwork

Yesterday and today were days of incredible progress. Thanks to the men of BAC Local 3 the domes are well on their way. We even started the 3rd and final layer today, which will be the visible side of the shell. The level of skill and professionalism these men show is amazing, and their dedication to building the bowls is a real testament to them.

The Bowls at the beginning of the day Thursday

Jewlia tries her hand at laying tile

The crew relaxes for lunch

Tim helps Steve (unseen) lay the final herringbone patter to The Bowls.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Masonry on site!

Monday the members of the Brickworkers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 arrived and began working their masonry magic. Dave, Tom, Dan, Randy and Tim have quickly learned the tile-vaulting techniques and are fast becoming experts in the field of vault building.

Tom (left) and Dan laying the first course of Xella AAC tiles

The state of play at the end of the first day

Tom uses a staple gun to fix the geotextile reinforcing to the dome

Masonry at the end of the day Tuesday

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ready for Masonry!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday have been very big days of progress as we get ready for the masonry construction to start on Monday. It's been a few days of hard labor and now some visible forms for the domes

20,000 lbs of masonry mortar for construction, all carried up to the sculpture court by hand.

Pallets of aerated autoclaved concrete tiles ready for dome building

The guidework begins to take shape and define the form of the domes

Sunday at noon, with all the guidework completed
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Friday, June 18, 2010

When The Bowls are complete

Today the 30,000 lbs of masonry, mortar and guidework arrive for the dome construction. When we are all done (in 10 days or so) the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts will have a summer performance space of two intersecting domes on a seismic isolation plinth.

Sketch renders of the bowls in place.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Plinth almost Finished!

Today saw some rapid progress from partially framed plinth in the morning to fully decked plinth by the afternoon. I even got to lay out the dome on the deck to check its size and positioning. All the guidework and prep happens tomorrow and over the weekend, with masons showing up on Monday.

The Framed Deck

Unistruct steel will support the access stair at the corner

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