The "Partners of PANArt" License, and Licensees

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Back in January, 2014, PANArt (the Hang makers) announced via their website, in a post titled, ‘License Offer’, that having been awarded patents to protect certain methods of manufacturing their instruments, in particular, the procedure for converting common steel sheet into sheet with a higher intrinsic energy (a material known as ‘Pang’), that they would be offering licenses to use their patented methods to the makers of other metal sound sculptures.

Stating that: “With the acquisition of a license you will be entitled to produce your instruments with our patented production method which will result in excellent, tuning-stable and unique instruments.”

With the license, additionally, affording makers the right, to market their instruments as being, ‘Made according to patented PANArt Method’. And inclusion within PANArt’s official list of ‘Partners of PANArt’, as now found on their website.

The unusual thing about this licensing agreement, is that PANArt seems to be offering nothing in the way of help, or advice, to makers, in achieving any specific level of quality - stating that, “The license does not contain any course or teaching”.  However, in March, 2014, PANArt did offer, in a post on their website titled, ‘Material Analysis’, a service in which makers could send PANArt a sample of their materials for testing, with the primary aim, seemingly being, to assess if PANArt’s patents were being infringed upon - whether this analysis, and the achieving of a certain level of quality in the base material is required to obtain a license from PANArt, is currently unknown. Though, Tzevaot, one of the few makers to have been granted a PANArt license at time of posting, offer some insight into the process: HERE.

At time of writing, only two makers appear on the newly posted list of PANArt licensees: Tzevaot, and Dave Beery, of Dave’s Island Instruments.  You can view the list, and find more information on PANArt's license offer: HERE

View PANArt’s U.S. Patent: HERE, and EU patent: HERE

The British Are Coming - Three UK-Made HandPan

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While not usually the kind of website that indulges too heavily in “National Pride”, in this instance, and with this post - we just have to.  Because for a while there, our prospects for the chance of ever owning a native UK-made pan, looked bleak.  

We watched as countries like the U.S., Germany, and Italy, home-grew what we secretly considered to be more than their fair share of makers.  While things in this green and pleasant land, remained quiet.

But that time has now passed.  

De La Soul - sang that, 'three is the magic number', and for us, as we put-together this post, that’s true.  We’ve purchased HandPan made in various different countries, from different countries, in that mad-chase to acquire almost any HandPan that you can get your hands on, that many experience at the beginning of their first foray into the world of HandPan.  

But after a while, should the bug take you, you begin to give thought to the more practical elements of owning a HandPan.  Issues such as shipping costs, and import taxes.  And above all, the possible ease with which you might get your instrument re-tuned, should it need it.

And so it is with that in mind, that with this post, we pay tribute, to what we believe to be the first three UK based HandPan makers.  And savour the prospects, that that small, but concrete number, brings…

PanStream HandPans


A video of PanStream Prototype #32.  Learn more about PanStream: HERE

The OrbiPan


A video of the OrbiPan maker demoing one of his creations.  Learn more about OrbiPan: HERE.

Zephyr HandPans


A Zephyr HandPan in Aeolus tuning.  Learn more about the Zephyr Handpan: HERE.

Hangism - Hang-Inspired Art

Hangism PanArt Hang 8
While many, upon being first introduced to the Hang, or HandPan, comment that its likeness bares similarities to such things as: Woks, Garbage-Can lids, and Weber grills (not things that are typically considered to be of great beauty) - HandPan, do have a subtle, humble elegance to them - that seems to reveal itself, the more time you spend in close-proximity to one.  And the fact that they resemble a gigantic metal flying-saucer, is also, in and of itself, pretty damn awesome.  

And so, it seems only right, that an instrument of such considerable, if not immediately obvious, visual charm, should give birth to its own art-form.

HANGISM

Hangism, is the invention of one, AoxoA - HandPan musician, and artist.  And Hangism itself, is reminiscent of the collaborative "Cubism", by Picasso & Georges Braque.  With which it shares resemblance, and a palette.  

Each work of Hangism is: “created by using a single digital image of a PanArt Hang. The image is duplicated, flipped, rotated, moved, and layered as needed. And, various adjustment details are applied”.

With the initial works of Hangism, by AoxoA, being based upon the image of a second generation Hang (see photo above).

To learn more about Hangism, and to view more examples of the Hangism style of art, you can visit aoxoa.co: HERE.

Pantheon Steel Halo Prices Falling - Did the HandPan Bubble Just Burst?

In terms of eBay prices, the Halo brand of HandPan from Pantheon Steel has always been at the very top of the food chain.  Numerous Halo offered up on the auction platform by Pantheon sold for in excess of $10,000, since eBay sales began back in 2011.  Reaching a peak in 2014; when their pre-Christmas auction sold for $15,000.  

However, around April, 2015, prices for Halo sold at eBay, began to drop significantly.  With prices for three consecutive monthly sales falling to around the $5000 mark - reaching an all-time low (to date) in June, 2015, of $4802.


A crash in prices that even Pantheon themselves had clearly not expected, with Kyle Cox informing their local Farmington press in an interview just weeks before that, ““We could sell every one of our instruments for $10,000...”.

Did the HandPan Bubble Just Burst?

In all likelihood the drop in prices reached at auction for Halo has nothing what-so-ever to do with Pantheon Steel themselves, the quality of their instruments, or even demand for them. Pantheon Steel's eBay auctions have provided one of very few visible insights into the true market price of the more sought after brands of HandPan. And presumably, if more makers sold their instruments within the auction format, this would be having a trickle-down effect across the board.

The original HandPan, the PANArt Hang, was introduced to the world in the year 2000.  And remained pretty much the only option for a desperate army of singing-steel hunters to try and obtain for almost ten years.  With the first Hang alternatives beginning to appear on the market around 2007 (starting with the Caisa) - with just five known makers offering their wares to the world by the end of 2010.

Fast-forward to 2015 though, and it has been a very interesting year for HandPan enthusiasts.  Because while there has been a slow-but-steady stream of new makers appearing over the last few years - in 2015, new makers have been popping up like mushrooms.  With known makers now totalling well over the fifty mark - with more coming to light all the time.

So that while demand for the instrument type still appears to be strong - with so many choices, and options, now presenting themselves - for the first time since the birth of the Hang, the HandPan market edges ever closer to becoming a buyers market, instead of the sellers market, that previously, it has always been...

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