While traditionally Steel Tongue Drum have made up the flashier looking members of the melodic steel UFO family, with the outward beauty of Handpan being a little more subtle. As makers from around the world have begun to experiment with, and tweak almost every other aspect of the instrument type, visual appeal too, is a quality that has not been forgotten entirely. So that whereas the first generation of Hang were fairly simple looking creatures, increasingly the instruments of some makers, are becoming as pleasing to the eyes, as they are to the ears.That said, It is likely that preference in terms of looks will vary considerably person-to-person, but if you’re a fan of the more highly ornate looking creations, such as the instruments of Vadjraghanta - you might also find pleasing the recent Handpan-art of Russian-makers, SoHung.
Historically, the painting of Handpan has been discouraged among the Handpan community, due to a belief that paint restricts the vibrations of the Handpan, and dulls the sound. However when questioned over at Facebook as to how these Handpan are decorated,the answer came that: “This special drawings with inks and polish that allows us to use high temperatures if tuning is needed and also it prevents the pan from scratches and rust.”
For more information and to follow the SoHung Art experiment you can join their Facebook group. Or find them at YouTube.