Help me find a large bronze bell for an art work?
May 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm #12261honeylocustParticipant
I am an artist living in New York City. I want to make a bell project. I want to find an old bell that had once rung the hours of the day. This could be a big clocktower bell, or a church bell, or a smaller bell. I’m assuming this is would be a bronze bell.
I would then like to take this to a bell foundry and melt the bell down into hundreds of little hand held bells. I would then do a performance with a hundred people where everyone rings the bells in synchronicity to mark the hours of the day. So instead of the sound coming from a centralized location, all the sounds of the bell would be spread out through different people across a space.
Obviously I don’t think I could melt down a bell that has personal attachment to someone or some town.
Do you know where I would be able to find a bell like this?
– David Horvitz
May 18, 2013 at 7:02 am #17483Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
You might consider trying to find a broken bell rather than a perfectly good one and melting it down. I think you’ll find that most members of the ABA believe in maintaining the original integrity of working bells.
Broken/cracked bells often find their ways to scrap metal dealers. Sometimes church bells are broken in hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, etc. Some churches re-cast their bells but others sell them and use the proceeds to buy another bell.
Have you searched for church bells on online auction houses?
Not being an artisan, I have no idea how much bronze would be needed to cast 100 bells but the cost of shipping alone would be fairly expensive. I suggest you do a google search for “sellers of church bells”, go to their websites, to get and idea of how much the metal for this project will cost you.
Please post a follow-up to this project. Many people would like to see a picture of the final result.
Jus’ my opinion!
May 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm #17484GarryParticipant
sounds very similar to the Queen E II coronation bells!
They melted down brass bells for coronation souvenirs.
It’s a great project for a damaged bell, I’d hate to use a good one for that though.
Try Local Metal recovery salvage companies, or talk to Bell manufactures / foundries. They are usually contacted to ‘repair’ damaged bells and could very well have a line on one or two that are beyond repair which might meet your requirements. They might even be able to cast the bells you want from it!
June 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm #17485FrankParticipant
Are you determined to recast a bell or just bronze?
If any bronze would work for you go to a large local cemetary. They all have scrap plaques they might sell. For whatever reason, bronze does not have as much value as brass. You can probably get them cheap.
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