Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums General `Bell Stuff` Help me find a large bronze bell for an art work?

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    • #12261


      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

    • #17483
      Carolyn Whitlock


      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!

    • #17484

      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!


    • #17485

      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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