The first phase in making a bell is the construction of a mould. The mould is composed by three parts: "soul", "false bell" and "mantle". "Soul" is the internal part of the bell. "Soul" is covered to become a smooth surface called "false bell". Dedications, images and decorations waxes are put on it. Then the "false bell" is covered by clay, up to the last coat, called "mantle".
The mould is then heated. While it melts the wax impresses the "mantle" with the artistic composition. The melted bronze is poured through the empty space between "soul" an "mantle". Then it slowly cools.
Once completed the mould, the broze get melted at a temperature of about 1150/1200 °C. The mould will be destroyed to extract the bell, which is a unique and urepeatable piece. The forming phase is the most delicate and important phase. Giving the bell the expected note an timbre variations depends on special tricks taken during this process. Bellfounder families transmit generation by generation secrets to get clearer and denser sounds.
Bell voice depends on its own dimensions: the more it is big and heavy, the more its sound is low. Expected life of a bell is about 70-80 years, and it can easily reach one century and more.
Copyright CAPANNI - March 2000