Working with clay
Every mould is individually prepared according to the order placed. All visible elements of the bell, ornaments, images and scripts are generated by a single cast with lost-wax casting method. Therefore it is very important to work carefully on every detail of the mould because it influences the final quality of the casting. The moulds are made of special clay which dries freely/slowly on air (?), so it could keep its shape and preserve all details of the bell. Preparing the mould last/takes usually up to 2 months, however with the bells of much higher weight it can last even longer.
It is a basic element of the mould. Its shape reflects the bell’s interior where the clapper will be mounted. The core protects the mould from the inside. It is usually made of clay and bricks.
The second layer of the mould is called a false bell. It reflects the shape of a real bell. On this part allornaments, images and scripts made of wax are put.
Coat is the last, external and protective layer of the mould. After the mould of a crown is attached to it the ready mould is being prepared for casting.
Each bell is unique
On well dried mould covered with a layer of tallow, which will reflect the exact shape of a bell, wax scripts and ornament are put. This process is called dressing up the mould. Not so long time ago usually beeswax was used for this purpose. Nowadays we use high quality casting wax which has a low melting point and high plasticity what is essential when the bass-reliefs need to be copied very precisely. When the moulds are dressed up we send the photos of them to the customers so they can accept the result. The is the last chance to make changes. Each mould is prepared according to a customer wishes and that makes every bell unique!
The birth of new bells
Before the casting mould is buried in the foundry pit in front of the furnace. The ground around it is very carefully and well tamped so the pressure arising from pouring melted bronze does not destroy the mould. Material released from the furnace is high quality alloy consisting of pure copper and tin. It flows through the narrow canals and pour inside the mould. In the time of release it has about 1250 Celsius degrees. We call casting the birth of a bell. All parishioners are welcome to join us in this emotional moment. Every casting begins with the prayer for the welfare of the casting.