The bronze wind bells at Arcosanti are truly one of a kind pieces, each one carefully and skillfully created by our foundry artisans through a unique, albeit labor intensive, process which we will dedicate several posts to exploring. 

[All photos and text in this report by Julia Dorn-Giarmoleo]

(Pictured at left is an overview of the Foundry Apse; foundry artisans from left to right: Brendan Siegl, Rawaf al Rawaf, Jonas Fister, and foundry manager Andy Chao)

The first step in creating a bronze bell is packing the flask box. Each flask consists of two pieces, between which a metal pattern is placed. The flask gets packed with very fine sand, called nickel slag, and then agitated until the sand is extremely compact. Here foundry artisan Brendan Siegl is shoveling sand into a flask box.

The framework is then separated back into two separate pieces, and the metal pattern is removed, leaving a positive impression on one part of the flask, and a negative one in the other (here we see foundry manager Andy Chao removing excess sand from the positive side). 

The artisans then take the side of the flask that has the negative, and using simple tools, impress and carve designs directly into the sand. 

Here is foundry artisan Jonas Fister carefully carving the sand, he uses his left hand to hold the side of the mold as to ensure its stability; pictured below is Andy Chao using a round plastic form to create various shapes. 

Excess sand in the mold is then blown out, as we see Rawaf doing here. 

This report will continue on Friday.

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