Ceramic
Siltcast Bells
To create these uniquely textured bells, the
ceramicists wet down beds of silt (earth) and press conical shaped,
plaster bell masters designed by Paolo Soleri
into the earth. Pictured: the bells viewed from the top of the Ceramics
Apse. [Photos and text by:
Jennifer Thornton]


After removing the bell
master, the artisans use wooden blocks to impress designs into the
relief.


Slip
(clay & water) is poured into the mold and the silt pulls the moisture
to the sides of it.


When all the sides of
the mold build up to a desired thickness, the watery slip in the middle
is extracted.


When ready, the bells are dug out of the silt, brushed off, powdered
with colored oxides and allowed to dry to leather hardness. At this
time, the artisans can carve further designs into the bells with a
matte knife tool.


The final step the bells are fired in the kiln at cone 4. Pictured: The
finished bells will be sold in Cosanti or at the Arcosanti Gallery.

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