PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
I want to make two small falconry bells in silver as a part of a larger piece that I'm working on and I want them to ring, as real falconry bells do. I can imagine how these bells could be made:
but have no idea how to make them so that they actually sound, preferably sweetly, if that is not asking too much!
I am thinking that they must be forged in some way as any soldering would anneal the metal and the "chime" would be lost.
Suggestions and thoughts welcome.
People have made lovely sounding bells from bronze metal clay. Have you given any thought to using silver clay and surrounding a burnable core to create a hollow object? You could bury the clapper/ball in the core first, which would leave it free after firing. I've made hollow objects as thin as 2 playing cards, but you might also try painting slip on the core for a thinner bell.
Lora, thanks for that. I love the idea of using silver clay to do this and might yet, but I am such a complete novice with the stuff that I am not sure I could do it this way. I'm really glad you suggested it as I hadn't even considered using metal clay. Whatever happens, I'll make sure to post pictures!
Two years ago, I made two small bells from 925 silver for a friend's bracelet...she wanted them to chime too. I remember I domed the four component parts and before soldering the two hemispheres I placed two very small round 24k gold beads in each...When I soldered the two halves, the gold beads did not melt and when you moved the little bells around they chimed very sweetly..hope this helps, Dauvit.
Excellent, Sophia. So you obviously had no problems using soldered metal. I was very worried that the soldering would anneal the metal which would take away the chime. I will certainly try to make one now. I'll probably be using a steel bead for the "clapper".
I once made something very simple from Sterling, it was a 5 cm diameter sphere that chimed wonderfully soft, no forging required:
Outer body (2 halves): can be any shape you want, but obviously must have at least one hole somewhere.
Inner body: A lens shaped hollow form that fits into the outer shape. Before soldering the lens halves together, insert a small piece of steel (e.g. dice shaped) into the cavity. After soldering, use your saw to cut lines into the lens surface so that the end product resembles tines of a fork from both sides, the result should look something like this (the black lines representing your saw cuts into the metal):
This lens shaped unit with the piece of steel inside of it is then soldered into the inside of your outer form and the two halves of your outer form are then soldered together. That's it. When you shake your form, the steel on the inside of the lens will bang against the tines producing the sound. It is not like a small bell, more like a soft chime.
Even though soldering was involved, there was no problem with the Sterling getting too soft in the process for this thing to chime.
Others will probably have better ideas, but this one worked for me. I'm curious to see what comes of this project!
Excellent! I hadn't thought on using a supplementary piece to make the chime. I was just thinking to use the wall of the bell sound. This is a great solution, thanks.
When I can't solder I weld.
Thanks, Regina. I know what you mean. Unfortunately, I only have access to a PUK welder and that is not really strong enough for my purposes as these bells will be finials, hanging below another element and will have to swing about and probably suffer from being bumped.
Just found this link, which gives some tantalising hints... we'll see if I can work it out from that and the group suggestions.
OK! I made a bell which looks like these and which rings. I've posted instructions HERE in case anyone else ever needs to make one.