Riccio Bells are cast in bronze using the "lost wax" casting technique.
There are many metals that have been used to make bells. Copper, iron, silver and gold are the
most used parent metals. These metals are sometimes used in their pure form,
or mixed with other metals and sometimes other materials. These mixtures are called alloys.
The advantage of an alloy is that you can adjust the mixture to produce properties that
are ideal for the task the metal will be used for.
Most of my bells are made of silicon bronze.This is an alloy of copper and silicon. It is ideal for bells.
It is dense and strong. It is ductile and not brittle. It is designed for casting, dependable and smooth to pour.
And it is dense and hard, which produces a strong resonant sound.
Occasionally I mix my own alloy, for a particular sound quality, or color, or customer need.
The same bell will sound differently if cast in other metals. There are even differences in the
same metal poured at different temperatures. Silver is dense and soft. It produces a warm ring.
Bronze (copper and tin or silicon) is stronger and tends to be louder and brighter.
Brass (copper and zinc) is less dense and harder. Brass has a higher pitch than bronze.
Mixing together several different metals for bells is a challenge that takes experience.
The bells of Tibet contain many metals. The alloys are created not just for their sound,
but, also for their spiritual content.
Open Site Map