Over a cup of coffee on Sunday morning, I will occasionally watch the show, Sunday Morning on CBS. The show has been on forever and is often filled with very interesting topics, opinions and perspectives. You can learn more about the show at http://www.cbsnews.com/sunday-morning/
Yesterdays show was focused on architecture, focusing on new designs that look old among other topics. The story that captured my attention however was about bells. Yes, church bells. Talk about sustainabell value (see what I did there) 🙂
The Pontificia Fonderia Marinelli (or Marinelli Pontifical Foundry, Marinelli Bell Foundry) was founded in 1339 in the Apennine hills of Italy. The village of Agnone, where the foundry is located, “has a tradition of foundries that dates back 10 centuries.” The current leaders of the family business are the brothers Armando and Pasquale Marinelli. They are the 26th generation of Marinelli’s to lead the family business.
The foundry typically produces up to 50 bells a year and currently employs around 12 people. The firm’s managers still apply the same lost wax casting technique that the firm’s founders used nearly a thousand years ago. The artisans use wax to transfer the bell’s designs onto a brick “core” slathered with clay, slightly smaller than the bell to be forged. Another layer of clay is applied to form a “false bell”. After this hardens, the wax inside is melted, leaving the imprint of the design on the inside of the false bell. Molten bronze, at a temperature of 1,200 degrees Celsius (2,200 degrees Fahrenheit), is poured into the space to form the bell.
Amazing, just amazing. Everyday we read about businesses trying to build sustainable companies. Looks like the Marinelli family has figured that out. For more information about the foundry and the family, please visit their website at http://www.campanemarinelli.com/inglese/index2.php
Enjoy the day.