Using the Green Sand moulding technique, Laings Foundry in Edinburgh have cast twelve bells for the Re Soundings project; six based on the smaller quadrangular bronze Dunkeld bell and the other six based on the quadrangular Adomnàn’s bell, a replica of which Historic Environment Scotland allowed us to use during our research period. Green Sand is a term for moulding sand that is bonded together with clay and moisture. The sand is compacted, or squeezed into a shape around a pattern. After compacting, the mould halves are split and the pattern is removed. Andrew Laing’s enthusiasm for his craft is infectious and the trips to the foundry have been hugely enjoyable. It really has been magical to witness the transformation of the WW1 shells into these replica early Christian hand bells and we owe Andrew many thanks for taking the project on, as working with the shells was not without risk given tiny particles of explosives could still be trapped in the bases of the shells. Fortunately all went well and the bells are waiting for collection before we take them up to Lewis for the workshop on Saturday.

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