Beguiled by bronze bells in Vail | VailDaily.com
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Beguiled by bronze bells in Vail

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyMolten bronze will be poured into molds by artists in fire-resistant suits. The bronze pour on Wednesday will begin at 8 p.m., and it is free and open to the public
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VAIL ” Philadelphia has the Liberty Bell. Newport, Ky. has the World Peace Bell. Bells decorate Ford Park in Vail this summer. And on Wednesday, your home could have a new bronze bell, too.

The Vail Symposium is teaming up with the town of Vail’s Art in Public Places program to present a bronze bell-making workshop from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday in Ford Park. Adults and children are encouraged to join the bell-making process. What’s more, everyone in the community is invited to come watch the evening pouring of the hot bronze ” the 5,000-year-old foundry process.

“The bell-making workshop will absolutely be fun and accessible for kids and adults,” said Fraidy Aber, executive director of the Vail Symposium. “And a bronze pour is a must-see experience.”

No need to be shy ” everyone can make a bell, said Mark Guilbeau, the leader of Wednesday’s workshop. Guilbeau received his MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is currently a professor at Metropolitan State College in Denver. He co-founded SPH Art-Functions in 1993 with the goal of deepening the public’s understanding of the metal work.

“I’ve taught for a long time to almost every age group you can imagine, and my experience is that people freeze up with a pencil and paper,” Guilbeau said. “But with carving, people just love to do it.”

Workshop participants will scratch their own designs into sand-based, bell master molds.

“Master molds are easy to use ” people just carve into the sandy mold material to customize their bells,” said Guilbeau, who designed the bell molds for Wednesday. The personalized molds will turn into 8-inch bells at 8 p.m. during the bronze-casting performance.

Leslie Fordham, the coordinator of Art in Public Places, focuses on bringing interesting art displays and opportunities to Vail. Following the success of the “Heavy Metal Weekend” this winter ” when more than 30 artists descended upon International Bridge in Vail for three nights of iron and bronze pours ” Fordham struck up a conversation with Guilbeau about a way to bring hot metal back to Vail.

Fordham had already secured the exhibition of bells by James G. Moore in Ford Park, so when it came to a theme for a summer workshop, she said, “It just didn’t make sense for the focus of the bronze pour and workshop to be on any other object.”


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