The Marinelli Bell Foundry

This family business in Agnone, Italy, has filled the belfries of churches around the world since at least 1339. Today the shop’s 12 artisans take about three months to produce a single large model. A 600-kilogram (1,323-pound) bell costs about €21,000 ($23,000). Tourists can take home a less hefty holiday edition for €40. Photographs by Massimo Di Nonno for Bloomberg Businessweek

  1. 1

    A foundry worker prepares the bases of the bells. The structure, made of bricks and clay, is totally handcrafted.

  2. 2

    An artisan presses a wax decoration of angels onto the bell.

  3. 3

    Pasquale Marinelli, the co-owner (with his brother Armando) of the foundry, is seen decorating a bell before the fusion process.

  4. 4

    The molds are created in a classic, centuries-old process.

  5. 5

    Some of the tools used to build the base of the bell. The Marinelli Foundry has used the same technique since its founding.

  6. 6

    The bell’s core is shaped in clay with the help of broken bricks.

  7. 7

    Preparing the bells' wax decorations.

  8. 8

    Workers prepare to start the bronze casting process.

  9. 9

    Casting melted bronze in the mold of a bell.

  10. 10

    Fine chiseling is applied in the workshop after the bronze is cast.