Craft Resource Center

Rendering Sound: Bell-Making

Abdul and his wife Fatima belong to an artisan cooperative in the northwestern region of India. Because of severe drought, this region is not farmable. Artisans must use crafts, such as bell-making, to earn an income and support the local economy of the region. This is an ancient, traditional art passed over generations where both men and women are equally involved. Now, over 1000 artisans in villages across this region are repositioning this traditional craft for sustainable livelihood.

Bell-making is an ancient art and has been passed down for generations. Abdul’s father was renowned for his bell-making skills, and now Abdul is well-respected for his talent in his community. He also enjoys making bells, creating music, and creating art from lifeless metal.

Fatima is equally involved in the bell-making process. Making the clay cotton dough and coating the bell with an alloy mix, are entirely handled by Fatima.

Historically, bell-making was practiced by people from the lower caste of the society. For many years, this melodious art was struggling to survive. Conscious customers, fair trade practices and a new international platform are now providing the artists with economic stability and a respectable social standing.

Below is a clip showing the various phases involved in bell making at Abdul’s workshop.

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