Today, I took some liberties with a bell. As you can see, it’s massive. As science demands, hammering bronze against a hard metal anvil compresses and stretches it. While in the past, I have gently reshaped and ‘tuned’ many bells, I have never (until now) attempted to outright shrink one. For whatever reason, I had expected that with heavy top side hammering, that the material would compress and stretch downward, leading the compressed bell area material into the bow, resulting in a shrunken bell and slightly enlarged bow. Along this line of thinking, I assumed the profile shape and tension would change and that the diameter of the cymbal would slightly increase. Wishful thinking all around. Instead, the material kept stretching upward, toward the center hole, which required multiple re-drills as the hole got smaller and smaller. For some reason, I thought more hammering would be the solution (even though it was causing the problem) so I continued on. For hours. The result? A very stretched out, much taller bell that fortunately sounds very cool. Not what I was after, but I’ll take it.