Wednesday, July 19, 2006
My bell collection includes examples of the work of famous foundries around the world, past and present. Checking out bell foundries on the internet I came across the website of the Kruszewski Brothers Bell Foundry in Poland. After looking at their website I had an idea. Ruth and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary last year. Now that's a good excuse for a bell! So here was an opportunity to get a bell from another country with a specific purpose to commemorate our wedding anniversary. So hoping someone at the foundry would understand English I sent an email to the Foundry.
Quite quickly I had a reply from Wojciech Kruszewski who signed his name as Wojtek. I have lost track of how many emails we sent to clarify the details of the bell, payment method etc. But we eventually understood each other. The details were agreed and the bell was expected to be ready in about two months. Wojtek's English was sometimes a little Polish but I always understood what he meant. How I admire people who learn other languages! They put many of us from English speaking nations to shame. I am embarrassed to show it but this was the drawing that finally made my requirements clear to Wojtek
Wojtek sent me a photo of the finished bell. I was delighted to see the bell but - Oh Dear, what about the handle? I realised that it looked like the rather pathetic drawing I had sent. I had not really thought about making clear the type of handle I liked. After a little reflection I sent Wojtek photos of handles I preferred and asked him if it would be possible to produce another one. Within days I received a photo of a new handle that would be put on the finished bell. So you see its sensible to ask for changes if you are not happy. This was the original bell with that handle.
The final challenge was to pay for the bell. Wojtek sent me details of his bank account. Neither I nor the staff at the local branch of my bank understood any of the details. Someone at head office did and the money was sent and received within three days. The bell was on its way.
The bell arrived safely within a few days of posting by Airmail from Poland. It is even better looking than the photos. The contrasting colours are delightful. I am so glad that I had the longer and more ornate handle fitted. As I told Wojtek, I now have a little piece of Poland in my home and it is most welcome among its new family of friends from around the world. With a bit of good fortune Peter and Ruth will remain linked together for people to at least wonder about for many centuries to come. Thanks to Wojtek!The bell stands 11 inches high and has a diameter of 6 inches.