Bell Striker Dragon, 1993
Forged and welded mild steel and copper
84 x 96 x 26 in. (H x W x D)
The dragon's tail strikes a brass bell suspended from it's jaws, ringing out the time kept by an historic clock on a brick row house at 21st and St. Paul Street in Baltimore, MD. The clock's owner requested an imaginative bell support and striker for the building’s exterior.
The dragon was conceived by engineer, designer and artist-blacksmith Paul West. The dragon’s eight foot wing span and six foot body length provide support for the 110 lb. cast brass bell. The dragon’s tail is the bell striker. Mechanical clock works inside the building pull a striking cable that runs through the wall into the dragon’s body and tail.
Badger and West created the dragon in Badger’s shop and installed it under the direction of clock specialist Durward Center. To create the wings, hot-hammered steel sheet was welded to forged ribs. Individually shaped scales cover a structural armature that forms the dragon’s body. The belly scales were made from sections of 11 gauge copper plate. The dragon’s head also conceals structural framing with sheet steel and forged facial features and 2" ball bearings for eyes.
The Bell Striker Dragon was published in "Ironwork Today 2: Inside and Out" (p. 253-4 - Schiffer Publishing- December, 2008)