golfing for muralistas

cave drawings

Chauvet cave – 30,000 year-old mural

Winter is closing in, but thoughts of warm Mediterranean weather have been circulating in the collective mind of belatrova. As well as making lamps and coasters for next year, we have been commissioned to create a ceramic mural for a house in Spain, and have been given a generously open brief.

Conventionally, a mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. And ceramic murals are traditionally made from tiles, but strictly speaking belatrova’s work will be a ceramic wall sculpture made from ceramic pieces using the wall space as a canvas and allowing the blank areas of the wall to play their part in the overall composition.

ceramic pieces for wall mural

detail- legging it to Spain


The pieces are of different shapes and sizes, some abstract, some representational, and will be slab rolled as flat as possible without causing them to crack in the kiln – the larger the piece the more likely it is to warp or fracture in the heat, specially if there are stress points in the making which do not show up before biscuiting. Some preliminary tests have taken place, with interesting results. Here is a tantalizing detail of pieces so far that we have glazed (left).

And here below is a piece that nearly made it but cracked during glazing:

ceramic skull

notice the crack between the eyes





The wall space is above a doorway in a hall and measures more than 2 x 3 metres. Foolish members of the team are very keen to accompany the pieces and install them, and have ostentatiously been bringing golf clubs into work to practice their swings because, you see, the house in question is next door to Spain’s best known golf course, Valderrama.

man holdin ceramic mask to face

the ceramicist’s silent scream



engraving of dead stag

Rudolph hit by golf ball

golf ball





belatrova did once play golf, in Richmond Park, and hit a deer with the only ball he managed to get into the air.


However, all this is in the future. What about the present? Well, it is an easy step from ceramic coaster making to tiles, and from tiles to tables with tiled tops. This is our first metal-framed coffee table with a ceramic surface made of nine glazed tiles in the Brushstroke Blues range. There will be more to come.

coffee table with tiled surface

tiled table in Brushstroke Blues

ceramic coaster










belatrova wishes all its supporters a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. 2015 promises to be an even better year for us and we hope that will be true for all of you too.


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