curved ceramic bowl with fruit


ceramic bowl

banana blue

You will not be surprised to know that we take our research very seriously at belatrova, so that when we talked about a name for a new range of bowls and decided it was to be “banana bowl“, we discovered the revealing fact that the inside of a banana skin can be used to polish shoes.

pair of shoes

banana rub

What else? Well, it can also be used to calm an itchy mosquito bite, and did you know that on average each person in the UK eats about 100 bananas a year?


banana scratch

We could go on. And we will.

Bananas are the most popular fruit in the world, and the banana is, in fact, not a tree but a high herb that grows up to 15 metres. It is believed that there are almost 1000 varieties of bananas, the most commonly known banana being the Cavendish variety, which is the one produced for export markets.


Enough. The fact is that our bowls are banana shaped, and thus their name.

We really enjoyed making these bowls. The shape is a whimsical and it truly stands out in any setting, whether it has anything in it or nothing at all. It has enough personality to speak for itself: notice the herring bone motifs in some, all contained by the rich cobalt brush marks.

A unique hand made bowl, unusual but really elegant, and ideal as a way to serve fruit, or snacks, though it really comes into its own when used simply as a table centrepiece. The three legs give it a steady balance and a charming retro look, say we.

banan bowl drying

banana bowl drying

Each piece takes days to make, from flattening the clay and passing it through the slab roller, shaping and cutting and letting it dry for over a week, then biscuit firing it to 1000 degrees. We shape them over a large round cement garden ornament, as you can see in the image above.

If you want to see more images of our banana bowls do visit a new online outlet that belatrova has teamed up with: Home of Artisans, where you will also see some more examples of our wave bowls, which we mentioned in our January blog.

And did you know that the derivation of the word banana is from the Arabic banan, which means finger?











Over the moon, on the crest of a wave.


close-up of table top by belatrova

moon power

Gazing at the Full Moon last night belatrova was filled by the wonder of the night sky. Somebody told us it was a Wolf Moon, and it turns out that full moon names reflect the goings on of that time of year, and this one is so called by American Indians because it is the animal’s hungry month, so February’s is the Snow Moon because it is the month most snow falls, Harvest Moon in August, Hunters’ Moon, and so on. And to top it all, five planets in the solar system are visible in a line this month: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – a fabulous quirk of the Universe.

image of 5 aligned planets

planetary alignment

Possibly as a result of this magical alignment belatrova has won ‘Best of Customer Service’ on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design ( The ‘Best of Houzz’ is awarded annually in three categories – Design, Customer Service, and Photography. Houzz ‘Best of Customer Service’ honours are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews received in 2015. A ‘Best of Houzz 2016’ badge will appear on belatrova’s Houzz profile as a sign of its commitment to excellence and these badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals.

Houzz Customer Award 2016 badge

So, a huge thank you is due to our customers who reviewed us on Houzz. We were chosen by the Houzz* community from among more than one million active home building, renovating, and design industry professionals.

Andrew Small, Managing Director of Houzz UK commented, “anyone building, renovating, or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals, and we are very pleased to recognise belatrova with our ‘Best of Customer Service’ award.

close-up of wave bowl edge

ceramic wave

Aware that all sorts of things happen during a Full Moon (arson attacks increase by 100% at the time of the Full Moon, murders treble around that time and passengers on flights are more difficult to handle, say harassed air hostesses) we at belatrova would rather let our minds float in all the apparently miraculous stuff associated with it. For example, the link between the Lunar Cycle and the tides is well established but still mysterious, but may well explain why we have started making large wave bowls this new year. We think you will like them: they are a perfect centrepiece for any dining table, and practical as fruit bowls or tureens.

belatrova ceramic wave bowl

blue undulations

ceramic bowl with blue brushstrokes

more blue waviness

We have used the oxides of the Brushstroke Blues range to hand paint the wavy brushstrokes onto the undulating surface, which in turn has wave-like marks scratched in with a peineta or Spanish Flamenco comb. This last element, as you belatrovians instinctively know, is essential.

Spanish comb



close-up of ceramic scratchwork

porcelain comb-over


5 wave bowls out of the kiln

straight out of the kiln

These wave bowls measure about 40cms x 30 cms, and weigh 6 lbs (2.7 kls), so they are robust as well as beautiful. Don’t let February’s Full Moon be a Blue one, cheer yourself up with a belatrova bowl and wave goodbye to the blues.

*About Houzz (

Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world.


With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality.


Peter Arscott, Director of belatrova said, “we are delighted to receive this accolade from such a prestigious enterprise as Houzz. We work hard to ensure that everyone inquiring about our products enjoys dealing with us, and that those who buy a belatrova product are completely satisfied with it and enjoy having it in their home or commercial environment.”


tweet of the month


greenfinch looking for a bath

Imagine you are a garden bird. It is hot, the sun is shining, worms have been eaten and you need a drink. Perched on the very top of your favourite tree, probably a Lawson cypress, you have been singing away the early morning and your throat is dry (perhaps you are a greenfinch whose song is a prolonged nasal “tswe-e-e” in the breeding season, and you are exhausted). Looking down on what the neighbouring gardens have to offer, you see no puddles because of the heat, but you spot some inviting birdbaths. Alas, on closer inspection they are either too deep for your little pink legs or full of green slime because the bowl is porous and harbours algae.

ceramic birdbath

belatrova birdbath

Happily, you are attracted to a particular birdbath – a fine ceramic bowl with an attractive turquoise glaze, standing on a reassuringly solid piece of oak. The bowl tapers to a depth of three inches in the middle, and the glaze ensures there is little algae, if any. Perfect. You have a quick look at the bottom of the bowl: of course, the “b” of belatrova is embedded in the ceramic – no wonder it such a fine piece. No deeper than three inches at the center and even shallower at the edge, so that a greenfinch can ease its way in. Many birdbaths are just not shallow enough.

Some people put rocks in theirs to raise the bottom, but it will require more work to keep the water clean.

drawing of evil cat

bad cat

As a greenfinch you will know where a birdbath should be located. Not where cats can hide. Cats like to lie in wait beneath shrubbery and then jump on the birds when they’re wet and can’t fly well. Consider putting your birdbath at least five feet from such hiding places. Give the birds a chance to see the cat approaching. There should also be an escape route. The ideal location is under some branches that hang down within two or three feet of the bath. A wet bird can flutter a few feet up to the safety of the leaves.


shoebill bird

you don’t want shoebills in your birdbath



A birdbath on a pedestal makes it easy to see from the house, easy to clean, and somewhat safer from predators. If you locate your bath on the ground, it is important for the birds to have overhanging branches to fly to. And place it within reach of a hose – make your birdbath easy to clean and refill. But locate your birdbath away from the feeding area, because seeds and droppings will dirty the water quickly. Change the water every few days, or even every day in hot weather.



ceramic birdbath on oak plinth

perfect birdbath



Don’t forget to place the birdbath where you can see it from indoors, from your desk, dining room, or the kitchen sink. Then you can enjoy the sight of a blackbird or sparrow splashing away – well, wouldn’t you want to clean your feathers and remove any parasites? it can brighten up your day.


blackbird perched on rim of birdbath bowl

blackbird about to have a dip

belatrova’s favourite tweets (just click the bird):




Ah, birdsong; nothing purer or more natural…. even Cathy Berberian knows there’s one roulade she can’t sing. (Steely Dan – Your Gold Teeth)

tweet, tweet

three legs good

ceramic three legged bowl

belatrova’s Manhattan three legged bowl

An early morning run or walk can be a way to set oneself up for the day – you are out there with the dawn chorus, a hint of Spring in the air, plans assembling themselves in your mind for the day ahead, perhaps a squirrel just out of hibernation crosses your path, you breathe in the clean air of a new day, and then, an unfamiliar experience, the earth beneath your feet is right in front of your face, greeting you painfully on the nose. You have fallen over. Looking around to make sure nobody has witnessed your collapse, you pick yourself up and limp home with whatever dignity you can muster.

cartoon of legs slipping


Human walking is a unique activity during which the body, step by step, teeters on the edge of catastrophe.” —paleoanthropologist John Napier

Just how do we two-legged creatures manage to stay upright while in motion, or even when standing still? How can we possibly keep our balance on those flippers we call feet? Come to think of it, we are rather top heavy too, so why are we not keeling over all the time? Apparently it is all to do with voluntary and reflexive, neural, muscular, and skeletal systems collectively coordinating so as to allow us to walk without a second thought. But we shall not go into that; we simply bring it up because it leads us to an important belatrovian issue that we propose to resolve here and now.


quadrupedal thing

Within the tightly knit belatrova team, harmony always prevails. No matter what the weather outside, or the music being played, or the occasional badly made cup of coffee, we all beaver away happily and get along. Tea breaks are relaxing opportunities for discussions on topics that range from underwater basket weaving to why on earth men have nipples, from the benefits of taxation in a functioning society to the lingering suspicion that chocolate may actually not be bad for one. Important subjects for debate, we agree.

However, there is one issue that consistently divides the team into two camps: the tripedalists and the quadrupedalists. Dear belatrovians, are three legs better than four? With the spirit of conflict resolution guiding us towards a hoped-for conclusion, research was undertaken and the results are the following:

Try this at home. With your hand slightly cupped, point your thumb, index finger, and middle finger upwards and then place a flat piece of card or paper on top of them. The card will lie on all three points. Now stick a fourth finger into this experiment (perhaps somebody else’s) to add another contact point. It is now a little harder to exactly fit the paper on the plane.

Conclusion – the triangle formed by the three fingertips is stable because no matter where any of the three points of the triangle lie, they will always define a plane. So, a three-legged stool is guaranteed not to wobble, because the ends of its legs always form a plane. Thus a camera tripod; no matter which height each leg is, you will get no wobble. Even on an uneven floor.

It’s much more challenging to make a four legged table whose fourth point of contact is in the same plane as the first three points. Any point that is added to that plane will make it harder for the plane to be stable. On some uneven floors it may be quite impossible for a four legged table to be stable if it gets moved about. Five or six legs would be even worse.


a perfectly balanced four legged table by belatrova

Quadrupedalistas, graciously accepting this explanation (despite some sarcastic mutterings about making three legged tables, birdbaths and lamps), have come around to the wisdom and logic of belatrova’s decision to make three legged bowls. Place one on any surface and your olives, peanuts or cheese puffs will not roll off due to wobble. What is more, the bowls carry a certain elegance that is a touch retro – 1950s perhaps?

ceramic three legged bowl

three legged bowl

And talking of retro, MoseyHome are a new London outlet, and they are showing belatrova’s three legged bowls. Pay them a visit if you are in the area. You can also visit our “three legged” Pinterest board.

three legged bowl

stability on legs

As for our monopods, our beautiful birdbaths, lamps and slab pots, they will be appearing in the next few months in Country Living and Garden Illustrated.

With only a month to go, we would like to remind you that we are opening the workshop to the public on the weekend of 25th and 26th April. You are most welcome to visit, and try your hand at making a tripedal bowl. We’ll be there with five other makers for this Open Spring Weekend:

Spring Open Sudios

Spring Open Studios




Whistle while you work

Being a naturally harmonious workplace, belatrova’s workshop is a temple of productivity and foot-tapping enjoyment. Yes, music wafts through our workspace every day, and is shared by all – no headphones or earplugs to be seen. We know that those who listen to music complete their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who don’t, because, as we all know, music improves our mood.

image of dopamine


We went online to see what explanations there may be and found out that in biological terms, melodious sounds help encourage the release of dopamine in the reward area of the brain. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine systems, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Every type of reward that has been studied increases the level of dopamine in the brain: music, chocolate, sunshine, massages, coffee.

When glazing is the priority and we want our dopamines stroked in the best manner, the BrushstrokeBlues range benefits from the cool tonal subtlety of Miles Davis trumpet. The best-selling Jazz album of all time is Kind of Blue“, and it is played at No9 Bankside at least once a week; it slows down the pulse rate and the brushstrokes flow.

brushstroke blues range

brushstroke blues

ceramics in manhattan range

manhattan range

The Manhattan range belongs to the pugmill’s namesake Thelonius Monk, whose improvisations are full of dissonances and melodic surprises, and strange but wonderful gaps or hesitations. Try listening to “Round Midnight” or “Ruby, my dear” if you haven’t already.

And the Allegro range goes so well with the sensual playing Stan Getz’s saxophone and Astrud Gilberto‘s bossa nova voice (you know, “Girl from Ipanema“, “Fly me to the Moon“, “Corcovado“).

allegro range of ceramics


Which leaves us with the Valencia series. Warm, full of light…it’s samba and rumba – Peregoyo y su Combo Vacana floats our boat, but any Latin American dance music seems right.

valencia range


So far there is general consensus with the music played, and others that get a look-in are Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Steely Dan, David Bowie, John Surman, Oscar Peterson, with only some ructions reserved for the occasional playing of Tom Waites (“Rain Dogs”).

miles davis portrait

miles davis

jazz pianist thelonius monk

thelonius monk

bossa nova singer astrud gilberto

astrud gilberto

colombian singer peregoyo


We even have fabulous supporters and clients of belatrova who give us recordings they have made; one fine person even left us five CDs of Miles Davis late recordings. If he is reading this we would like to say “thanks” and tell him that “Aura” is growing on us.

By the way, even if you are a small business, if music is ever played on your premises for customers or staff, through radio, TV, CD, MP3 this is considered a “public performance”. A music licence grants you permission to do this, and the fees generated ensure that songwriters, composers and music publishers are paid when their music is used.

silhouette of dancers

belatrova unwinding (Friday evenings)

Goodbye for now.

the great Paul Klee’s never ending reach

a line of hand painted belatrova tables

belatrova conga at the Open Day

So many of you came to our Open Days on Saturday 30th November and Sunday 1st December, that we ran out of coffee, white wine and mince pies.  Although Unit 9 Bankside is a workshop, please feel free to drop by at any time, though a ‘phone call beforehand is a good idea, just in case.

two lines of belatrova coffee tables

belatrova squad

Those of you who came were able to see the exhibition of table  paintings which we set up just for the two days, and this proved very popular. These tabletops are all hand painted, each one a painting in acrylic and then varnished over with a heat resistant lacquer.

With a big space dedicated to the tables only, most viewers took their own time to look at each individual piece and enjoyed the experience of a gallery-like atmosphere and the pleasure of looking down at paintings and walking around them. Try it at home, it’s so much more comfortable than looking up at paintings on walls. And you can put hot mugs of tea on them too.

One or two of you, having been to the Paul Klee exhibition at the Tate Modern, noted a connection between his painting and some of the tables. Well spotted. Klee is a particular hero of belatrova’s and every now and again surfaces in our work. Here are some Klee-like examples:

belatrova paul klee table painting

paul klee table

klee reference on belatrova table

a bit more klee

The Klee exhibition is one of the best to be held anywhere, and even if you are not familiar with his work, belatrova recommends a visit (we’ve been twice already); he was innovative and always trying out new ways to make marks on a surface, and, seventy three years after his death, you can see how much he has influenced artists.

belatrova is not sure that Klee ever made any ceramics, but had he done so the results would have been as engaging as Picasso’s, though gentler. Here are two we made earlier with P.K. in mind:

two pots in the Klee style

two Klee pots by belatrova

The Art of Selling?

6 squared dishes by belatrova

platters (Photo C. de la Torre)

The easy part of a business like belatrova, and any other art/design/craft-based project, is the making of the product. Far more mysterious and challenging is the art of marketing, of finding your target audience, those human beings you know have been put on this good earth to buy your merchandise.

Excellent advice abounds, like The Design Trust run by Patricia van den Akker which really gives helpful insight into website traffic and media tools (“no nonsense business advice and tips for designers and makers”), or the many design blogs which promote certain products but also publish tips by designers and makers on a regular basis. You could easily spend a day surfing and googling them and come out a little wiser if disconcerted because of the many options available.

belatrova already has its website, its facebook page, and its blog. It has its first outlet in London in the Horsebox Gallery, and is taking part in its first “open workshop” week, opening its doors to the public as part of h.Art, the very successful Herefordshire Art Week when visitors can see an array of artwork at exhibitions in locations such as castles, manor houses, barns farms, churches, workshops and galleries throughout the county.

Many have paid us a visit, and we have benefitted from a great deal of feedback and comment, and learnt about the elementary art of selling. The basic, essential, person to person, market place, art of selling.

view of wall display of belatrova ceramics

the view from the entrance

Though No 9 Bankside is strictly a workshop we did set it up as a showroom for the occasion and learnt soon enough that when people came through the main entrance the “wow” factor set in as they faced the display of ceramics on the wall opposite. All very well, but a display does not always invite the viewer to touch and handle the objects, it can actually keep the potential customer at arm’s length.

We noticed that most visitors preferred to go to another shelving unit that was lower and easy to stand close to, and which provided a waist or chest high access to the displayed ceramics. These were always being picked up and touched, and (importantly) purchased. Unlike the main display opposite the entrance, with nothing between it and the person entering but an empty floor space which dramatised the display – most people warm to proximity and clutter rather than to distance and minimalism.

table with ceramics on display

an invitation to touch

Solution: a table placed right in the middle of the room, between display and door, with stacked ceramics and a notice inviting customers to handle the goods.

Result: more sales.

customers handling ceramics around a table


Other tips we have picked up in this temporary market place include:

– welcoming visitors as guests and offering them tea or coffee helps create a relaxed atmosphere that is friendly enough for the customer not to feel that she or he is perceived as only a customer but also as someone who might share an interest or a delight in common with the maker

– establishing eye contact makes it easier for the customer to come back to you with questions

– if you have a bowl to sell put some fruit in it

– do not display anything above the eye line, waist level is best , and tables are friendlier than shelves

We suspect that most of you know all this, and that we have been teaching grannies to suck eggs, but we have enjoyed observing and learning things that we may well apply to exhibitions and trade shows. And we have specially enjoyed meeting you – getting to know some of our supporters and customers is a real plus.

ceramic lamp base with shade

belatrova’s table lamp

And you can still come and visit us at 9 Bankside in Ledbury (HR8 2JQ) until the end of h.Art on Sunday 15th, just follow the pink signs. Come and see our new range of floor and table lamps.

Or you could just come and gaze at the Maestro, Stuart the Wheel, throwing pots and jugs in his mesmeric way.

potter Stuart Houghton on his wheel

mesmeric Maestro

Perfidious Albion in Barcelona

Barcelona, like the rest of Spain, is going through hard times. Unemployment is on the rise, specially among the young, many of whom are leaving for jobs abroad if they can get any.

Paseo de Gracia and Diagonal with Pedrera building in backgropund

The distinctive roof of Casa Milá in the background

It is also a vibrant city associated with art, architecture and design, not least with Gaudi’s Parque Guell that overlooks the entire city and the sea beyond, and his “Casa Milá” with its singular rooftop – you can see it in the background in the photo taken from the top of Paseo de Gracia.

The capital of a culture that has produced Miró, Dalí, Casals, that nurtured the young Picasso, that gave us Catalan Modernism, that developed its own distinctive cuisine and arguably the best football team ever, is unlikely to take things lying down.

Four red bars on a yellow background represent Catalunya

Catalan flag

Next year is the 300th anniversary of Catalunya’s loss of independence to Spain after the Treaty of Utrech and so I was reminded that this culture and language have had to survive many difficulties, and the growing feeling among many in the city is for separation and independence – the Catalan flag was everywhere we went.

By the way, we Brits can hang our heads in shame; despite an agreement with the Catalans we abandoned them in 1714 to the tender mercies of their foes while we got Gibraltar and Menorca in return.…perfidious Albion.

Anyway, enough history.

belatrova  walked everywhere, visited galleries and design outlets, and used the efficient and smooth metro and buses to go further afield. We really liked the Room Service Design Gallery, run the day we visited by Jordi, and which displays furniture by the Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek – sustainability, efficiency and social responsibility are his guiding principles, and his stuff is visibly hand made, using mainly recycled material.

hand made furniture

Piet Hein Eek chair at Room Service Design

The gallery also takes seriously the promotion of young designers and has a section for graduates to show their work. Drop in when and if you’re there; the MACBA  (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona) is a block away and the neighbourhood is part of the city in which anybody could easily spend a day walking, drinking, snacking and rubber necking. Which is what we did.

table displayed at Room Service Design Gallery

ceramic table by Piet Hein Eek

Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona

the MACBA building

By the way, watch out for skate boarders zipping past as they are encouraged to use the open area in front of the building.

Here are two close-up shots of tapas that we thought might inspire some new colour combinations in our ceramics. Or perhaps not.

close-up of egg salad

yellow white red and black

close-up of sea food salad

black white green red

Monumental window, part of an early 20th century building on the Diagonal, where we went to see how our tables looked away from home and asked two of our customers to allow us into their homes to take a snap or two.

Large stone window and balcony

Monumental window with balcony on the Diagonal Avenue

belatrov table in Barcelona flat
Victoria and Josep Maria’s table

Victoria and Josep Maria keep theirs in a space filled with greenery and the effect is lush and fresh. Veronica and Alberto have theirs nicely set off by the dark floorboards and deep green of the furniture.

Both tables are getting a lot of TLC from their owners.

belatrova table

Veronica and Alberto’s table

belatrova’s top 6 favourite things to do in Barcelona:

Go up onto the roof of Casa Milá (also called “La Pedrera”)

Visit the geese in Barcelona Cathedral’s cloisters

Have a coffee at Meson del Café off St Jaume’s Square

Take the No 14 bus from Calvet/Fransesc Maciá down to Siete Puertas

Eat stuffed squid at the Bar Neutral (Ganduxer 26, Barcelona)

Visit the Fundació Miró – a quick trip inspired belatrova to make a tripod ceramic bowl.

tripod ceramic bowl

hint of Miró?

Caersws (pronounced “Kay-suss)

acrylic on canvas, painting of pregnant woman in orange and blue

pregnant woman by Nicky Arscott

belatrova paid a visit to the Mid Wales Arts Centre just outside the above-mentioned town in Powys on Sunday, in part to get some fresh air and a bit of Welsh countryside, but also to get some ceramic inspiration as well as a look at Nicky Arscott’s paintings.

It’s a two hour drive from Ledbury so we stopped in Rayader and had a snack at the Old Swan Tea Rooms in the middle of the town. Let me tell you that you will not find a better toasted cheese and bacon sandwich anywhere in the world, or a warmer and friendlier café.

Rayader, The Old Swan Tea Rooms.

The Old Swan Tea Rooms in Rayader.

We drove on.

The views were as beautiful as ever, even with the white pockets of snow that still dotted the higher parts of the hills along the way. Lots of sheep, and a few daffodils just starting to show, and (a rare sight nowadays) a very unlucky hedgehog that had not managed to make it to the other side of the road.

Brick facade of Georgian building housing the Mid Wales Arts Centre in Caersws, Powys.

Georgian facade of the Mid Wales Arts Centre in Caersws, Powys.

The Centre  is a fabulous old Georgian house, and contains original artworks and craft in every room, a contemporary art gallery and a sculpture park in the 18 acres of grounds.

It is a wonderful place to stay for casual visitors, walkers, cyclists and artists. All food is home grown, and the Welsh breakfast is a speciality.

It is all run by Cathy Knapp, whose late husband the Polish-born sculptor and enamellist Stefan Knapp left a collection of his work which is on display in the house and grounds.

work by Stefan Knapp

Stefan Knapp’s work on display at Mid Wales Arts Centre

Stefan had many commissions in the 1950sand 60s, including work for Heathrow, and the Shell and Seagram buildings with others such as Rothko and Pollock, and he was a great experimenter and technician, working with Rowneys to develop Cryla acrylic paint. Artists are involved in the

centre’s direction, and there are all sorts of courses on offer, including life drawing, enamelling workshops, poetry events, felt design and ceramic weekends.

tea cakes

tea at Mid Wales Arts Centre

Anyway, we had a good look around and enjoyed the mixed exhibition. There is plenty of pottery on display, and a wide range of paintings on the walls, all of it well exhibited and spaced out and using all the rooms available, which guests are encouraged to walk around in, cup of tea or coffee in hand.

Did I mention that Cathy makes the most mouth-watering cakes in Powys?

I liked the shapes of the assorted bowls that filled the rooms and the importance of their weight and texture came to me when I picked them up.

porcelain bowls on glass shelf with painting of still life in background

bowls at Mid Wales Arts Centre, with background acrylic painting

There is an article in the New York Times International Weekly (Julie Lasky 14/04/13) that highlights the sale of a small white ceramic bowl that was sold for more than $2.2 million. We take the bowl so much for granted and yet its shape has not changed for thousands of years – essentially the shape of cupped hands to hold water in it. Its simplicity is so attractive – another source of inspiration to belatrova, I think.

Have a look at the website for the Mid Wales Arts Centre:

full length photograph of Cathy Knapp, organiser and curator of the Mid Wales Arts Centre

Cathy Knapp

enamel sculpture in the garden of the Mid Wales Arts Centre, Powys.

enamel work by Stefan Knapp

bedroom for paying guests, filled with artwork.

Guest bedroom