We wish you all a happy 2014.

decorated cake


girl twerking


air drone


comic strip character by Paul arscott


During a coffee break we were talking about how we will be seen in a hundred years’ time. Will the people of 2114 look at us and think  “… hmmm Britain’s got talent, Great British Bake-off, twerking, tweeting, trolling, drones…? What was all that about?”

Or will they be rubbing their chins, impressed by the years’ innovations: wearable computers, developments in biometrics, 3D-printed organs, crowd sourced business. Or maybe 2014 sees the return of abstract art, but made by women artists, or the rise of digital surrealism, or the rise of the comic, or the beginning of a return to connoisseurship and the appreciation of the individually crafted. Who knows? We don’t, but with the centenary commemoration of the First World War about to dominate the press and media, belatrova wanted to see what was happening culturally back then, we wanted to see what the “future” was like one hundred years ago.

For example:

Cubist picture of Horta, by Picasso

Picasso, 1909

Grand Central Station in New York

In Grand Central Station I sat down and wept

German expressionist image by Kirchner

Combat – agonies of love, Kirchner, 1915

Vortcist painting by Bomberg

The Mud Bath, Bomberg 1914

Gaudi’s art nouveau Casa Mila in Barcelona is finished (see blog June 2013), Die Brucke and German Expressionism comes to the fore, Art Deco in France starts to emerge, Picasso develops Cubism, Grand Central Station in New York opens to the public, the Vorticist movement takes shape in Britain,  and airships (or Zeppelins) were new.

And one hundred years ago the Arts and Crafts Movement was flourishing, and had been since 1880, inspired by John Ruskin and William Morris.  It emerged in Britain but was quickly taken up and adapted in America and Europe.

Arts & Craft mug by Finch

mug by Alfred William Finch 1900

They promoted a revival of traditional handicrafts and the introduction of better design in everyday and domestic objects. Individuals in small workshops to large manufacturers created the work.

And they all reached a wider audience thanks to shops such as Liberty’s and  Heal’s selling their goods.

Liberty's in London


Heal's in London


belatrova  has a gut feeling that the era of the individually hand-crafted is coming around once again.

Geometrical painting by Malevich

Suprematist painting by Malevich

Here is one of our recent Manhattan slab pots, with just a hint of Kasimir Malevich about it, though strictly speaking the  Russian founder of Suprematist painting did not start the movement until 1915.

Slab pot made by belatrova with geometric patterns painted on

Manhattan slab pot by belatrova

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