apple on ceramic bowl

belatrova – Open Studio Art Week 10 – 18 September

The purest treasure mortal times afford, is spotless reputation; that away, men are but gilded loam or painted clay.” William Shakespeare

apple on ceramic bowl


belatrova’s reputation may well be gleaming, but we would like you to see it up close and give it a good poke. We are happy for you to pick up any of our bowls and test its weight, or sniff it, or hold its cool surface against your cheek, even lick it. Pottery does this to people.

Clay engages the five senses.

ceramic acoustics


Put a porcelain pot to your ear and flick its surface with your middle finger; what a satisfying “ping” sound comes from it, clear and perfect and proving there are no cracks in it. How horrible it is when we take a piece out of the kiln and the ping is more a “plock” sound – disappointment soon follows as a hairline fracture shows up.

eyes looking at ceramic


Touching pots is part of the experience, both when you are making them and when you are choosing one to buy. Do your fingers yearn to feel the rough textured surface of an unglazed vase or do they prefer the smooth milky whiteness of glazed porcelain? And what about plunging them in wet clay and making shapes?

Your eyes can be drawn to certain pots for all sorts of different reasons: colour, glaze, shape. Try holding up a piece of fine porcelain up to the light and wonder at its translucence.

licking porcelain


And eating clay? Well, it is an acquired taste, but some people swear by it. It helps keep toxins from being absorbed into the body, the minerals that make up Bentonite clay work together to absorb heavy metals and other toxins in the gut. And kids seem to love it. “I am so happy that there are other people who love eating clay. I’ve been eating it since my pregnancy 20 years ago. I love the smell of wet earth in my mouth. Yum, yum” Mrs Elvira Fingerhut of Neasden, London, UK.

nose sniffing ceramic


Finally, smell….mmmm, a bit of a challenge, this one. Sometimes it can smell of rotten eggs. But sometimes it is just damp and musty, like Autumn approaching with all its mellow fruitfulness.

Yes, Herefordshire Art Week is with us from 10 – 18 September, which means that we are one of over 150 makers and artists in Herefordshire who will be open to visitors throughout the nine days.

And for a limited period only we have knocked 10% off the price of everything in stock! Would you like to know how to get your discount? Just click here.

One of the advantages in coming to our venue is that you get to see the work of three other ceramicists who form the Bankside Studios cluster: Fleen Doran, Stuart Houghton and Wendy Houghton.

This annual event draws many people to our workshop, and many are dropping in not just for the excellent cake and tea they are offered; you get to experience an exhibition of contrast and style, with informal demonstrations and the chance to talk to the artists.

Furthermore, there is an irresistible sale of belatrova pieces in one section of the workshop, and wonderful bargains to be found. Do come along, say “hello”, and handle, stroke and pat our pottery.

hand made jug by belatrova

thelonius splash pot

Directions: in Ledbury follow the red h.Art signs from Lower Rd or New St into Little Marcle Rd. Follow signs to studios behind Alfa-Tech Garage. Parking is available. We are open 10 – 5.30 pm.

large blue ceramic jug

big blue