This is a photograph of one of the paths that lead us to work at No9 Bankside. As you can imagine, the colours and environment change considerably throughout the year, and even the birds sound different – hardly a tweet in January but a choir in May. The walk is soothing and helps focus ones thoughts, and amidst the usual deliberations (Is the universe finite or infinite? Are there female leprechauns? Why do old men have hairs in their nostrils? How much deeper would the oceans be without sponges?), what came into mind recently was “How to explain the belatrova look?”
Mid century modern? Vintage 50s? Contemporary retro? Retro contemporary? Not really. It’s just that the belatrova team like bright, bold colours and satisfying forms – it’s age and experience that allow any maker and designer to judge with confidence the fashions and periods she or he has lived through, and to come up with something that looks both familiar and refreshingly new. That’s belatrova.
Add to this a contemporary rural community that provides know-how and support when dealing with different materials and processes – somehow our neighbours, a metal worker, a maker of Japanese screens, a textile artist and a ceramic sculptor, have some intangible influence on things – and if you add the fact that the three business partners are a potter, a painter and a pianist, you have a recipe for a unique creative business.
What we are saying is that belatrova combines an awareness of contemporary style with the influence from childhoods spent in the era of sputnik legs, Mondrian geometry, rounded shapes and coffee tables, in other words the late fifties and early sixties (yes, last century) – but also bringing a contemporary artist’s touch to domestic design and introducing both fun and fine art painting into the home.
And so, not that you need reminding, distinctive hand made, hand glazed ceramic coasters, lamps, bowls, and large standing pots, contemporary designer coffee tables, and ceramic birdbaths on beautiful oak plinths make up the range of stunning products from belatrova. Here are a few images to whet your appetites:
As most of you know, everything is made at our workshop in Ledbury, Herefordshire, which you are very welcome to visit; just give us a ring on 01531 634082 in case we are out delivering, or on an emergency expedition to buy olives for our Martinis. Warning: the picture below is not of a Martini, but an experiment involving apple juice and gin and other (secret) ingredients.
And by the way, a potter, a painter and a pianist deal respectively with mud, paint and ivory, so we thought at first we would find a name for our enterprise by making an attractive anagram of the three words. Luckily we went for “belatrova” – the only anagrams we came up with were “mad vino purity”, “via nudity romp” and “armpit undo ivy”.