The Belly Bowl Method
Plaster of Paris is used to take the initial mould of the belly. This quick and easy process takes just 15 minutes and can be done in the comfort of your own home. This mould is then sent back to the studio where the Belly Bowl is made at a pace far more suited to the drying qualities of clay – which results in a shape that is true to your unique belly and the shape and size if the belly itself (without the rest of the body getting in the way) is utilized to create a deeper bowl.
Each Belly Bowl is hand decorated. Leaves and other textures can be pressed into the clay to create a design. Mandalas are scratched in by hand.
The best time to make the cast is around 36 weeks. That way you get a good sized bowl before your belly drops. There is also less risk then of losing out if baby makes an early arrival! There is about a 5 to 7% shrinkage in the clay as it dries. If a baby shower is held close to the end of the pregnancy, being part of the mould making process can be fun for the attendees, especially if the Belly Bowl forms part of a group contribution gift.
History of the Belly Bowl
Emma’s Mother, Lesley-Ann Hoets, is a famous handwork potter and so Emma grew up surrounded by clay.
Lesley-Ann would always make belly bowls for her friends when they were pregnant. Her method required the mom–to-be to sit still for a few hours while the slab of clay, placed directly onto the belly, dried. Aside from being a bit inconvenient for the mom-to-be (let’s face it, late into the third trimester – which is the ideal time to make a belly bowl – bathroom trips are frequent!) the shape of the bowl can get distorted as the mom moves and the clay is removed before the optimum drying time. The rest of the body also gets in the way of being able to get the real bowl shape of the bump.
By simply changing the method of taking the initial mould, Emma has created a process that results in a truer shape with an easier workability, whilst still maintaining the sentiment of her mother’s idea and adding her own artistic influence in the designs.
Follow Belly Bowl on social media!