Chow Bella began in 2006, when Claire Pearson-Cowell, who was in between ceramics studios (then working full time in publishing and making art ceramics in her spare time), was fed up of her Cocker Spaniel Bella's ears always being wet or crusty from draping in her food bowl. So she decided to make her a bespoke bowl.
A week or so later, feeling quite chuffed with the clean ear scenario at home, she mentioned this on a cocker spaniel forum, and the rest, as they say, is history! The business had to be named after Bella and so Chow Bella was born. Spaniel bowls (Ear Free Bowls®) are still the mainstay of the business and will always be at the core of Chow Bella.
The first ever Chow Bella bowl, left, and Bella's last bowl from 2018.
I am the owner, designer-maker, social media manager, packer, web designer, basically everything Chow Bella. When I'm not in the studio my other loves include running (I'm a Run Leader for my local running group in Hampshire), cooking, gardening and meeting up with friends. I live in Hampshire with my partner and our lurcher, Sox, who doesn't need an ear free bowl but does of course have one of my large, traditional bowls.
I studied ceramics at London's City Lit and have a Dip H.Ed (distinction) in Fine and Applied Art: Ceramics (I also have a BA(Hons) from my previous life)
Bella was really the other founder of Chow Bella, because if it weren't for her and her beautiful ears, I wouldn't have made the original bowl all those years ago.
She was the most fantastic little dog and such a character - bossy, mischievous, extremely clever, and about as food motivated as they come! In our London years she was forever raiding people's picnics in Greenwhich Park, could find her way into any bag, box or bin, and was an absolutely shameless smash-and-grabber!
When I went full time with the business in 2013, she became my constant companion in the studio and had no less than 3 beds as she liked to stay close to me, especially as she grew older and lost her hearing. She was put to sleep on 5th March 2019 at a good old age of 14 and a quarter. I miss her terribly, she was my best little fur friend, but she had the most joyous of lives and I am just so privileged to have spent all 14 of those years with her.
Her image is the Chow Bella logo, and her legacy is the business. Her ashes sit on the windowsill of my studio so she is still overseeing my work!
The slideshow below is a little tribute to her. My darling Bella, 16th Dec 2005 to 5th March 2019 xx
Photo of Bella courtesy and copyright of Penel Malby Photography.