Sunday, 26 October 2008


The Belfonte table-top water sculpture is offered as a donation to deserving organisations and individuals who wish to enrich the ambience of their premises. Its capability to fascinate and calm makes it suitable for quiet waiting areas such as reception areas and waiting rooms.

To see and hear the Belfonte click on the play button below.

For better quality video and to see other videos visit, select a video and click on watch in high quality

If you or your organisation are interested in having a Belfonte scroll down to the foot of this web page.


The Belfonte brings together the natural aesthetics and tranquillity of an indoor water fountain with the properties of a light feature and the workmanship of an original hand made sculpture.

The trickling sound of water works as a gentle form of white noise - like waves lapping on a beach or the sound of the forest - bringing a natural tranquillity to an office, waiting room, living room or restaurant.

For centuries water has been used to reduce stress."If we look at our biological background, our bodies are composed of about 98% water. The fountains take us back to our source," says Bobbi Nesheim, a family psychotherapist in San Clemente, California.

The sound facilitates concentration and nurtures a more relaxed state of mind by reducing mental stress and physical tension. For these reasons water is widely used in Feng Shui. This ancient Chinese art, whose concepts are used to decorate homes and offices in the U.S.and Europe, emphasises the importance of water as a symbol of prosperity.

A prospective client or partner who waits five minutes in a lounge with a Belfonte will be more relaxed, focused and positive going in to a meeting, increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome.

The Belfonte works on three levels:

Water begins to spiral down the brass strips,
creating the unique Belfonte effect of illuminated droplets

The brass coils and moving droplets, are projected

on to the walls and ceiling of the room they are in,
creating gently swirling shadows an effect often
described as indoor rain

The constant sound of moving water soothes

and relaxes.


The Belfonte can be easily carried by 1 person. It runs on a safe low voltage (12v DC) electrical supply which is usually achieved by plugging a transformer (supplied) into an ordinary 13 amp mains socket.

The brass spiral of the Belfonte is quite delicate. If it is bent or distorted it cannot be repaired - it must be replaced. Consequently, the Belfonte must be installed where it will not be touched by children, animals or others who do not have the self-control needed to avoid touching it.

The water in the Belfonte circulates continuously. There is a very slow loss of water, mostly from evaporation - indeed the Belfonte may contribute to humidity and other aspects of air quality. There will be the occasional tiny splash that is not caught by the bowl. Consequently the Belfonte should not be installed so that there is a risk of damage to surfaces from the occasional splash. Installing the Belfonte on a cloth will protect the surface underneath - the occasional splashes are absorbed by the cloth and evaporate.

For maximum effect, install the Belfonte in front of a light-coloured wall, so that it casts clear moving shadows.


Rainwater, distilled water or softened water are recommended for filling and topping up the Belfonte.
Topping up is rarely required more frequently than once per week.

Ordinary tap water may be used, but over quite a short period of time, especially if the water is hard, this may lead to substantial deposits of scale on the pump and bowl, which then should be cleaned.

Dust and other air-borne matter will eventually clog the pump's filters. In the short term this will merely slow down the flow of water, but eventually the pump's filters must be cleaned. How often this should be done depends on circumstances, rarely more frequently than once per month.


PAUL FINE is now embarking on a second career, as a sculptor, to supplement 40 years' achievement in the computer industry.

His interest in mathematical sculpture dates from his schooldays, but it has, until recently, taken a back seat to more conventional occupations such as raising a family and working in regular employment.

The Belfonte family of fountain sculptures have been under development since 1995. Some have been sold, others have been given to friends and family.

REFLEXION and RELIEF are a pair of abstract geometrical sculptures installed in the Garden Quadrangle at St. John's College, Oxford.

The Belfonte family, REFLEXION, RELIEF and other geometrical constructions reflect Paul's mathematical abilities, but he intends to extend his work with sheet metal to include irregular and representational designs. He is exploiting the inherent properties of the metal in sculptures that twist, bend and move, using the metal's springiness.

Creative Philosophy

Undertaking sculpting as a second career has affected methods and results.

Firstly, sculptures are regarded as co-operative projects, rather than an individual's creations. This attitude reflects 40 years' work habits. Contributors to REFLEXION and RELIEF include a metal supplier, metal polishers and finishers, and, most importantly, the committees and individuals of the patron, St. John’s College. Contributors to the Belfonte include potters.

Secondly, surely only an amateur or a learner would invest the painstaking labour that produces an accurate realisation of a mathematically pure design without prospect of reward.

Thirdly, work on REFLEXION, RELIEF and the Belfonte has been mainly undertaken as a recreation, in a relaxed atmosphere that helps to avoid mistakes and to resist the temptation to take short cuts that impair quality.

The development of this second career illustrates the work patterns that are evolving for the new millennium, as described by authors such as Charles Handy.

The Sculptor

PAUL FINE, one of 6 brothers, was born in 1943 in Farnborough, Hants., and brought up in Kidlington (near Oxford), Coventry and Cheltenham. He gained an Open Scholarship in Mathematics to St. John's College, Oxford, and in 1964 was awarded a 1st class degree and scholarships for 3 years' postgraduate study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U. S. A. He returned to Britain and worked in the computer industry for 40 years in programming, project management and marketing before retiring from regular paid work in 2008.

He worked as a consultant in Sweden, Italy and Germany, as well as various locations in the U. K. He worked for the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority, Honeywell, SPL, Software Sciences and THORN EMI. In 1990 he established his own design and computer consultancy business, Q S Consultants.

His interest in abstract sculpture based on geometrical forms dates from his teenage years when he first encountered the work of the Bauhaus school of Architecture and Design. This interest was only sporadic until the 1980s, when he first began modelling his own designs for exhibition.

Paul lives in Frome, Somerset.

Collaborators and Suppliers

The original creator of pottery for the Belfonte is Merion John Warren.

The current creator is Oliver Dawson, who was taught by John Warren.

Other suppliers are:

Brass sheet & tubes - Smiths Metal Centres

Pumps - OASE (UK) Ltd & Chrystella

Plastic tubes - Plastic Merchants Ltd of Brighton & E.M.A. Model Supplies Ltd


Those who have contributed to this web site, whether by encouragement, loan of equipment, review or something more creative include:

Max DeLacy

Daniel Fine

Pauline Hannibal

Jack Morris

Roger & Peggy Pritchett

John Russell

Tony & Sylvia Travis

My apologies for any omissions.