We visited Red Earth Designs, a Ceramics and Framing Studio in the heart of Belfast which brings together the creative and business talents of twin sisters, Claire and Karen Gibson, both with a Masters Degree in Fine and Applied Art from the University of Ulster at Belfast. In business since 2001, producing a range of unique and exciting ceramics with a very distinctive style.
“Stunning work that will still look as fresh and Fashionable fifty years from now.”
Q: What makes your product unique?
A: We are identical twins and we design and produce all the pieces we make at our Belfast Studio. The designs are completely original and beautifully quirky.
The work is made to a high standard, predominantly in porcelain and is fired to stoneware temperatures. The work is not available anywhere else and makes a beautiful addition to any home.
We also create unique sculptures to order and can personalize any of our commissioned pieces as required.
Q: What inspires you as an artist/maker?
A: We are inspired by nature, predominantly the sea as we live on the coast and get much inspiration from beach combing and observing the delicate shapes and patterns we come across. Another inspiration is nostalgia, old light bulbs, NI milk bottles and chemistry flasks are used to create moulds from which we cast in porcelain.
Q: How did you get started?
A: We graduated from the Masters degree in 1998 and set up the business in 2001, firstly by acquiring studio premises. We then began producing a body of work from which we got orders for awards, and did trade shows in Dublin and Harrowgate to get our first wholesale orders. The business quickly grew from there and went from strength to strength.
Q: Why do you think it’s important to keep local?
A: Supporting local small businesses makes our economy much stronger in times of recession and helps to keep small businesses increasing in numbers which then promotes tourism by making the country more interesting to visit.
Q: What motto do you live/work by?
A: We love what we do and are really happy producing beautiful work on a daily basis.
it is very important to enjoy what you do for a living and our motto is just that!
We also enjoy the social aspects of working in the arts/crafts industry.. ‘work hard, play hard’ as they say!
We put our utmost skill and high standard of finish into every piece we produce, its a labour of love.
Karen and Claire add, ‘Very delicate Porcelain tealight holders are a speciality of ours and make a wonderful bespoke gift, they come boxed and have a beautiful glow when lit.’
Visit redearthdesigns.co.uk to see a full gallery of Karen & Claire’s work.