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Four Corners of Craft: Meet the makers from Northern Ireland

Sep 18, 2015

by Sarah Hewett

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

The London Design Festival is the highlight of the UK design calendar, where the world gathers to celebrate great craft and design. This year, Etsy makes it’s mark with a selling exhibition of cross-disciplinary contemporary craft on 24-27th September 2015, in partnership with Crafts Council and Tent London. From Inverness to Sussex and Belfast to Cardigan, the Etsy community is a highly talented group of designer-makers, creating beautiful contemporary craft across all areas of the UK.

Selected from almost 1000 applications, we will unite 45 of these makers in an exhibition to represent craft from the four corners of our country… what ties it all together is the quality of making.

Going behind the scenes of the makers and designers exhibition at our Etsy Four Corners of Craft with our Scottish, Welsh and English sellers – next up, we travelled west to visit three of our sellers living in Northern Ireland.

Claire and Karen Gibson

Based in the heart of Belfast in their beloved pottery studio, twin sisters Claire and Karen Gibson have come together to unite their passion for ceramics and have recently embarked on their Etsy journey. Having launched their business Ceramic Studios over fourteen years ago, their quirky pieces of pottery are a thought-provoking insight into their inspirations.

Exploring the idea of transforming nostalgic items into contemporary pieces of porcelain, Claire and Karen have travelled far and wide studying the beauty of decay and fragility in nature and how this can be conveyed in their work.

‘It is great to have the ability to reach craft makers all over the world and order unique works of art online. May its success continue in the future for all involved!’

See more of Claire and Karen’s ceramics in their Etsy shop Red Earth Design.

Katie Brown

Textile designer and self confessed print and pattern addict Katie hails from the coastal town of Bangor, of where she runs her Etsy shop. With her beautiful collection of signature prints to choose from, Katie’s range of luxury products showcase her specialist skills in screen and textile printing, using bespoke dyes and special effects to develop her designs. Passionate about supporting the local industry, Katie uses digital printers in England and Scotland, with seamstresses based in Belfast.

‘I am inspired by the urban, industrial landscape and love contrasting hard-edged imagery such as swirling barbed wire and skeletal cranes with soft, draping natural fabrics. I use delicate patterns and beautiful colour combinations to disguise the original source imagery and create a piece of functional art.’

See more of Katie’s printed silk cushions and scarves in her Etsy shop KatieBrownDesignsUK.

Elin Johnson

Jewellery designer Elin describes her work as ‘wearable art or sculptures,’ with bold scales, forms, colour and embellishment; pushing the boundaries of creative design and ‘freeing the pieces from conventional perceptions of every day use.’ Merging tradition and technique, Elin creates beautiful one-of-a-kind silver and golden pieces inspired by purity of form and clean lines, using the ancient Keum-Boo process of applying 24ct Gold to pure the silver.

‘I am to create ‘designed made objects’ which elevate the status of jewellery beyond simple decoration or accessory to produce dramatic cutting edge jewellery for a modern audience.’

See more of Elin’s jewellery in her Etsy shop ElinJWearableArt.

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With a national reach, our prestigious lead partners include: London Design Festival, Tent London, Crafts Council, Contemporary Applied Arts, The Design Trust, Craft Scotland,Creative Scotland, Craft NI, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Helfa Gelf. What a line up! We’re also grateful for support from: Arts Council of Wales, Ruthin Craft Centre, The Makers’ Guild in Wales and many more incredible creative organisations around the UK.

Exhibition details

Free entrance.
Dates: Thursday 24th – Sunday 27th September 2015
Opening times: Thu-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm
Gallery: Shop 12, Dray Walk, Tent London, The Old Truman Brewery, E1 6QL (Follow directions to Tent London)

Inspired to sell what you make? Opening an Etsy shop is simple. Get started with 20 free listings! Enter the code: FOURCORNERS here (new sellers only).

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