Wherever you are in Barbados I would guess that you’re not too far away from a piece of pottery from Earthworks. Yes, you will all have seen it; fired red clay decorated with strong designs and bold colours. Hand made and hand finished. Very eye catching.
When I first arrived in Barbados I saw it everywhere, from local souvenir and tourist shops to house name signs and even along the south coast boardwalk (check out the turtle mural on the boardwalk near Blakey’s). I had no idea where or how it was made, in fact I knew nothing about it at all, other than it seemed to be extremely popular with locals and visitors alike.
Whilst looking for some kitchen items, I came across a couple of ‘must have’ pieces. So with my spoon rest and ‘used tea bag’ bowl tucked under my arm I decided to find out more about this Earthworks place. Yes, I am British, I need a specific bowl to put my used tea bags in. LOL.
I walk along the boardwalk regularly and had always admired the turtle mural with its crazy, colourful design and uniquely shaped fish platters. A couple of properties down there have these striking, colourful name plates on them, which I now know are made at Earthworks. You’ll see those name plates popping up all over the island, and with their eye catching colours, it’s easy to understand why they are so popular.
I checked out their website (see the link below) and decided to pay them a visit.
Located in St. Thomas, accessible via the typical Barbadian narrow and winding roads (complete with strategically placed pot-holes) it’s actually quite easy to find. My chosen route took me north along the ABC highway, through Canewood, from where the directions on the GPS were surprisingly accurate. I say surprisingly, as I have spent many an afternoon driving through the small villages and residential areas of this island that I had no idea even existed, only to turn a couple of corners and find I’m back in the same place and no closer to my destination. On one or two occasions I’ve found that I’m even further away. I blame the GPS!
Entry to the studio is free and you can watch the potters at work before exploring the many designs and items that they have on offer. Their extensive range goes from spoon rests and ‘used tea bag’ pots (!) through to complete dinner services and serving platters. They even make smaller trinkets and keep sakes, and sell some ‘seconds’ at reduced prices, to suit every pocket. If you’re a visitor to the island then you’re probably wondering how you would get some of the larger items home, but don’t despair, Earthworks have it covered with their shipping service. It’s all in hand.
Why not pay them a visit? With the On The Wall gallery, Batik Studio and Arthouse Cafe all next door, you can pass a very pleasant couple of hours in the area whilst treating yourself to a piece of Barbados and the Caribbean.