Ballyclare ceramist creates bespoke gifts to mark NI’s Centenary

Ballyclare ceramist, Ruth Moxen, has designed a baby bowl and vase for the Centenary Child and Veteran feature of the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Northern Ireland Centenary programme.
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Ruth graduated from Ulster University in 2019 with a degree in Ceramics and is currently studying MSc Art Therapy.

Throughout 2021, each baby registered at Mossley Mill and Antrim Civic Centre is eligible to receive a special commemorative birth certificate and the chance to enter into free monthly draw, where twelve special babies from each site will be picked as centenary child of the month and awarded with this personalised gift.

All residents of the borough who celebrate their 100th birthday during this centenary year will receive a complimentary vase.

Cllr Jim Montgomery and Ruth Moxen.Cllr Jim Montgomery and Ruth Moxen.
Cllr Jim Montgomery and Ruth Moxen.

Detailing her career path, Ruth explained: “I have always loved creating things even from a young age! Whether it be using chalk on the ground outside, or craft in Girls’ Brigade.

“Throughout school I was naturally drawn to art, but when I was thinking about the future, I didn’t think I was ‘good enough’ to pursue a career in it. When looking at universities, I was in two minds- to train as a primary school teacher or do art!

“I studied in Ulster University doing a Foundation Year in Art and Design then choosing my undergraduate degree as Ceramics.

So really from that first year in university I was completely drawn to clay. It was so tactical, but yet challenging! And I haven’t looked back!”

Commenting on what inspired her to create the work for the council’s centenary programme, Ruth added: “When I was thinking about what I could make I wanted to keep it simple, but make it unique for each receiver. I love carving out my ceramic pieces to create a bumpy pattern on both the bowl and vase.

“It makes me smile thinking that they are in their new homes.”

The talented ceramist runs Ruth Moxen Ceramics.

Offering encouragement to any budding young artists in Newtownabbey, Ruth said: “Just keep going! If you enjoy what you do then don’t stop doing it!

“Reach out on social media and find local programmes to help your small business. I will qualify around October and will hopefully get an Art Therapy job. I will continue to make and create products for my small business in my spare time.”

Cllr Jim Montgomery paid a visit to Ruth’s workshop during one of his last mayoral engagements.

The UUP representative said: “It is great to see Ruth at work making these beautiful centenary gifts. I am pleased that council is able to support this small local busines.”


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