Joining the ranks of the Bronte sisters and the Olsen twins are the latest siblings to go into business together – the Sharrock sisters. Working together is nothing new for Becc and Maddie, who have been creative partners since childhood, when they would submit their elaborate projects to Saturday Disney. These days they work together as Studio Twocan, a multidisciplinary design studio that offers branding, graphic design, environmental design, product design, and visual merchandising services. Combining Becc’s background in graphic design and consulting with Maddie’s background in arts management and as an exhibiting artist, they describe Studio Twocan as a natural evolution.
‘The studio is an opportunity to combine our shared skills and knowledge. I guess we were inspired to create Studio Twocan because we wanted to offer a service that combined the perspective of an artist and a designer. And because two heads are better than one!’ says Maddie.
Since launching Studio Twocan two years ago, these sisters have built up an impressive folio of clients and projects, including installations and design for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, Seesaw, Megan Park, Craft Victoria, and Bettina Liano. Most recently they have been experimenting with product design, resulting in their stunning Cement Ceramic series. This body of work originally stemmed from a project Maddie developed during her Bachelor of Fine Arts at VCA. Becc recalls ‘Maddie enjoyed the process of using throwaway moulds, as it enabled her to be less precious about her work and embrace the imperfections. We then developed the work into a more accessible collection of homewares.’
The range has been refined over the last year, the sisters use found objects to make handmade moulds which they then pour cement into. ‘We enjoy using cement as the finished work is vibrant and tactile, and this is a surprising contrast to the raw, cold, heavy-dutyness of the commercial material,’ notes Maddie. Each piece is coloured with intense pigments to create organic layered patterns inspired by the Australian landscapes, and polished with natural oils. It’s a process the sisters say ‘celebrates imperfections’. The Cement Ceramics debut collection includes candlestick sets, vessels and vases that are both decorative and functional.
Like any well adjusted sibling relationship, success comes down to equal delegation of chores, and Becc and Maddie have come a long way since their childhood vacuuming schedules. At Studio Twocan, Becc does most of the client liasing and designing, while Maddie does most of the physical making, though they both work together on creative direction. The sisters are keeping busy in 2015 with various other client-based projects, including a recent commission from Iva Foschia of IF Architecture to produce a sculptural cement floor light. They are also planning a photographic exhibition of their work for later in the year.
Studio Twocan’s Cement Ceramics are available online here.