I often get asked about inspiration and it trips off the tongue easily that the place we live in inspires us – the weather, the colours, the water. And it is true. But I don’t think it is actually such an obvious process…​ Read more below…


​We recently spent some time in the city of Leeds and I was equally inspired – so much colour, architecture, character and characters, movement – if I had had clay with me I could easily have got carried away. So it’s not about where we are so much as listening to where we are, noticing where we are, allowing ideas to grow and letting them be. I always looked on artists who claimed ‘inspiration’ as so far ahead of anything I could do – how do you look at a view and translate that into an object? For some time after starting to have a go with clay I was not even conscious of inspiration – I just played and created and it was all a bit random looking back but slowly some themes start to gather – the water, the mountains and the changing light… Not to mention my failed attempts at representing gorse. I have so many photographs of ferns too but somehow haven’t managed to translate that into clay yet – I am working on it. I love the way they slowly uncurl and the way their colour changes from new growth to dying back. Maybe that bit of inspiration won’t ever work its way into the clay effectively. We shall see.

So I guess a lot of it is about being responsive – and Argyll does make that easy. If you haven’t explored this area yet check out these websites for Argyll and Cowal – you can find them both on Facebook too. We have such beautiful coastlines, castles, wildlife… and a few cars in front of you is a tailback. Just a walk to the Post Office finds me snapping with my camera, watching the sea birds, seeing the light on the water change. Come, enjoy, relax… and be inspired!

I spend hours in my wee pottery studio – it is in the cellar of our house. It’s a wonderful space to share with others, a family member or friend doing pottery at the same time or beginners there to learn, which is always a joy. But more often than not, it’s just me.  I am realising that I don’t often do silence as often as I thought I would – on the first step in to the pottery I reach for the light switch and on the second step in I reach to switch on some sounds!  You can read more below…



My station of choice is Radio 4. You might have noticed that already if you follow me on Facebook. It’s a bit of an addiction I think. I have tried to listen to new stations, stretch my horizons a little, but it doesn’t last long. There is a rhythm to my day with Radio 4. One of my favourite programmes is Desert Island Discs. I just  love listening to folks’ music choices. One Hogmanay our groups of friends all chose four songs each that they would take to a desert – it was amazing what we learnt about one another even having been friends for so many years.

But – with poetry and words featuring on so much of what we do I have realised that talking stations don’t work! I keep putting the wrong word in – I have even fired some with random words or repeated words, which is really frustrating! So that’s when my MP3 player comes into its own. It only works on ‘random’ these days – too much clay and dust! It seems my collection is very random too! Pottery is such a therapeutic thing to do – it really slows me down, and I have to focus on what I am doing, so I love classical music. It can drift through the space and not distract me and it adds to the feeling of stillness. I particularly love Bach – such a steady rhythm. Here is a clip of my favourite piece –


But having said all that, when the thinking and designing and making is all done, and the pieces have been fired, then comes the glazing… It’s a funny process – getting things out of the kiln when they are glazed is so exciting, but doing the actual glazing can be quite a chore. That’s when the random songs are best – songs to sing along to, try and learn the words to, hum melodies to – good job the neighbours are’t very close – and songs with meaning and connection. I relish my times in the wee pottery, and feel so lucky that pottery is the craft that chose me – there is so much to lose myself in and a space I can make my own, and Radio 4 and my random collection of music fit in just nicely.

ble to make stuff is one thing – it’s fun learning and creating and developing ideas – but the whole business development stuff is another things altogether! It’s not easy shouting, “look at me!” It’s wonderful when people buy something that we make because they like it and we know it will bring enjoyment – but it’s hard getting the message out there when we’re shy! So, while learning accounts and organisation isn’t much fun, it’s been a relief to realise that we can apply some creativity to the whole marketing side of things….. read more below…


A social enterprise company called Enterprize Web Design and Print (EWDP) have been so helpful – even photographing our dining room walls as a base colour for our designs – and putting up with our ‘that’s not quite right’ even though we didn’t know how to describe what was ‘quite right’ till we saw it…

The website, labels and business cards now all tie in. The wee labels were made for our fishes, with a typeface to match the lettering used on our poems and ceramic labels – and good colours, eh? The business cards are great too – it just seems that taking a selfie, keeping it in focus and smiling all at the same time isn’t that easy!

It feels now when packaging things up that we have created something more than some lovely but random items – that we have an ‘us’ – that Seatree has a colour, a shape, something more tangible. I don’t think I realised it would feel like that – what a difference it makes to seeing the way forward in both our creativity and our business development.

And if you are curious – our dining room paint is now the background colour on the business cards!

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton