We are a small business, officially just the two of us. However, there’s so much more behind the scenes.

Business Gateway are available for training and chats from beginning through development through to big stuff like exporting.

The Design Trust are amazing in their insights into creative businesses, wonderful monthly updates and courses you can sign up to.

Friends are amazing – encouraging us at the beginning and buying our work when it was early days, and keeping going with their shares and likes.

Family – so wonderful. Not just looking after us when we’re tired but also sharing skills – both pottery and technical, and also photography and social media.

Shops and galleries – so supportive, not just in sales but in promotion, encouragement, customer engagement. Some have been our allies for years.

Event organisers – they do such a tremendous job!

and you…

Thank you for reading! Thank you for taking part in what we do. For sharing, liking, buying what we make. Turning up at our events and fairs. Taking an interest in what we do.

We really wouldn’t be able to do this on our own..


This piece is, as usual, a poem of Chris’s. It is very satisfying to use the whole poem on a ceramic artwork. I love this poem. it is so vulnerable and so gentle. When I let the words flow down the clay and then wanted to allow a flow of lines too, rather than a detailed drawing, as it felt that would distract rather than add to the work. Once fired, I then added two soft glazes , turning the piece upside down, so that they flowed evenly across the clay palette. It’s one of those pieces that, when it came out of the kiln, we both said, ooh, that worked..

We are very excited to  be finalyl able to make our big announcement!

Over the last few months, we have been working on a new collection of ceramics, which we are calling ‘seatree elemental’.  This collection takes a brand new direction, whilst still retaining a lot of what we love about our work.

‘Seatree elemental’ refers to a range of ceramics using rough clays and alternative firing techniques, such as pit firing or raku firing. All pieces are hand built and unique, each one is different and one-of-a-kind.

Although they utilise original poetry – just like other seatree work – you may have to work harder to read it, as we are  sometimes happy to let the words be absorbed into the piece itself, as if they form part of the fabric. In this way we try to allow the different firing methods to shape the words too.

Why are we doing this?

Well, it was necessary for our work to grow, to experiment and find new expression. Chris in particular loves the new rough clay, as it offers many redeeming features in its plasticity and drying qualities. He is also loving the alternative firings, and how the organic shapes of the new work are transformed by the elemental nature of fire and heat, as if emerging from the very place they (and we) are planted.

Much of this process is rather hit-and-miss, with as many failures as successes. Partly this is because of our learning curve (which shows no sign of levelling off!) but also the very nature of firing large pieces like this one is challenging!


The poems chosen for seatree elemental are often more challenging in nature, as this work has emerged as a way for us to explore our relationship to all that is broken and all that is beautiful in this world shadowed by climate injustice. Just like our other work, you will see a colour spectrum inspired by the wild western fringe of Scotland.


A lot of these pieces use a firing process known as raku (which our Japan-based friend tells us means ‘easy’ in Japanese – something we feel might be intended as irony!) Raku is a process by which a pot is heated quickly to around 1000 degrees using a gas burner, then it is placed in a reduction bin (a sealed metal bin containing combustable material.) By controlling the amount of oxygen reaching the glazes, the potter can produce a range of different colours  (although much of this is also down to chance for relative beginners such as ourselves.)


We mentioned earlier that this work is in part a response to climate change and mass extinction, and we hope to pull together an exhibition of our work in the future, but for now, we have uploaded a small selection of our work in to our shop, which you can see here. 

Here are a few more images of recent seatree elemental work. Most are not in our shop, but if you see something you like, feel free to drop us a line…

(You can click to enlarge.)

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com
A few months ago, Michaela listened to one of those business webinar things aimed at small creative businesses, where they were talking about different ways for artists like us to make a living from what we create. The idea was that we could use Patreon as an exchange, in which people give monthly support in return for a sliding scale of content and ‘rewards’. I confess, I was skeptical, but the reason we are still able to make a living through what we create is because Michaela works so hard to make it work so we gave it a whirl. To our (or mostly my) amazement, a number of people signed up. This seems to me to be a miraculous and wonderful thing – that some people who I have never met would see something of value and beauty in what we make, so that they feel prepared to support us financially. Our lifestyle is nor lavish and so these small acts of support make a big difference.
How does it work? Well, check it out for yourself, here.The seatree patreon has four tiers, unlocked by different subscriptions, which include things like
  1. access to a private video of yours truly reading a poem
  2. a handwritten anotated poem
  3. a monthly gift
  4. a piece of seatree pottery each month.
The other thing I have discovered is how much I have enjoyed making these short videos. I hope our patreons will understand if I share one of these here as a sneak preview; <!– wp:embed {“url”:”https://youtu.be/YylbswL7JL8″,”type”:”video”,”providerNameSlug”:”youtube”,”responsive”:true,”className”:”wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio”} –> <figure class=”wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-block-embed-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio”><div class=”wp-block-embed__wrapper”>
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Over the last few months, we have been working on a different range of ceramics. This has involved lots of experiments, with the inevitable successes and failures that always come with working with new forms of ceramics.

I say ‘we’, but this has been a project mostly followed by Chris, with our son-in-law James as a co-conspirator. Michaela has been busy with other things, and also has a sensory objection to the heavily grogged clay that these new experiments havedemanded.

We are almost at the point of floating some of this new work, alongside other seatree pieces, in the form of ‘seatree elemental’

The point here was not only to push out into something new, but also to respond in a different way to our environment, our location and to overarching concerns about social and climate justice. The partnership with James has been important, as he is an oceanographer, spending time in the arctic doing research on melting ice. This has led him through dark places, but also into making his own art in response to the experience. Check out his website here.

Seatree elemental looks different from other seatree work because the process is very different. Using grogged or raku clays, which give much greater thermal shock protection, these pieces are typically pit-fired or raku glazed. Most still use our own poetry, but the themes of these poems are likely to be darker and used in a way that is much more ephemeral.

Here is a sneak preview of some of the new work- hopefully coming to the website shop soon!



Most years, Chris has written a daily advent meditation on the lead up to Christmas. It is his way of pacing himself into winter and seeking to be more mindful and connected. If you already love his poetry then you might be interested in following his blog, over at www.thisfragiletent.com.  Here is a sneak preview of his post from today, the first day of advent…
The boundary between seasons is always shrouded in mist, but nevertheless it seems clear now that autumn is burned out. That great blaze of last-gasp beauty has been replaced by cold cold nights in which only the strongest stars out-compete the hooded moon. Soon the thing will turn again. It will be wet hereabouts, but above us will turn to white. Here, where cities and towns have thinned out only to strands, there is no hiding place from the coming of winter. It is not fooled by fire or distracted by screen. I fear it, knowing I must bear it. There is no other way. Of course, beauty is not banished. Joy is not banished. Life does not end; rather the wildness that remains is still willd. It sleeps under surface of wood and glen, waiting. Because we too are wild, we are not immune from winter. All we have is this; to seek meaning within it. We look deep into darkness seeking colour and shape. We strain for sound in silence.

This week marked the first dive into the use of AI for seatree argyll. Emily discovered a wonderful app (is it an app?) that you can use to stage photographs – not just the ones where you pick a setting and struggle to ,make your picture fit in, but one where you describe what you would like – a sandy, rocky beach on a stormy day, or coffee and candlelight in soft colours.. whatever works for your object! The end result is so natural and even has shadows and reflections – it’s truly amazing! It means of course that you can’t be sure when you see anything, or anyone, that they are where they say they are – she set up a picture of baby Robert playing the bodhran at a rock concert!  Is it cheating? We don’t think so – it just a useful tool for showing off our work. I think the website looks so much more professional than it did and I am very grateful to Emily, Chris and James for all their efforts this last two weeks in making it happen!

Sometimes, you look at things for so long and even make them for so long, and you forget what it’s all about and what you want to do. That happened with our boxes of ‘words to se you through the week’. We’ve made them for so many years and the hearts have got neater and more finished and w love them. Until recently, they got packaged in a we cardboard box with a blue label and the website showed them along with some complicated instructions on how to choose which words you wanted. However, I recently received some free business mentoring and she looked at them with me. Too wordy, not clear, a little bit unloved if I’m honest, even though at fairs, it’s one of our favourite things, to see people lovingly choose their words.  So, we’ve updated the website listing, after some engagement on social media where we stablished some good categories of words, to keep things simpler. Then, we scrapped the little box and made something much more ‘seatree’, a beautiful little palm-sized inch pot with the ‘words to see you through the week’ inscribed along with a soft, clear glaze. Beautiful and loved again.

I recently did a blog post about balance – promoting my small creative business support mentoring. Learning new skills, like photography and invoices, doing the making you set out to do, spending time with family and friends, updating your website, social media and mailing list – pretty much a one-person job! There’s not as much making time as you’d think. So how do you find the balance? Prioritising, post it notes, diary, list making..? Joining with others in their studio or sharing lunches with other makers? Doing courses or events to meet others? If you’d like some support to find your way, give me a shout. I charge £40 an hour online but we could spread out the meetings to make it affordable and practical.

Chris has a long running blog in which he reflects on economics, theology, sociology and drops in bits of poetry. This is a piece from there. 
We are just back from a trip down to East Anglia, where we were exhibitors at the first ever Potfest at Haughley Park. It was a trip full of sunshine, friendship (with the community of potters who come together for these events) and thankfully, sales which paid for the trip and will pay our bills for a month or so to come. I came home with this magnificent object, made by one of my favourite potters on the site, Sara Budzik. She makes things that make me smile and challenge me to rethink my place in things, most notably, giant slugs. I don’t know Sara well, having only met her a couple of times, but her work tells me that she thinks deeply and differently, an all-too rare quality that we need more now than ever.
Anyway, each Potfest event, the organisers arrange for a mass ‘mug swap’, which involves all the potters standing in a massive circle with one of their vessels in hand. Potfest Matt then calls out a series of instructions (three to the right, seventeen to the left, twenty to the right and so on.) It is impossible not to see the lovely pots passing through your hands and not to hope this or that one will finish up with you. This time, I watched a fantastic great big slug mug going around the circle, made by the aforementioned Sara, and I wanted it. Imagine my delight to actually have it when the passing-round had been completed? Thanks Sara! May your creativity continue to expand… It is good to be home, but we loved our trip away. We spent a few precious days afterwards on the Suffolk coast then called in for an overnight trip seeing family. The opportunity to stop working is rare when every hour spent away means that you are not able to work.
This is the life we have chosen, and we love it, but it does not come without challenges. If you are thinking about taking the leap into the creative unknown, then I would encourage you to do it, but do so with your eyes wide open. Make your plans carefully, find your community of support and expect times when your move forward and times when you seem to be getting nowhere. In our current times, in these fading western economies, what does ‘good life’ look like? This seems to me to be an ever more important question given the shift in culture that will be required if we are to finally come to terms with the damage we are doing to our environment and our enveloping ecosystems. The prevailing answers emerging from our culture seem to be about lifestyle. Particularly the sort of lifestyle that can be digitised and displayed. It seems to me to be a constant attempt to display meaning, albeit in a way that often seems entirely manufactured.
I do not mean to be entirely disparaging about this phenomenon however because in the instagram mix we see other strands of idealising, often concerned with creativity, crafting and a return to some kind of modern day arts and crafts ideal. We see this too within the ceramics world. Perhaps due to the enduring popularity of programmes like ‘The Great Pottery Throwdown’, pottery has never been so popular. Courses are all full, second hand equipment is impossible to find, gardens around the land have kilns in sheds. Perhaps all of us are on a mission in search of creative authenticity because in a meaning vacuum, what else is real? But if this search for authenticity is real, it has to be more than a carefully applied instagram beauty filter and it is here that the hard work begins. We have to let go of perfection because success is always nuanced and partial. If it is to be more than just a lifestyle change, it must also be about hard economics. We have to live; there has to be a safe space in which to create. Probably, we will have to live with less, even much less. This is easier for some than others depending on where we are start and we count ourselves as deeply fortunate for all sorts of reasons.
So, do I feel free? Sometimes, and that is mostly enough. At other times I long for more, for deeper, but I am not sure I would have it any other way.