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  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 That great blaze of last-gasp beauty has been replaced by cold cold nights in which only the strongest stars out-compete the hooded moon.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.

This image portrays a few things to me..

Community – we have an exchange where folks in the village bring us shells and sea glass in exchange for a little pot of poetry.

Learning – doing a course on product photography and learning how to use the ‘big’ camera

Hard work – having to change website hosts and needing a lot of help

Peace – the joy of beachcombing


Sharing – if I have pieces that are too big, I send them to a pal to make jewellery and she sends me the pieces that are too small for hr..


We got interviewed recently by the lovely Sophie Campbell in her monthly feature of ‘our creative life’. You can read it here!

Mixing pottery with poetry – seatree | A Creative Life

Sophie does copywriting and you can see what she has to offer on her website link above – she also sells literary treats on her Etsy page


It’s one thing developing our skills in writing poetry and making pots but there is so much more to sustaining this as a business – learning all about social media, how to approach galleries, how to write a newsletter and build a mailing list – how to set up at craft fairs… the list goes on. But one of the key parts of all of those business aspects, is photography. It’s not easy. A group of local artists got together a while ago to pay a photographer to run a workshop for the day and help us all – we did pick up some tricks and tips and hopefully you can see the benefits – but photographing larger ceramic works is still defeating me…

Okay, this isn’t pottery but it symbolizes our life and our attempt to live as sustainably as possible. Making our own pottery and making a living from that pottery is a life-giving thing – we don’t have a lot of extra cash, but we pay the bills and have enough. We can be very caught up with work at some points, like in the run-up to a ceramics fair, but we can balance that with days at a time when we are free to spend relaxed time with family and friends. Growing our own is part of the same choice – there is a lot of work in permaculture but less cost than in buying in beds and soil and certainly, much more enjoyable to be eating and freezing and planning our own food! For clothes, we buy second hand or maybe fair trade and we choose not to fly. Other steps are currently unaffordable – electric car or solar panels, but maybe one day!

I made this sculpture in the first lockdown, from a mirror and old wire found in the garden, with a small figure, wrapped in nature – resembling the joy and comfort that we found during the ‘great silence’ but the chaos that went on around us. It’s hard to remember those days so I am glad to see this sculpture every day in our garden and watch as nature takes hold, rust, small drops of moss from passing nest-builders, the mirror reflecting skies, whether dark or blue. I am looking forward to a sculpture course later this year as I have many more ideas spinning in my head!