Some local creativity…


This weekend we are participating in Cowal Open Studios (along with Pauline Beautyman and her lovely pottery.) Come along and have a look if you are local…

COS is a collection of artists/crafty people on the Cowal peninsular who have ‘open house’ this weekend, allowing people to come visit, talk about techniques, methods and even have a go (in the pottery in our case.)  Here is our dining room at the moment;


It is also a chance to sell some things. I could have sold this several times over it seems- messing about with some little ceramic fish and some battered old driftwood. Still, if you want one, I can always make more!driftwood clockIn terms of local arty stuff, I should also mention that next Thursday at 7.00 I am doing a poetry reading at our local bookshop, Bookpoint. Be lovely to see you there! I should post a poem in celebration really…

I do not really do celebratory poems but here is an old one anyway;


Life still flickers


I have heard it said that

Dead men walking

We are



Like veal

Blown by flies


But life still flickers

Faint but strong

Vibrating these hollow veins

And the voltage you make

Is a current

Wired to the nape

Of my neck


Because this thing we are

Is more than just

A bottle

For blood

So much more than just


Mixed from mud


Beautiful creature

Sing, spirit-



Through the posh window…

Well, I suppose it is not that posh really, but one of my favourite places to eat is the lovely Inver Cottage Restaurant, out along Loch Fyne near the dramatic ruin of Old Castle Lachlan. The food is great, and served in a lovely airy space with a seaside/beach kind of feel to it, complete with open fires and good locally brewed beer. It is a place that we go to for a very special treat and feel kind of grateful that they let us in!

The owners contacted us a few weeks ago asking if we would be interested in selling some of our craft/art there. I suppose the beach-themed things that we make are a good fit with what they are doing too. Michaela and Pauline took a whole set of things round there, and it now fills their shelves. All very exciting for a bodging fiddler like myself.

Here is a photo Michaela took through their window, with all sorts of things we have made waiting to be displayed…


Creative breaks…


Work is progressing on our second B and B room (although this is a photo of the first!)  Just carpets and curtains to sort out now, and then we can get everything put together.

We are hoping to offer some weekends of themed ‘creative breaks’ over the next few months. These will be a chance to escape to lovely Dunoon and make something beautiful. It is amazing what we can achieve when given space to do so. This bowl was made by Issy in our pottery a couple of weeks ago, on her second ever attempt at moulding clay;



The idea is that we will be setting out a list of creative weekends people can book in for, but also guests in the B and B, or our holiday cottage, will be able to get creative too- making some pots, or a range of other activities.

More info to come!

Round the table craft evening…

If you are within striking distance of Dunoon and enjoy a good natter whilst learning some craft skills then you need to know about Blue Sky Craft Workshops.

These are run by fellow Aoradh conspiritors Michaela (my wife) and Pauline.

They have a facebook page here.

The next event is an ‘Embellishing’ workshop- livening up bags, clothing with beads buttons and felt. I am expecting to be wearing interesting underpants from now on. This will be THIS THURSDAY at our house. There is a small charge- let me know if you are interested and I will pass you on to Michaela.

There are a few more planned-

June 23rd- Button Bangles

July 21st- Wind Chimes

August 13th Poetry and word art (with press ganged local poet- yours truly!)

The kiln descends…

We finally managed to get the kiln down the cellar steps today. It has been a bit of a puzzle- how to move half a ton of metal and fire bricks down some crumbling narrow stairs into a confined space.

Some very kind blokes who are used to moving heavy objects around the hillsides did the job. Thanks boys!

They were able to set up a ground anchor, and use a sledge and winch line to lower the kiln.

Its a big relief- and I look forward to seeing some pots emerging out of raw clay…

First outing for the crafty stuff…

Michaela, Pauline and Helen spent a day behind a stall today, selling crafts. Pauline is an old hand, but for the rest, it was a new thing.

We made all together around 250 quid, which ain’t half bad, considering two of the three crafty contributors where experimenting with prices and ideas.

I chickened out- reserving my energies for being the removal man.

It is hard work this commerce- up at 7, and I sat down again 12 hours later.

A good start though…