There are many plus points to being self employed but for me, one of the trickiest aspects is working on my own without colleagues to bounce ideas off. However, Edinburgh is full of other creatives and last year designer Catherine Aitken , ceramicist Myer Halliday and I decided to set up a Mastermind group. It’s great, we meet each month to discuss projects we are working on and share useful pieces of information. Despite coming from different disciplines we are all striving for the same goal i.e making nice things we can sell to earn a living.
Todays Mastermind session was at Myer’s studio which is on the outskirts of Edinburgh in the grounds of the Midlothian Innovation Centre , a complex of small businesses and studios and just along the road from the Roslin Institute – where Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1996!
As I wandered through the maze of small buildings, I peered through several windows hoping to catch a glimpse of what was being made inside each studio until I came across a window so caked in ceramic dust that it gave a mystical quality to the neatly lined up vessels inside…I had a arrived.
If you don’t know his work I can tell you that as soon as you see it you will want to touch it. There is a softness to the finish that reaches out to be held.
It seems that even the process (a long one – he told me of the many stages involved from casting to several firings, filing and surface decorating) seems to create visual treats. I challenge anyone who wouldn’t want to squish these pieces of excess clay…
or design a pattern based on these drying rings,
You can see better images of his finished work on the Craft Scotland website but if you are curious like me, you will find it a real treat to see behind the scenes and look at the pieces in their various stages of completion.
His marbled work particularly resonates with me as I am reminded of the beautiful sands of the Western Isles when the white sand grains mix with the dark gneiss and broken mussels shell grains.
And any solopreneurs (a great word I heard Lucy Cardwell of Lucky Cloud skin care use in her recent talk at the Fruitmarket Gallery) reading this who hasn’t set up a Mastermind group, I would urge you to do so as it’s not only fun but has serious benefits to your business (I daren’t procrastinate as I would have nothing to report to them the following month, and they do check!) and of course your mental well being.
Tune in next time to see behind the scenes at Catherine’s studio.