Makers & Artists

Meet our talented group of makers and artists and a little bit about them and their work.

Andrew Elliot Ltd

The family run business is based at Forest Mill, Selkirk in the heart of the Borderland. The original buildings date from 1838, and were part of one of the first mills in the town. In the late 1960’s, Andrew Elliot, seeking a manufacturing base for his fledgling company, acquired the old yarn store, to set up, what is still today, the core hub of his company.

Robin Elliot runs the company, having honed his skills with his late father as his mentor, and strives to secure this indigenous company’s place in the niche market for contemporary textiles.

With an ethical philosophy, Robin believes in a sustainable future for Scottish textiles, based on integrity and innovation. The company supplies well-made, individual fabrics, with a strong cutting edge in design, allied to the aspects of vintage fabric production and the heritage of the Borders textile industry.

Cath Ball

Cath has been making, selling and developing her porcelain ceramic range for over fifteen years and is based in Cumbria. She works from a small studio next to her house. Focusing on the process of hand building. She hand rolls porcelain clay and uses a variety of vintage laces to add delicate and intricate textures and patterns into the fine surface of the clay. Her signature aqua glaze is mixed in house and highlights the textures in the surface of the clay. The glaze is then wiped back so that it only appears on the textured areas to give a feel of fabric and an appliqué effect. Cath’s style is very unique blending contemporary with nostalgia. Her work has a calming essence due to the colour palette she uses. The products are made using the finest of both materials and skill and are beautiful and functional. Porcelain ceramics with a twist.

Clare Williams

 Clare Williams is the designer behind Shawbrae knitwear, set up in 2015, she continued to develop and grow her knit collection. Clare recently moved to the Scottish Borders, and has her studio there.

 "When I first started I had no idea of the journey that Shawbrae Knitwear would take me on, but I got help from Business gateway, the princes trust, the CX/Magnox project and Upland."

Clare has successfully been selected by Upland  twice, once as an emerging artist, in 2016 and once through her own merit, in 2019.

"My designs are all based around medieval ecclesiastical architecture. I take details from these amazing and majestic old buildings that can be overlooked in passing, and bring them to the forefront where everyone can see them. My designs are geometric and have a symmetry to them which is also something that is very common in these buildings."

 Using domestic knitting machines, Clare transfers her designs from paper into knit using a range of different types of yarn to create a range of items that are luxurious and soft to touch and wear.

 

Diana de Gruyther

Finding a connection to the landscape, cultural traditions, music and exploring ways to interpret the emotional response, creating an image that has an energy of its own. A visual ‘exaggeration’ of everyday scenes but viewed in a different setting, becoming a part of that space. A lifelong traveller and painter Diana now lives in Dumfries and Galloway, with its gentle landscape of rivers and rolling terrain, the highlands and islands also offer a wealth of great subjects. Her studio is part of an old cottage tucked away in a field.

Hannah Spicer

"My whole life I have been surrounded by the sea and it has always acted as inspiration for my creative process.  I have established a firm methodology of travelling to a range of beaches to take samples of rock textures and forms. These samples are then made into moulds and each piece then individually press moulded by hand. I strive to create forms that are organic and natural in shape and colour. 

Each of Hannah's coastline inspired pieces are completely unique and have all been hand-pressed.  To accompany the moulded pieces I throw small batch ceramic pieces on the wheel. I believe that I have created a style of work myself as a maker that mirrors the Scottish Coast."

 

 

Holmes Glass

Father and Son team of Peter and Andrew Holmes have a combined experience of 76 years in glassmaking, their styles and techniques explore traditional and contemporary glassmaking.
Peter began as an apprentice in glassblowing and traditional paperweight making at the age of 15.
 Peter's reputation is known amongst paperweight collectors for his expertise in abstract paperweight making & designs.
Extending from the paperweight making, his skills embrace ranges 
of bowls and vases through glassblowing.
Andrew became an apprentice with his father some 18 years ago, 
developing his skills into making the full ranges.
Andrew's style has flourished into metal and glass sculptures, 
bespoke pieces for garden commissions, and most recently moving into public art.
As their styles and techniques have expanded over the years, 
Andrew and Peter continue to explore their craft. They find inspiration through the landscape of the Scottish Borders, reflected in their shape and form.

Iona Hall

Iona is a silversmith and jeweller who studied at Glasgow School of Art and Bishopsland. Iona's work inspires a compulsion to pick her pieces up, a personal keepsake that demands further exploration from the viewer. The pieces are made to hold, use and be discovered from many angles. Iona is drawn to movement, lines and irregular patterns in natural forms from the beaches near her home in Scotland, and translates these elements into her work creating silver wearable jewellery and functional objects.With my mum's side of my family living in New Abbey, Dumfries, I have spent many summers and christmas's there spent with my grandparents and cousins.

 

Lisa Rothwell - Young

My aim is to make better jewellery. Whether you choose a piece from my collections or commission something bespoke, you can feel safe in the knowledge that it will always be ethically and responsibly made. Each of my designs is carefully crafted and considered, to produce jewellery that’s meaningful as well as beautiful.

Liz Jones

Liz Jones is a printmaker and textile designer based in north Cumbria. Her designs are inspired by her love of the countryside and the wildlife and rural scenes she enjoys each day.

A passionate printmaker, her textile designs are created from her original linocut prints, a form of relief printing, which she then screen prints, by hand, onto cotton and linen. 

She exhibits around Cumbria and beyond and also regularly tutors in lino printing.

 

Liz McQueen

Originally from Wales, Liz McQueen is a painter based in Eskdalemuir, Dumfries & Galloway. Focusing on capturing the natural environment and landscape surrounding her new homeland, her work is both sensitive and painterly, with thoughtful compositions and expressive mark-making. Much of her work features thoughtful painted landscapes that depict the woodlands and moorlands surrounding her home in Eskdalemuir.

Jill Liley

Jill has lived her whole life in Cumbria, having been at school in Keswick she then took her degree in Graphic Design in Carlisle.

 Jill loves to create hand-lettered pieces for weddings, events, small businesses and as gifts. 

 Jill's love of modern calligraphy began when she made place cards and a table plan for a family friend's wedding. She decided she ought to teach herself to write in a calligraphy style to do the event justice. She lost hours in the project, finding the writing process challenging and absorbing. The more she wrote, the more she realised the mindful nature of calligraphy. She finds the modern calligraphy style allows her to be creative and expressive with the pen and ink and she is always trying to develop her work. She finds the variety, movement and beauty of modern calligraphy a constant source of inspiration.

 

Mick Read

Wood crafting... life behind a plane.

The feel of using a basic hand tool to shave and shape a piece of wood immediately struck a chord in me, and I knew then that I wanted to start the process of timber construction and design.  Armed with a few basic tools and books I set about learning some skills, dovetail joints, mortise and tenons and a strong desire to create one off pieces that would have both function and form.

Finding employment in a small furniture restoration company gave me the experience needed to be able to repair and reproduce most designs and styles, and also to undertake commissions. This was followed by a course in Arboriculture, learning about the characteristics of our native tree species, and developing the use of the chainsaw in relation to small scale saw milling and round wood construction.

  Locating the perfect piece of wood for a commission with curves and twists, sustainably sourced and locally grown is an exciting start to the process of being a ‘maker’.  I want to be able to tell my client exactly where the timber came from.  Sourcing timber directly from the forest is a huge advantage in having choices in the design process, and allows me to be resourceful without being competitive.

My workshop, a Dutch barn that sits next to our old cottage in Dumfriesshire is constructed from Leyland Cypress and was lifted in place by the helping hands of friends, in the tradition of an old fashioned barn raising. 

My aim is to produce honest, unique and hand crafted pieces incorporating all the twists, curves and imperfections of nature. Using all the skills I have learned over the years I aim to produce my very best work on each project, with attention to detail, and taking the time that each piece deserves

Pamela Grace

Pamela is an artist and printmaker living and working in Galloway. "I started my career as a designer, training at the Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels. My work is based on drawing - realised in pen and ink wash, etchings and lithographs. Sketches and larger colour drawings are often made on location and then developed in the studio, emboldening elements and using other techniques and processes to explore their potential."

                       

 

Pat Douglas

Pat's products are all hand stitched by herself at Carlenrig Farm in the beautiful Teviotdale Hills. "I love all fabrics but in particular, vintage French linens and cottons, which I source direct from brocantes in the French countryside. The hand stitching on linen is inspired by seed heads and wild flowers which are found in the countryside surrounding my home." Each item is handmade and therefore unique.

Phil Bradley Basketmaker

Phil Bradley is a master basketmaker, willow grower and willow sculptor based in Deanscales, Cumbria.

He makes a range of traditional baskets as well as greenwood furniture and kitchenalia.

His handmade work is robust, beautiful and functional.

Phil has been a full time maker for 21years having trained in France and Poland.

 Pure Alba

Tracy Barber has been running her artisan soap making studio based at Drumlanrig Castle  in the beautiful region of Dumfries & Galloway for the past three years, her ethic is to produce natural beauty products without the use of palm oil and also to be as sustainable as possible with the use of compostable or easily recycled packaging. Along side natural soaps using clays, botanicals and essential oils she also makes a range of luxury facial  & body products. As a member of the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire biosphere she is committed to helping to conserve the area and promoting local goods, cultural heritage and businesses.

Rachel Ashcroft ( Woman of the Woods)

Rachel Ashcroft makes unique wooden items for your home from sustainable locally sourced hardwoods. She designs all of her products with a modern aesthetic, taking care to highlight the beauty and quality of the wood used and finishes them with high quality food safe oil to give them extra durability. Her products range from spoons and bowls to candle holders and small tables. She first studied fine art in Manchester, later moved to Berlin where she started a small business with a friend. When she moved back to the UK, she decided to live in a community and re-train as a joiner. Then, five years ago, she found herself living in a tiny cabin in a secluded woodland in Dumfries and Galloway. Making connections with local saw mills and tree surgeons, she started crafting with the natural materials Southwest Scotland has to offer. Woman of the Woods was born.