East Neuk Beach Crafts
As Featured on BBC Getaways!
I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to be part of the series BBC Getaways, in a feature on the East Neuk of Fife. I took the lovely Jean Johansson to my favourite beach for a spot of wind-swept beach-combing then back to my workshop to create some unique beach art!
The Story of East Neuk Beach Crafts...
I moved to Cellardyke in 2015, fulfilling a lifelong dream to live by the sea and with the stunning scenery and slower pace of life, it wasn’t long before I discovered a passion for beachcombing. Cellardyke is a traditional, quaint little fishing village which merges into the vibrant seaside town of Anstruther. Both are situated in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife, a string of charming, picture-postcard villages dotted along the Eastern coastline of Scotland, just south of the historic town of St Andrews. Interspersed with glorious sandy beaches and craggy coves, this unspoilt little corner - or ‘nook’ - of Scotland has become my home.
Nestled on the shoreline where the glittering Firth of Forth flows into the North Sea, the rocky beaches of the East Neuk are abundant with washed-up, sea-worn treasures, both natural and man-made. Along with naturally tumbled sea glass and driftwood, my favourite finds are the tiny fragments of patterned pottery and china that gather between the pebbles at low tide. After some research, I discovered many of these pieces are originally from the 1800’s and 1900’s, sometimes dating back to the Victorian and Regency eras when the nearby town of Kirkcaldy was at the heart of the Scottish pottery industry. Despite being tumbled and smoothed by the Scottish waves for so long, the patterns and colours remain wonderfully vibrant and the transformative power of the sea ensures each fragment is entirely unique.
I soon amassed quite a collection of these beautiful treasures and felt I needed to find a way to preserve and display them, whilst giving them a new lease of life. It wasn’t long before “East Neuk Beach Crafts” was born, bringing together some of my greatest passions; the seaside, wildlife, history and art, to create my little cottage industry.
Using the local wildlife, charming East Neuk villages and diverse landscape around me as inspiration, I began creating cheerful seaside artwork made almost entirely from the materials I found along the shoreline. My main subjects are the magical birds and animals with whom we share the coastline: puffins, seagulls, seals and whales, all set amongst a backdrop of boats, lighthouses and fishermen’s cottages.
My quirky scenes are available to buy as original framed collages and decorative driftwood ornaments. A range of silver wire-wrapped sea glass jewellery, limited edition prints, placemats, coasters and greetings cards are also available.
By using these materials, naturally re-shaped by the sea, each artwork is guaranteed to be a one-off, a tiny fragment of our beautiful landscape, a part of Fife’s rich history and a perfect memento of the East Neuk.
I was thrilled to be featured in Reloved magazine, as part of an article exploring seaside artists.