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are also interested in this building.” When I met Marianna, there was a constant stream of people coming in and out, and Marianna was unfailingly attentive to them all. She was clearly in her element, holding court to those who had beaten (and cycled) a path to her door – a far cry from the cold sterility of commercial galleries.

Another wonderful building is Adrienne McStay’s workshop, the Old Dairy Building at St Fort Farm. This is the perfect setting for Adrienne’s elemental sculptures in glass, wood and metal.

There are many things to celebrate about open studio events. Not only is it a great chance for the artists involved to showcase and sell their work, but it also gives the general

public a rare opportunity to see artists in their creative habitat. This in turn gives people a better understanding of the time and skill that go into making each unique piece. Time and time again, I saw artists selflessly sharing their knowledge and skill with those who came to see them. It was quite an inspiration, and the result is that the visitors went away with a deep appreciation and new- found respect for both the artists and their art.

One such artist is George Young of St Andrews Pottery. Situated in the improbably named Blebo Craigs, I found the pottery only after a precarious drive up a single track road which was notable for its impressive collection of potholes. When I eventually found the studio, George was sitting at his wheel

showing a rapt audience how to make one of his large pitchers. A born raconteur, George is a great teacher, with patience and humour finely mixed – we all held our breath as he deftly created a lip for the jug, explaining that a sharp edge helps cut the flow and makes a better pourer. And I never knew that old credit cards could be used to create a decorative border with a couple of well-placed touches!

Even more hands-on was the fused glass workshops offered by Liz Rowley. People were able to make up tiles of their own design, which Liz and her colleague, Eilidh Mackenzie, then fired so they could take them away. This is the perfect way not only to inspire people to create themselves, but also to educate them about the creative process.

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