Shop Eat Art Skye is possibly the best way to describe a visit to the Isle of Skye Baking Company and Skyeworks Gallery, with a wander down to Guillemot for good measure!
The Isle of Skye Baking Company came first. In 2010 Barry and Liza Hawthorne moved their baking business from the kitchen table into the old woollen mill in Portree (just off Dunvegan Road). The building, once derelict, was brought back to life over three years and now houses a busy food shop with seats, the hands-on working bakery and Skyeworks Gallery.
Guillemot, a gorgeous little boutique, followed last year, and is situated in the heart of Portree in Wentworth Street. This year, in a bid to pull together all three shops and numerous social media sites, they launched a new website www.ShopEatArtSkye.scot, which instantly takes you to visual and location information, and shows off all their Instagram photos, too.
Barry is a pastry chef by trade, and Liza started out as commercial designer. Putting heads and hearts together led to a business that embraces all things related to food and art, while maintaining a strong connection with local provenance, and the creative community.
By Roz Macaskill
It's 10% off if you can spot the pawprint incorporated into every painting, jokes Duncan Currie, owner of the Sandbank Studio in Broadford.
“Bonnie, my cat, spends most of her time in the studio with me and seems to be magnetically attracted to paper,” he laughs.
Duncan and Bonnie can often be found at the studio, where Duncan is inspired every day by the view from his window. Looking out towards the Isle of Pabay, Duncan's studio boasts beautiful and ever-changing scenery.
Sandbank Studio is also ideally located next to Duncan's home – allowing him to carry out caring duties for his mother, Hazel.
Duncan says: “My mum is in a lot of pain. It can be distressing seeing her body letting her down. But we have a wee laugh together and she likes to keep her brain active. Our favourite thing is watching cop shows and each trying to crack the mystery before the other!”
Hazel has long supported Duncan in his passion for art, encouraging him to attend art school. “She has a few of my paintings. I have to hide paintings of the mountain, Marsco, from her as she would fill the walls with them if she could,” laughs Duncan.
By Roz Macaskill
Walking into the Kraft Kabin feels like taking an enchanting step into another world - one filled with jewellery, candles, knitwear and crochet. Tucked away in Lower Breakish, the Kabin is a craft-lover's paradise.
The Kabin's story starts when owner, Angela Dougan, was gifted a jewellery-making kit by her husband, Derek. Angela says: "I told Derek I had always fancied doing something artistic. He bought me the kit, then immediately booked me into the Clan Donald Craft Fair - which freaked me out!"
After Angela's very first craft fair, her creative skills blossomed from jewellery-making to encompass knitting, weaving, needle-felting, photography, candle decorating, crocheting, resin, wire weaving and incorporating Skye Marble and heather into her designs. "The whole thing snowballed from a wee hobby to a 36-metre shed," she laughs.
By Roz Macaskill
What do fern-leaves, puffins and the Old Man of Storr have in common?
Each one has provided inspiration for designs by Uig Pottery.
The Pottery first started in 1992 and soon became noted for its iconic and varied range. Pottery owner, Margaret Freestone, relates: "All of us at the Pottery are constantly coming up with new ideas." A member of staff recently came in and pressed a fern leaf onto a piece of clay, creating a textured design. Margaret enthuses: "A rolled out piece of clay can be any shape you like. The huge variety of designs that can be made is very exciting!"
As well as keeping her creativity flowing, Margaret is embarking on a brand new adventure. 2018 will be her first full year as a sole trader. Margaret's vision for the Pottery aims to embrace Skye's iconic landscapes and wildlife, as well as creating objects that will be of use to their new owner. "I emphasise to the team the importance of each item having a purpose," she says. "I try not to make too many dust collectors, as I call them!"
By Roz Macaskill
It can transcend time and place, evoke memories and emotions, and celebrate life. Renowned painter, Pam Carter, is keenly aware of the power art has over other people - and never fails to be amazed by it.
Pam, who studied at the Glasgow School of Art, exhibits annually at Isle Ornsay. Her paintings of croft lands, glistening beaches and distinctive Hebridean atmosphere capture the ever-changing moods of the islands - and impact the viewer.
Hearing the stories from those who have been affected by Pam's work is poignant, amusing and inspiring. Pam says: "I'm always amazed that my work has been bought to celebrate life, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and to commemorate death. Over the years there have been some paintings and situations that are quite memorable. Some are downright funny and others are very touching."