Firing Up


Earth Fins & Fire: the fish are launched!

An Talla Solais is delighted that the giant shoal of fish created in its Earth Fins & Fire project this summer is now live!  The sculpture consists of hundreds of clay fish and sea creatures, made by local communities and visitors over the last few months.  It has now reached its new home, Lochbroom Leisure Centre: please go and pay it a visit.

These beautiful specimens were used to create plaster moulds in workshops with artist Kevin Morris.  Clay was then pressed into the moulds to make multiple fish of all sorts of species.  Potter Fergus Stewart worked with visitors to throw sea urchins and anemones on the wheel, and ceramicist Allison Weightman worked with school students from Ullapool, Badcaul and Achiltibuie to increase the shoal.  Finally the fish were glazed and fired, and painstakingly arranged by Allison and Robin on the wall of the leisure centre.

Despite delays due to bad weather, the shoal was launched last Friday, unveiled by Roy Macpherson and Edel Walsh from the Harbour Trust, and cheered by onlookers including Ullapool primary school pupils.  The final spiralling fish were added and then the crowd surged forward to find the fish they had made themselves.  Lisa Macdonald sang a very apt song about a fisherman reluctant to set out in the rain, Tioram Air Tir.

Finally thanks to Creative Scotland, the Sylvia Waddilove Foundation and the Highland Council who all contributed funds to this project.

We had hoped that by now we would have our very own kiln in place at An Talla Solais – we will do so soon, as soon as all the permissions come through.  We will be sure to let you know, as that will be another reason to celebrate, and the start of great new opportunities to work with clay at ATS.


Images from the launch of the Earth Fins & Fire sculpture, November 8th 2013

Earth Fins & Fire e-poster.jpg

At last An Talla Solais is installing its long-awaited new kiln!  The Firing Up project is letting us make some changes to our building to accommodate the kiln and create more working space for clay, and get the kiln installed in time to run some inaugural ceramics activities (including Earth, Fins & Fire, above) this summer. 

The Firing Up project is supported by Creative Scotland, the Highland Council and the Sylvia Waddilove Foundation as well as some gift donations.