I’M TOO BUSY TO WRITE TODAY | Bullseye Glass Co. | Bullseye Glass Co


I’ve got stuff to do … a walk to Latheronwheel Harbor


… an abandoned croft to explore


… a hilltop that needs sitting on and a sea that needs watching


If I were more talented, this activity might inspire me to make art.

Jane Bruce “Empty Windows”

Jessica Loughlin “Open Space 21″

But today I am just inspired to BE … here in this place. Where even writing seems clumsy and inadequate.

I wonder if I can harass a few friends to take over …


  1. steve k. says:

    Ahh Lani:

    Thanks for the thoughts and images. Lybster and Caithness have been such magical places for me. I’ve seen both ends of a rainbow. I’ve stood on the edge of the land, with birds soaring below me and gazed at the horizon line watching it turn from intense black to gray, to bright yellow to white. I’ve touched stones that were placed by people thousands of years ago and wondered why. I’ve watched the enchanting dance of light and wind on the North Sea. I’ve been given a lesson on the “old” way of stone cutting and wall building. I’ve been welcomed back to Lybster as if I was family. I’ve had Eileens shortbread cookies delivered while working late at night. Mr. McKay’s meat pies and of course Karen’s homemade soul warming soups. Fresh lobster from Dave, songs from Ian, and dance lessons from Lorna. These experiences and many more are just part of what being at Northlands has meant to me. I’m sad in a way that I won’t be back there this year, but, I’m happy to know that I will return and that I’ll experience that wonder again. Keep writing and sending us images……………….steve

  2. Ted Sawyer says:

    At the risk of outgushing Lani, I offer these reflections:

    I went to North Lands for the first time in 2003 to work with Jessica Loughlin, who was teaching a BE master class focused on kilnforming. At that point in time, the studio was not as well equipped as it is today, and as a result, we were up at all hours monitoring and adjusting kilns to get tests (and then later on pieces) pushed through the process.

    This was at a time of year when the far Northeast of Scotland doesn’t get particularly dark, and I experienced a lot of amazing atmospheres, forms, and textures that were new to me. These were not only in the land and the architecture, but also in the classroom. Jess did an amazing job of guiding our group deep into conceptual territory while also providing them with the language in material and process necessary to express the ideas with which they were working. It was a revelation.

    Since that time, I’ve been back to coteach and/or lead four more sessions. I go back for so many reasons (beyond the obvious fact that it’s part of my job). I go back because it speaks to my sensibilities in so many ways, and provides opportunities to have a learning experience that is radically different from so many others for both student and instructor.

    One is energized by what can be learned and seen outside of the studio, and what can happen within the studio. In the best experience, the two things are interwoven beautifully. Such was the case in Loughlin’s workshop. And one need not be a devotee of desolate landscapes, country air, or agriculture to find points of illumination here.

    There are so many forms of water present in the changing clouds, the fog, the moist ground, and the sea, that the air is saturated with shifting light that makes the otherwise seemingly immutable land ever changing. This land is a study in both subtly and extremes. To walk in it fills me at once with a sense of stability and drama.

    I am interested in physical and mental territories that give me the sense that I am discovering something important, an unexpected type of beauty, perhaps one that I might easily overlook, or one that is normally far beyond the scope of my daily life. North Lands is exactly this kind of territory.



  3. Lani says:

    Ted, your gushing skills are stellar. Keep them well-honed, they’ll be useful for when you see the new BVD kiln that’s just been delivered to the studio here.

    Steve, we’ll miss you this year, but I’ll eat an extra meat pie on your behalf!

    - Lani

  4. Catharine Newell says:

    I’ve just sent along initial registration materials for Silvia’s course in June and I am, admittedly, ecstatic about returning to the Highlands. This will be my second trip; the first completely changed my life…

    The Caithness landscape is immense, starkly powerful, stripped to the essentials, and there is a timelessness to the place. It feels like the top of the world, where one can reach up and touch the universe. Oddly, when I stood in such vastness I felt: stripped to the bone yet fully replenished; singular yet connected to the world in the deepest most, intimate way; brief yet eternal; serene yet charged with a primal energy.

    It was one of the most liberating, empowering environments I have ever encountered.

    All of the above, coupled with Silvia’s genius, a second dose of North Lands excellence and local warm hospitality make returning a no-brainer. (Alas, since my last visit, Andy Capp’s head has been permanently turned by younger women…)


  5. Lani says:

    I’m sure you’re heartbroken that Andy’s eye has wandered, but I’m THRILLED that you’ve applied to Silvia’s class. You may have heard that Jeremy Lepisto is TA’ing – what a combo! – Lani

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