A North Lands Weekend | Bullseye Glass Co. | Bullseye Glass Co

A North Lands Weekend

How many of you know that 2009 is the Year of Homecoming in Scotland?


It sure felt that way last weekend when many of us gathered for two sensational events: a benefit whisky tasting hosted by William Grant & Sons distillers on Saturday night and a panel discussion the following day by four artists who have taught and studied at my favorite school: North Lands Creative Glass.


The whisky tasting brought over 60 North Lands supporters together to savor the flavors of Glenfiddich and Balvenie whiskys on the closing night of the gallery’s Due North Exhibition. Every question you might ever have had about the water (from the Robbie Dhu springs) or the peat or the process, was ably answered by Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador Ray Pearson.


Whisky is a lot like glass in many ways. Glassmakers are fond of saying that you can’t take a glass recipe across the street – meaning that every element from the source of the raw materials to the age of the furnace to the barometric pressure affects the final glass.

Whiskymakers are no different. But the rim of their glass is sure a lot tastier than the rim of ours!

Dessert arrived at the Bullseye Resource Center on Sunday….


…when Catharine Newell, Mel George, Deborah Horrell and Robin Provart-Kelly, moderated by BE’s own Ted Sawyer, took us all through slides and stories about their magical times at North Lands.


Robin’s images of the North Sea cliffs contrasted dramatically with Catharine’s views of the neolithic burial cairns…


Mel’s work in the Due North exhibition included this charming set of Polaroid-sized images that capture the essence of the drystone walls found everywhere around the county:


But it’s not all art and landscape at North Lands. Mel’s snaps of these culinary moments in the village of Lybster were some of my favorites.


If you’ve ever lived in Britain – or one of its former colonies – your mouth will probably water at the perverse memory of fish and chips or meat pies. And the pies from Mackay’s the Butcher just down the road from the North Lands studios are famous around the (glass) world.

So, if you hear the pipes “a-calling” in your head….maybe it’s a hint that you need to come to North Lands this summer.


(Or if you just want an awesome piper in the Portland area, check out Rob Barrick – our tasting wouldn’t have been nearly as tasteful without him)

6 Responses to A North Lands Weekend

  1. JC says:

    Mackay’s meat pies – yum! Lovely memories of North Lands and Lybster. Luckily we get some pretty good meat pies in Shropshire too! Have you ever tried Fidget Pie?

  2. Lani says:

    No, never heard of a Fidget Pie – do tell!

  3. Very nice time had by all, thanks again for having us!

    I can now say with complete confidence that I like Glenfiddich 18 better than 12, and the Balvenie 15 year to them all…

  4. amanda says:

    I stayed with the Mackays whilst at North Lands but being veggie couldn’t try the pies!….if you’re in Scotland you must try a macoroni pie (macoroni cheese in a pie!)they really know how to eat carbs here….fab!
    I’ve just had my covington (steve klein) glass lathe delivered….purely inspired by North Lands and April and Jiri….can’t wait to get it hooked up and working….cheers amanda x

  5. Lani says:

    Not to be overlooked in rhapsodizing over meat pies: the four panelists all agreed that what truly made their North Lands experience so valuable was the unrivaled quality of the courses and the first-class kilnforming facilities.

    ….macaroni pies and other oddities of the Scottish diet are just icing on this remarkable cake.

    (And congrats on the new lathe, Amanda!)

  6. JC says:

    Hi Lani,
    I need to send you a Fidget pie recipe, but until I do, I can tell you that the filling comprises mainly bacon, apple, onions and cider.
    Next time I’m at North Lands, I’ll have to try the macaroni pie.
    The whole package (courses, facilities, scenery …and pies!) at North Lands is perfect! It is truly a remarkable experience.

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