In my blog post last week I shared some of the inspiration behind the Earthbound collection, starting with the Seed kenning and design. In this blogpost, I’m going to tell you a bit more about the Sea and Hill designs from the collection. Mum has kindly provided some insight about how she started her writing process:

Sea song – November 2018

How to write about the sea? I didn’t want to write about viewing the sea from the beach, because that could only capture an element, a tiny fraction of the concept. I spent a lot of time thinking about water, and of words and phrases that might describe this vital part of our blue planet. My lovely husband is a salty seadog, having spent a good deal of his life working on ships in the North Atlantic. I certainly didn’t want to write about ‘the perfect storm’! I wanted to write a piece that was positive and uplifting. I thought about sea shanties and singing to seals.

 And then it came to me, a sea song, about a voyage, around the theme of journeying. When we landlubbers are at sea, we are all on voyages. Whether we’re cruising the globe, delivering shipping containers or island hopping in a canoe, we’re all venturing into an element that is not our own. We set sail, we travel and we reach the end of the trip. Even round the world yachtswomen have to step ashore eventually. And, of course, in life too, we journey. We search for fresh challenges, new adventures. We all have regrets. We all seek a safe harbour. We all hope that we have true and steady compasses, and that we may be healed with sweet songs. When Kate showed me the beautiful design of sunlit waves, I was very touched. She has captured the sea’s colours and movements. I’d happily sail my little boat on that sea!

Hill – November 2018

When thinking about a new piece of writing, one really important issue is the voice, the perspective. Initially, I toyed with the idea of human experience in the uplands, hills and mountains. After all, we gaze on them, climb them, ‘conquer’ them. But I wanted to give the hill its own voice. In the Hebrides, I’ve walked on Lewisian gneiss, one of the oldest rocks in Europe. Over time, this enduring granite is often layered and cut through with other rocks; banded, moulded, folded, eroded. Kate’s Hill design portrays the complexity of this geology so effectively.

Having set out the stones’ story, I then wanted to add a human element. I wanted to depict the effort of the climb and its reward, that dizzying swinging vista. By focusing on our mayfly moments in these high places, I tried to convey the need to tread gently and lightly. If we leave only footprints and take only memories, the hills will surely remember us kindly.

I’ve enjoyed these insights into Mum’s writing process so much and I hope you have too. Her words have inspired the visual designs for the Earthbound collection completely. As I said in my last post, I really recommend collaborating with another maker; whether they’re a maker of words, pottery, food – it can be anything, to encourage you to step outside your standard creative process and to create something different!