Araminta

'Creativity is one of those things that can feel just like breathing when you are inspired - but completely drive you up the wall when you are trying to come up with ideas or designs uninspired. Its important to create the space and time for ideas to come naturally, and take opportunities to find those things that get you excited and itching to create.'

'Nature has always fascinated me, I love the variety of shapes, colours and textures that can be seen in a landscape. Scotland is my home and birthplace, and its influence can be seen in all my work; from the natural forms recreated in my handwoven pieces, to the naturally dyed colours of my embroideries and the patterns of my tweeds.

The first thing I would do would be to go for a walk and start drawing out the details I notice that are unique to that landscape. Then begins the process of these initial thoughts being combined with the miriad of ideas that tumble around in my head, creating something completely new and often a bit unexpected! The designs then get tested out in embroidered or woven pieces, and eventually when I am happy with them make their way into a finished piece!'

Ian

'I once heard a theologically inclined pianist describe creativity in a way that I really liked. Almost everything can be seen more accurately as a re-creation rather than a creation: when a painter paints they are reshaping the colours they have to form a picture, but it's not 'creation' in it's truest form. Similarly with music...everything exists within a framework we've been gifted - the scales, the sounds, the way we form words musically...and we've just got the job of kind of putting that all together in a way that makes a story or a noise that is pleasing or meaningful or whatever.'

'When it comes to songwriting I guess I'm inspired by all the artists that I have an appreciation for on some level. Almost anything that is heard and that has some heart or soul or cleverness behind it is inspirational - often something just catches you in the right mood or a beat or melody connects with you in a certain moment and makes you want to pick up an instrument or throw around some music with a friend. 

More generally in life I suppose we are inspired by the stories of our friends, stories of hope and often by reminiscing on good times. Invariably it's the things that stir us up the most and give us some sort of reaction that inspire us...'

'After a performance it's often a feeling of relief above anything else, and depending how it's gone... usually there's a sense of satisfaction in looking around at your 'bros' and enjoying the act of playing together.'

'I've only one experience of someone else performing a reworking of one of my own songs, that's a really sweet thing - it's incredible what the different sound does to it, and it really takes the song and makes it in itself the focus rather than any part me or the band had in putting it together...'

Helen

'I didn't always want to be a potter, I just sort of fell into it, tried it and fell in love with it.'

'We work as a team, I paint most of the designs, while mum does more of the throwing. 

It takes longer than you think to build up the layers. If it gets too wet the handles fall off...then mum has to redo them.'

Flora

'I have always spent the majority of my time in the kitchen. This could be cooking, or working, or eating or (sometimes) studying - our kitchen is very much the centre of the house. So I suppose I didn’t really think it could be a career, more of a way of life. I have always been artistic and I wanted to make sure I kept that element in whatever I did. And I am a big maths nerd so trying to find a path that included both elements is tricky.

If I am honest food was probably always a secret aspiration, but one I wouldn’t allow myself to consider.'

'I regularly fib about the amount of alcohol in things. Willow (who is 11) is often fed very boozy puddings. I just tell her its either espresso or really dark chocolate.... and I once served a cake made entirely out of caster sugar and told people it was sugar free. I had tried to make one with honey twice and both times it had gone horribly wrong, so in the early hours of he morning I knocked up a basic sponge and sold it as the honey number. My friends were so impressed with the “natural sweetness”. Baking bad I think is the term!'

'One of the worst things I have done was probably when I pretended my younger sister Hebe bit me. She was a big biter and ate anything in her way and one day she chewed up four of my crayons. I was so mad I marched to the end of the house, bit my arm so hard I drew blood and blamed it on Hebe. She was sent to bed with no dinner for being so naughty. I got two ice creams that night. I told her years later and I think she is still a little bitter about even now.'

Ali

'The very process of carving stone excites me every time I approach it. Watching the form emerge as I carve the excess material, and being responsible for something as rigid and formidable as a stone being reduced to a swathe of soft fabric is in equal parts, both a joyful and perplexing thing.'

'Regardless of the scale or complexity of the project at hand, I still go to work with the same eagerness that I did when I first started carving. Each piece of stone has it's own unique beauty, formed over millions of years, and it is a privilege to be the one to reveal it'