Wednesday, July 6, 2016

6. magical mystery tour and day 4

This series starts with “1. I'm home”. All the pictures can be clicked on for larger versions.

Our third day had a field trip scheduled and even Jane did not know where the very capable and all round very fine person and hotelier Jo, symposium coordinator, planned to take us. It was raining though so we all pulled out our rain gear and climbed aboard the magical mystery tour bus. These are the places we stopped:

Achavanich Standing Stones

Caithness Stone works where they have a lazar machine that engraves on the stone so smoothly you can't even feel it

Old St. Peter's Kirk in Thurso and then a pause for tea or coffee at the harbor there

seen on the road

Castletown Quarry ruins and harbor

Castle Mey, the Queen Mum's residence and now owned by Prince Charles

John O'Groats for lunch

seen on the road

and then back to the studio

I finally shake off my intimidation and dive into the studio's resources, making a few models with clay and have the incredibly talented Allison show me the basic workings of the lathe and a bit of technique with the diamond wheels.

Then we were off to Helmsdale for a fish and chips dinner at La Mirage, stopping on the way for a visit with Patty Niemann, jeweler, at her studio.

Day 4 found us in the studio with a field trip to the Croft Museum and Tea House for lunch

I make molds and fill molds and sketch and engrave.

and more studio time in the afternoon with dinner at the Portland Arms there in Lybster.


  1. A marvel of stone images - do I need one of those laser things?! What a wonderful trip - look forward to learning more

  2. Love the castles. I am still laughing at the hitchhiker

  3. So beautiful and ancient. I'd have returned with rocks in my suitcase.

  4. "Seen on the road..."
    Was it like being on a different planet? I can only imagine.

  5. Seems like a great day! You're seeing some amazing stuff from the road. Scotland certainly doesn't lack for scenery. I hope to get up to John O'Groats one of these days.

    Loved your comment on my post this morning, BTW. :)

  6. The pictures of stones and ruins are fascinating and point to the long history of this wonderful place.

  7. I would have been happy to see only one of those sights. What a rich, varied collection of ruins and scenery. How wonderful it must have been -- not to mention the camaraderie, creativity, and good food!


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