This corner of Scotland is so often overlooked and it really shouldn't be. Visitors tend to go to Edinburgh and/ or Glasgow then travel up the west coast to the Highlands, totally neglecting the east coast from Edinburgh to Inverness.
The area around Lunan Bay is particularly beautiful, with miles of unspoilt countryside and the most amazing sandy beach - and it's only half an hour from here :)
Our first stop on the studios trail was at the amazing Hawkhill Forge in this old church at Lunan.
Colin and Lisa Badger make the most beautiful furniture in wrought iron and glass. This photo really doesn't do them justice so do take a look at their website.
Here are some examples of Lisa's other work.
A little further on we visited Redcastle Pottery which was an absolute feast for the eyes! I have never seen such beautiful, intricate ceramics as these. Kirsty and I particularly liked these bowls, but couldn't think of anywhere in the house to put one.
Just a short distance along the road from the studio are the ruins of Red Castle. One of the big bonuses about open studios events is that you get to visit places that you never otherwise would get to see. I've certainly never seen the castle from this side before - and it looks totally different from every angle. (The sea and golden sands are just off to the right of this photo).
Our next stop was a short drive away at Auchmithie. I'd heard of the place but never been before. I was expecting just a couple of houses, but it's actually a very small, coastal village in the most beautiful setting.
This lovely village was the location of No. 70, a small studio housing quirky jewellery. We particularly liked the Scrabble jewellery but there were no Ks left for either Kirsty or myself!
From there we continued south to Arbroath to visit ceramicist Fran Marquis and the superb selection of work by various artists that she had on display. I was really taken with this lovely wee bowl - it has a pottery base (made by Fran) and the sides are made from a coiled leather thong, stitched into place by her basket weaver friend.
At the same venue we spotted this wee troll who reminded us of Hoggle from the film Labyrinth! We couldn't work out what he/ she was made from - turns out it's an apple! The apple is carved and then left to dry which is when it adopts its troll-like characteristics! They are made by Judy Sweet, who also carves amazing figures in bone. We had to have him, so Hoggle now lives with us!
We also visited venues in Carnoustie, Monifieth and Letham and particularly enjoyed Tessa Mendez's venue Felt Unique, as Kirsty and I both love anything to do with textiles in general and felt in particular. For some reason I forgot to take any photos after lunch :(