Like so many people, Catherine and I have taken solace in the sea since the Covid 19 restrictions changed all of our lives. One day, in the very first lockdown, when we were eventually allowed to sit in a park, we met on a baking hot day, in an unusual Belfast heatwave. We felt stifled by the heat but also the restrictions. Catherine suggested we go for a swim at nearby Helen’s Bay. And so, on a perfect morning in June we headed out for just after sunrise with our cousin Caitlin and our friend Sharon. The sun was majestic, and the salty sea water was the balm we had been longing for. We felt euphoric and decided that the sea was how we were going to get through ‘this’. And so it continues to be.
We have always been entranced by the sea. Catherine and I spend lots of time in Donegal and are witness to the ever-changing beauty of the coastline. When we need a tonic, it’s to the coast we go.
For this year’s collaboration with Derek Wilson Ceramics, it therefore felt obvious that it would be inspired by the sea and the colours of the Irish coastline. We talked to Derek and shared photographs we’d taken. The palette nature made available to us was wide, from neon green seaweed to the black water of an angry ocean to the brightest turquoise.
Derek has created another beautiful collection for us. The tumblers are hand thrown in Belfast in a grey grogged stoneware with a coloured slip. The colours we settled on reflect the coastline we know and love. There are four tumblers in the series, Kelp, Sand, Tide and Swell. They can work as a set but also sit happily on their own.