Inspired by Orkney

From childhood days Sheila was captivated by the sea and shoreline, history and monuments, light and colours of Orkney. From her earliest pieces to her very latest collections Orkney has remained a constant source of inspiration as every day brings something new.

Birsay Disc

Birsay Disc

This collection is derived from a small lead disc found on the Brough of Birsay in Orkney. The Brough, a small tidal island, supported a thriving metalworking industry from the 7th to the late 8th century. A rich array of brooches, rings and dress pins were found; jewellery for the prosperous Pictish community on the Orkney Mainland.

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Brodgar Eye

Inspired by a cup-and-ring stone carving found at the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney.

Cathedral

Cathedral

These superb sandstone symbol designs can be seen on the east wall of St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney. The Cathedral was founded in 1137 by Earl Rognvald Kolsson and built of yellow and red sandstone. Many contemporary artists reflect on this majestic building for inspiration. Sheila has translated these symbols into her own design ideas.

Flagstone

Flagstone

This collection was born from my love of the sensational natural rock shorelines that once linked Orkney and Caithness. The Caithness flagstone is composed of fine grained sand and mud deposited in Lake Orcadie about 380 million years ago in the Devonian age.

Garnet-Cathedral

Garnet Cathedral

Sheila’s new Cathedral design created to commemorate the Battle of Jutland honours the memory of those we love.

Headlands

Headlands

The vast, majestic stone cliffs make a sheer descent into the crashing sea below. These dramatic headlands contrast with the gentle curves which are such a feature of the Orkney Landscape. Views of the headlands, and the twinkling of lights from distant houses at night, stirred Sheila’s imagination to create these intriguing pieces.

Hoxa Reflections

Hoxa Reflections

Sheila grew up at Hoxa Head on the Island of South Ronaldsay, a key vantage point overlooking the entrance to the sheltered natural harbour of Scapa Flow. Looking out across the water, the colours shift with the reflected light, and the cliffs create shadows in the deep.

Island Panorama

Island Panorama

In the wide-angle panoramic views of Orkney, only a narrow strip of land separates the sea and sky. These land forms create smooth and graceful shapes, reinterpreted in enamel to stunning effect.

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Lunar

Inspired by stone carvings from the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney.

Lunar Pearl

A contemporary collection inspired by the ancient art of our ancestors.

Mill Sand

Mill Sands

This collection is named after the beach below Sheila's workshop in Tankerness, Orkney. The view over the wide panorama of the bay alters constantly, as the light and colour changes dramatically with each day and season. Mill Sand is inspired by some of the unique colours reflected in the sand and shallow water in and around the beach.

Mine Howe

Mine Howe

This collection was inspired by the historic site known as Mine Howe which was found in Tankerness, Orkney. Surrounded by earthen ditch, the area may have been considered sacred since the Neolithic period.

New Wave

New Wave

The New Wave collection is based on a photograph taken by Sheila’s husband Rick, when they were returning from Westray, one of the most northern Isles of Orkney, one evening. The wake of the ferry cutting through the water, leaving a trail in the sea inspired Sheila. She was struck by the golden red of the setting sun as it caught the waves.

Ogham

Ogham

The ancient Ogham script reads 'A Blessing on the Soul'.

Orkney Yole

Orkney Yole

Capturing sailing boats on the bright waters of Scapa Flow below Scapa Distillery.

Celtic Orkney

Orkney's Celtic Connection

This collection is based around an 8th century brooch found in a Norse grave at Pierowall on the island of Westray in Orkney.

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Pentland

The Pentland collection gets its name from the notorious stretch of water which separates the Orkney Islands from the north coast of the British Mainland. The water surges through this narrow strait between the Atlantic and the North Sea, where it has inspired Sheila to create this collection full of colour and movement.

Pictish Sea Horse

Pictish Sea Horse

This design is derived from a stone carving found at Ness in Tankerness, Orkney.

Primula Scotica

Primula Scotica

Primula Scotica exists only in Orkney, Caithness and North Sutherland on maritime heath. Orkney sites include Yesnaby on the Orkney Mainland and the outer Islands of Rousay, Westray, Papay, Sanday and South Walls. Miraculously, the intense purple and yellow flowers of the delicate ‘Scottish Primrose’ survive amid the raging winds on our exposed coastal heath land.

Runic

Runic

The Runic Iris design was inspired by the stone age tomb, Maeshowe, built around 3,000 BC. In the 12th century Vikings broke into the tomb and carved runes on the chamber walls.

Scapa Flow

Scapa Flow

Scapa Flow is a collection inspired by a natural deep water harbour, situated in the middle of the Orkney Island group. This safe haven was used in the war time to house the British Naval Fleet of Ships. The soft colours of the waters of Scapa Flow inspired this smooth shape with its own unique enamel colour.

Skara Shard

Skara Shard

These designs were inspired by potshard found at the historic stone age site of Skara Brae, Orkney.

Skara Spiral

Skara Spiral

This small spiral design was inspired by carvings found on stones and fragments of pottery at a historic Stone Age Neolithic village at Skara Brae in Orkney.

Skara Urn

Skara Urn

Inspired by the carved decoration on a potshard found at the Stone Age village of Skara Brae, Orkney

Skyran

Skyran

Skyran was inspired by the first known text discovered in Orkney. The Ogham writing that reads ‘a blessing on the soul’ was found on a whorl stone at Buckquoy, Birsay, approximately 500 AD. These signature pieces capture the rich blue-grey of the night sky, where Skyran translates as to glitter or shine brightly.

Standing Stones

Standing Stones

Inspired by the giant megaliths of the Standing Stones of Stenness. This collection compliments our Stone Circles collection inspired by the great Ring of Brodgar. Orkney's two ancient centres of power and ritual are a thousand years older than Stonehenge and lie close to each other in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Stone Circles

Stone Circles

This collection hails the ancient mysteries of Orkney’s great ceremonial Ring of Brodgar.