A Word About: Tain Pottery

Strangely enough for Scotland (just kidding! Stop throwing stones :-D), it was a wonderfully sunny day when we visited The Tain Pottery. It was kind of mandatory. Our host, Fiona of Holly Lodge, Strathpeffer, served our breakfast on plates, cups and bowls from this very pottery. Since we liked the design so much, she send us there – telling us it was the only real thing, because they didn’t chip as easily as other pottery’s products. So we went.

To me, this visit was very inspirational. First of all I love workshops. I do have memories of wood workshops and the smell of fresh colour that are rooted very deeply. When I think of certain happenings in my life, I can still see dust from wood in the sunlight and smell the scents of wood and colour. Today I love these places because of all the creative work that is taking place there.

When you visit The Tain Pottery, first of all you’ll come into the show room, where you can purchase beautiful items like plates, jugs, mugs, bowls, even clocks and so much more. Beyond the showroom lies the storage depot, where every item they make is stocked. There are items for sale but also orders. People actually order their wedding china here. Companies have their own Tartan designed and a whole collection produced right here. These are sold to places as far away as Japan, but also to charity organisations in Scotland. I found it really interesting and I decided that if I ever get married, that might be an idea. Or if I actually do open a Bed and Breakfast at some point, I know where to turn to.

But there’s more. Further beyond the storage depot lies another depot. This is where plates and coffee pots are dried. It’s a very light room and since the pottery here is not yet painted but white, it reflects the light even more. Above that is the colourful workshop, the decorating studio, where the people of Tain Pottery paint all these beautiful designs. It’s full of tools in drawers, on desks, but also hanging from the ceiling. There are buckets of colour pigments and part of the walls are covered with plates that show numbered Tartans or colours and how they appear when mixed in certain ratios.

So, if you’re ever touring Scotland and find yourself in the area north of Inverness, traveling the northeast coast, stop by this place. It’s right off the A9 and it’s really worth the visit. Especially since people there like to tell you about the Pottery and show you around. Here are some impressions I took away from there. Of course we did spend a little bit of money here, too 😉 So come prepared!


From the storage depot and the showroom



Drying pottery



and the colourful decorating studio on the top floor




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