Persabus Pottery is situated in an old traditional stone byre, which a few generations back was home to the farmâ€™s working Clydesdale horse, who among other things, pulled the plough for Donaldâ€™s grandfather and father. It also housed the old boiler room, to prepare feed for the farm animals. Persabus is a traditional hill farm, where Highland cattle and sheep are bred for beef and lamb; it has been the Fletcher family farm for several generations and is situated a couple of hundred yards along the Bunnahabhain road, five minutes from Port Askaig.
The pottery was started in the 1970s by Donaldâ€™s sister Linda; it became a family affair, when their mother, Valinda also got involved in the pottery. Latterly Donaldâ€™s brotherâ€™s Arra and Iomhar created their own unique style of pottery depicting Islayâ€™s Celtic designs and symbols. When Arra and Iomhar left Islay for the mainland Rosemary and Donald were left with the old byre, the kilns and all of the tools.
Today the old stone byre has been transformed into a ceramic cafÃ©, where traditional afternoon teas and coffee are served, complete with sandwiches and home baking. Picnic benches on the lawn in front of the byre allow guests to take in the stunning scenery when the weather permits. Continue reading.....
Inside the byre the shelves are filled with ceramic bisque ware, pottery in its unglazed state, and people are invited to choose a piece which they then paint in under glaze, putting their own original art work and designs on to the piece, before it is fired in a kiln, and is then ready for collection a few days later. Alternatively pottery items can be painted with acrylics and then sealed with varnish. These items do not need to be fired in the kiln and so can be taken home that day. The bisque ware ranges from dinner plates, mugs and jugs, and tea pots, to trinket boxes, a whole variety of ornamental animals, tiles and various banks and boxes. A small range of pottery is also on sale, and Rosemary and Donald are hoping to stock some of the traditional Persabus pottery range in the future.
Paintings of Islay, by Rosemary Fletcher, using various media, adorn the walls of the old byre. Rosemary uses the Islay landscape and also the photo blog on the Islay info site for inspiration for her artwork during the winter months. This year one of her oil paintings was selected to appear in a calendar featuring artistsâ€™ work from around Scotland. At the moment she is working on a piece for a charity auction of Scottish art work to be held on Skye on 1st October at the Sligachan Hotel. Original paintings, prints and cards are also on sale at the pottery.
For more information you can contact Persabus by Tel on +44 (0)1496-840 243