Susan Eastwood is one of the people who sells her art products in the Islay Shop. In October I had the pleasure to visit Susan in her new workshop at Islay House Square, next to the brewery. I was surprised to find out how she makes all these beautiful glass figures and she doesn't have a problem with making huge stained windows as well, something she was actually working on when we visited her. Susan creates almost everything, from boats to seagulls, beautiful bowls, stained glass and butterflies in a huge variety of colours and mostly made of transparent coloured glass. The seagulls and boats have accents of contrasting and co-ordinating glass and each item is 100% hand made and therefore unique. So far the seagulls, boats and butterflies are for sale in the online shop, these are typically the items that can be easily shipped. Susan also sells beautiful bowls and other glass items but due to the problem of breakage during shipping they are not for sale online. All the more reason to visit her lovely shop personally next time you are on Islay.
Susan sent me the following background information regarding her business: Alisdair, Lord Margadale of Islay, and owner of Islay Estates, converted the shop and gallery for me on my return to Islay in 2003 from studying Architectural and Decorative Glasswork at the College of Building and Printing in Glasgow. At that time it was a derelict bothy -situated next to Islay Ales- which had formerly housed one of the estate workers- a charming building full of character that we were mindful of when converting to the use of a gallery and workshop for my business. We kept the interior and exterior pretty much the same but I was given a free range with the interior decoration, letting me have free range with fantastic sea and sky colours reflecting the landscape of Islay. The Bothy opened its doors in October 2004 to a far better reception than myself could ever have hoped for. By December of that year, it became clear that to meet the demand for my products as well as local and visitors requests to learn the art of working with glass showed a need for larger premises. That Christmas, Alisdair agreed to lease and renovate the next door buildings which were once the doocot and stallion house. These buildings now house a manufacturing space housing 3 glass kilns, 2 teaching workbenches for 6 students, a glass store and design studio. These extensive renovations were completed in April 2007 and have proved an amazing addition to my original business. Hats off to Lord Margadale and Islay Estates for sharing my vision, as well as all the visitors and local folk of Islay for making my business the success it is today.
Some of the items for sale in the online shop