Kayti Peschke. Credit: Skíō Pottery.
Kayti Peschke. Credit: Skíō Pottery.

Life With a potter on Skye: ‘It’s really satisfying to see a ball of clay turn into something beautiful’

A year ago potters Kayti Peschke and Luke Seaton moved 440 miles to Skye from Yorkshire to set up Skíō Pottery in Waternish.

Kayti tell us about being welcomed into the island community with open arms, their stunning workshop on the Waternish peninsular and how she fell in love with pottery.


I tend to get up early-ish, in summer it’s easier with the light mornings. In winter it’s often later starts. Luke starts with a coffee and I take our dog Frank around the garden. At this time of year it’s nice to take a moment to enjoy the view, listen to the birds and if we are lucky spot some deer in the woods below the house. I usually head into the pottery about 9am to get set up and plan the tasks for the day. If the kiln is due to be unloaded that is always exciting and will be my first job of the day.

The pottery is a modern larch clad building by R House, one half of it has the wheel and a table and is where we make everything, and the other half is our studio shop with all our pots on display for sale. We are so lucky to have a big window overlooking Loch Bay with fantastic views all the way out to the outer hebrides. It’s a miracle we actually get any work done and don’t just stare out the window all day.

Kayti Peschke and Luke Seaton moved to Skye after falling in love with the island. Credit: Kirsten Bosma

‘I went to a workshop four years ago and by the end of the two hours I was hooked’

I have been doing pottery for about four years now. I took my mum to a workshop for mothers day and by the end of the two hours I was hooked. I joined a weekly pottery group, which had a wheel, and had so much fun making plant pots that I quickly filled the house with them. I ended up getting a wheel and small kiln so I could craft at home in the garage and learned through lots of trial and error really. I started selling my pots at local indie markets and then picked up a few commissions and it just snowballed from there.

For me it can be a really all consuming process and I love that you really don’t think of anything else while you are making. It’s quite therapeutic and is lovely to have your hands in the clay. It’s really satisfying to see a ball of clay turn into something useful or beautiful that people can have in their home and enjoy. Luke has been making for about two years, again starting as a hobby that naturally evolved into being a full time potter when we moved to Skye.

We had both been in York for a number of years and were ready for a change, we’d been on holiday to Skye a few times and just loved it. I love the beach and Luke loves the mountains so it suits us both. It also has some brilliant places to eat, great coffee shops and a big creative scene that we knew we would enjoy, so we thought the pottery might fit in well too.

Credit: Skíō Pottery.

Credit: Kirsten Boma.

‘Until the pieces are fired they have the consistency of shortbread and shatter at the slightest knock’

We’ve been amazed by how welcoming and supportive the community has been up here, everyone is so friendly and lots of local businesses reached out to collaborate with us when we arrived, it felt like home very quickly. It’s definitely a calmer pace here and we make the most of our free time to enjoy what’s around us and try and get the work / life balance tipping in the right direction.

We are definitely influenced by the landscape around us, whether it’s the changing colours or the textures on rocks and beach finds. Luke has made a range of black clay beakers that are cracked like the basalt rocks of Skye, and our glazes are inspired by the colour of the Bay below the studio, foraged seaweed and sand tones and the colours of nearby Coral Beach.

Pottery is definitely challenging, there are so many parts to the process and things can go wrong at any time. Glazes can often be unpredictable and certain pieces have a tendency to crack when drying or in the kiln. You have to take a lot of care and be very purposeful and mindful when handling pieces, until fired they have the consistency of shortbread and the slightest knock can shatter them. It’s always a relief to open the kiln on the final firing to see something you’ve put so much time and love into turn out nicely. That’s always a satisfying moment and makes up for all the mistakes along the way, pottery definitely teaches you patience.

‘We are so lucky to be living and working in such a beautiful place’

Collaborating with local businesses is a favourite part of what we do. Recently we worked with The Three Chimneys here on Skye. We designed a range of ceramics to work with a new menu for their collaboration with Talisker. It was a good challenge to make new shapes we hadn’t done before and seeing all the pieces in service with the incredible food has been such a special moment for us. It’s a beautiful space and we are thrilled to be a part of it.

The couple recently designed a range of ceramics for The Three Chimneys collaboration with Talisker. Credit Diageo.

We try to get out of the pottery about 4pm so it gives us a few hours to go enjoy the rest of the day. If the water is calm Luke will go for a swim and me and our dog Frank will have a paddle, or we will go out on the Kayaks. We also love to walk down the beach to the pub, have a few drinks and then walk back home for dinner. We can see the pub from the wheel all day so it’s a treat to go down after working hard. The sunsets are stunning here too so watching a good one on the decking is always a good way to end the day. We feel so lucky to be living and working in such a beautiful place.

Read more from the Life With series here.

Subscribe to read the latest issue of Scottish Field.