From May 4th – May 16th, the artistic community of the Isles of Scilly comes together for two weeks of workshops, studio openings and creative coastal walks. If you fancy exploring your creative side surrounded by secluded beaches, inspiring inlets and endless skies, then this is an event for your diary…

From photographers and painters to printmakers and glassworkers, the artistic community on Scilly is as diverse as its landscape. Azure bays, white sands, rugged coastal paths, blue skies and wildlife galore – whether you’re breaking out the watercolours or creating a flotsam collage, Scilly is abundant with inspiration. From the moment you arrive by air or sea, it’s easy to see why so many artists choose to live and work on the islands.

 “Flying to Scilly is like flying to the Caribbean- all those turquoises and blues! It’s incredibly inspiring.”  Toby Tobin-Dougan

 If you travel to Scilly with Skybus, the bird’s-eye view you’ll enjoy as you land on St Mary’s might just inspire your next creation. The clarity of light has certainly inspired glass worker Oriel Hicks, who captures the transparent, pale blues in her incredible stained glass windows. On Monday 11th May, Oriel will be demonstrating how to cut glass and set it into jewellery, key rings and coasters. It’s an opportunity to learn a new craft and to create a keepsake that will remind you of your time on the islands.

“All the artists here in Scilly are inspired by what’s around them.”Oriel Hicks

Gill Schofield will also be running a workshop inspired by Scilly’s horizon, entitled Big Skies in Pastels. During the workshop, you will learn how to use the heel of your hand to recreate Scilly’s dramatic landscapes. Gill has amassed quite a collection of photographs to work from, having holidayed on Scilly since she was a child.

Wherever you are on Scilly, if you aren’t gazing at a blue horizon, you can usually hear the sound of the tides lapping against the shore. Travelling over on the Scillonian passenger ferry is a great way to start feeding your imagination – draw your inspiration from the blue expanse around you, the ripples in the wake of the ship and the world below the surface.

On Wednesday 13th May, Ed Marshall will be hosting a photography workshop on Porthmellon Beach, as the ladies’ gig rowing team heads out to train. Ed will demonstrate how different techniques can help you capture the movement of the brightly coloured boats, as well as the texture of the weathered wood. The workshop starts are 6pm, so it’s also an opportunity to photograph the changing light on Scilly as the sun begins to set.

  “I’m definitely inspired by my surroundings – especially in the summer, when I head down to the beach to watch the sunset.” Ed Marshall

Gyotakuisa traditional Japanese hand-printing technique, which enabled fishermen to capture the prints offish they were unable to bring ashore. Toby Tobin-Dougan brings this craft to Scilly with a master class on St Martin’s. Using locally caught fish, foraged seaweed and scallop shells,Toby will show you how to capture the spirit of Scilly’s seas on a cotton canvas. All profits from the hand-printing workshop will go to Cornwall Air Ambulance.

Alternatively you could use the sea’s bounty as your canvas. Erica Hicks will be demonstrating how cuttlefish can be used as a mould for pewter. The workshop involves pressing objects into cuttlefish (collected from Scilly’s beaches over the winter) to form an imprint, which can then be used as a mould. You can create pendants, brooches and even earrings – it’s a fascinating use of Scilly’s natural resources.

 “We’re surrounded by sea and it’s great to be able to use things that we’ve found locally.” Erica Hicks

This is just a selection of the wonderful workshops happening during Art Scilly Week. If you’d like to take part in this year’s event, you can book workshops directly with the artists, or visit for workshop prices and a complete timetable of events.

  • Oriel Hicks, Fused glass workshop, 01720 422900
  • Gill Schofield, Big Skies in Pastels,07964266310
  • Toby Tobin-Dougan, Gyotaku Printing,01720 423505
  • Erica Hicks, Pewter casting in Cuttlefish,07760 177412
  • Ed Marshall, Photography Workshops, 07769 349693