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  • Emily Jarvie

The Inspiration Behind Firth of Forth Craft

Updated: Jun 25

Woodlands, lochs, bothys and the sea are some of the elements Alison Beaty told Editor she uses as inspiration for her art and jewellery for Firth of Forth Craft. Alison works with a variety of mediums such as sea glass, shells, sea pottery, stones, crystals, sea coal, beads and acrylic paints and says she enjoys working across a range of styles in both her jewellery and paintings.

"Walking along the beaches around Fife, I collect sea glass, sea coal shells and stones, which I use in my jewellery and sometimes paint."

Alison said that each piece is unique and that was part of the joy of creating them. "It's an organic process, as I'm not bound by needing each piece to look identical. I allow the glass or stone (or whatever I'm working with!) to guide me."

Her work as an artist is the same; she paints on canvas, hardboard and also on sea glass and stones. She says she loves working with a range of mediums and will paint a small piece of sea glass to be worn as a necklace, as well as a large canvas to hang on a wall - and everything in between!

"There's something about painting stones that is really captivating. I think it's the texture, the cool smoothness and the weight. When I've finished painting them, I like to take a minute to hold them in my hand; feel the solidness of them."

The sea coal offers another form of natural elements that she uses in her work. The beaches around Fife are littered in places with sea coal and the history of the sea coal mining industry in Fife is still fresh in locals' minds. Seeing the beauty in the coal and turning it into a piece of art is something that Alison enjoys.

"You have to find the right piece. Some can be flaky and brittle and are not suitable for working with. They come in every shape and size, but my favourite pieces to paint are oens that fit easily into the palm of my hand. I finish them with a lacquer to protect the art."

Working on canvas or hardboard, Alison takes her paintings up in scale, allowing her more liberty in her choice of inspiration. She recently exhibited in the Pittenweem open category in their 2023 Arts Festival for the first time, where she sold some of her work.

"It's very rewarding when you sell something creative that you have spent time working on; sometimes several weeks. Supporting local artists and crafters is a wonderful way to help keep art, in all its forms, alive."

A selection of Alison's work can be found at Peggy's Emporium, 141 South Street. She also undertakes commissioned pieces - do reach out to her!

Contact Alison Beaty of Firth of Forth Craft

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