Sculpt your own clay model for Clestrain

Visitors to Orkney’s very own Harray Potter can try their hand at clay modelling this summer - and get the chance to support plans for a major historical project in the islands at the same time.

The local John Rae Society, which aims to raise awareness of Arctic explorer John Rae, one of Orkney’s most famous sons, is close to its target to purchase the Hall of Clestrain, his former home.

John Rae's former home, the Hall of Clestrain, in Orkney
John Rae's former home, the Hall of Clestrain, in Orkney


Now, a final push to find the funds has seen Andrew Appleby from Fursbreck Pottery in the parish of Harray launch a special offer. Donate £5 and he’ll provide you with a pound of clay to mould your own design.

You could take inspiration from Andrew’s wide range of beautiful pottery, or his exhibition of Inuit walrus tusks and whalebone artefacts. You can even follow the Arctic theme and create something linked to John Rae and his incredible expeditions.

Your £5 donation will go directly to the ‘Quest for Clestrain’ funds. The Society aims to turn the imposing old building into an international centre for the Arctic, showcasing the exploits of John Rae as well as the culture, people and history of the region.

Orkney's Harray Potter, Andrew Appleby, in his Fursbreck Pottery studio
Orkney's Harray Potter, Andrew Appleby, in his Fursbreck Pottery studio


Previous pottery experience isn’t necessary and anyone can have a go, plus Andrew will be on hand to offer expert advice. You can even have your work fired and finished for a small additional fee.

Find out more about the Fursbreck Pottery from the official website. The pottery is part of the Orkney Craft Trail too. Visit the John Rae Society website to learn more about its work and plans for the future.


The Digital Orkney project has been part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney LEADER 2014-2020 Programme.