art root 2

What could be better than a tour of East Lothian, stopping off here and there to see some amazing art? Next weekend you can do just this: Art Root is back, and this year its programme is even more ambitious – as well as visiting lots of open studios, galleries and pop-up exhibitions, you can try glass beading, ceramics or printmaking in special workshops*, and children 7+ can enjoy their own session, making birds from recycled materials.

jewellery at Tyninghame for Art Root

A friend and I followed the Art Root trail last year and it was a brilliant day out; drive around the countryside as the harvest is brought in and stop off at little villages, country towns – and of course the seaside at North Berwick.  In Pencaitland see Suzie Vestri and Marg Hall’s work at the Winton Pottery, then stop again at Tyninghame Village Hall, where six local crafters will show jewellery (such as Lilac Millie’s above), textiles, paintings and wooden furniture. At Whitekirk you can visit the Poldrate Mill Makers to meet their tutors, join in mini-workshops, learn about the classes they offer in Haddington and watch demonstrations, which will include hot glass beadmaking.

stained glass bunting at smeaton

There are three open studios at East Linton, each of them well worth a stop (and after visiting the wonderful Smeaton Glass Studio (left) you can have your tea in the garden at Smeaton Tea Rooms if it’s sunny.)  Moving on to Dunbar you’ll find five great venues – including West Barns Village Hall, where six artists are exhibiting everything from painting to ceramics and photography, and West Barns Studios, which is showing painting and prints and also showcasing the activities facilitated by West Barns Arts.  Meanwhile community group Dunbar Art Club will be holding portraiture workshops throughout the weekend and would love people to come and chat – and maybe join the group!

En route from Dunbar to North Berwick call in at Tantallon Studios, where artist Jayne Stokes will be exhibiting and Esther Cohen will be painting her beautiful ceramic tiles. In North Berwick itself there are four diverse studios to visit, and as you follow the coast road back to the city, make sure you allow time to visit Dirleton and the charming Dirleton Gallery (another good place for tea and stickies.)

Dirleton Gallery exterior

Ceramics at Dirleton May 2014

For more information and a map, see Art Root’s website. Art Root will open 10am-5pm on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st September 2014. There will also be a preview evening on Friday 19th September, 7-9pm at West Barns Village Hall – wine, nibbles and presentations, all welcome. *Please note that for some workshops there are booking requirements and charges – see website for details.