As the bright colours of the island capital, Tobermory, would suggest, the Isle of Mull has a vibrant arts and crafts scene. Some preserve traditions that date back centuries, like spinning wool from native flocks and weaving tweeds and blankets. Others make use of modern and unusual materials to delight and surprise.
If you’d like to discover some Isle of Mull artists and crafters and perhaps even buy a piece of local artwork to take home with you, make a start with this guide.
With huge open vistas and a varied landscape of mountains, glens, lochs and forest, the island provides inspiration for many Isle of Mull artists. Several are based here, including Graham & Sally Bruce-Richards and Ronnie Leckie, who has a gallery you can visit on Tobermory’s Main Street. Artist Angus Stewart also has a gallery you can visit on Breadalbane Street, just up the hill from the harbour.
Pay Mull Pottery a visit in their shop on the Main Street to find beautiful, handmade pottery pieces. Their pottery spans all kinds of homewares and each piece has a character of its own. Often decorated in island-inspired hues, each piece makes an excellent keepsake or gift.
Based on a croft beside Loch Scridain at Ardtun, Mull Willow cultivates and crafts this natural product. Learn the craft on your holiday to Mull with one of their willow-weaving workshops. You can make baskets, bird boxes and stools in a workshop warmed by a log burner.
Nestled into a hill on the island’s west coast is Lip na Cloiche. Best known as an open garden that is beautifully planted and filled with time-worn treasures, gardener Lucy also creates wonderful crafts with beach-combed finds. Mirrors adorned with shells and crafts created from rope and driftwood offer plenty of island charm.
Not far from Mull Willow is Ardalanish, located on a farm just outside Bunessan. They work with wool from native flocks and use plant dyes to add colour to garments and blankets. You can take a tour of the mill to see the weaving process in action and pick up some warm and cosy woollens from the shop.
One of the more unusual crafts is pyrography, where wood is burned to create different designs. Chronicle Crafts & Cakes are masters of the art on Mull. They create all kinds of intricate designs, from coasters to cheese boards and even house signs! You’ll often find Chronicle Crafts & Cakes at the producer’s market in Craignure if you’d like to see these first-hand.
Isle of Mull Leather stands just back from Tobermory’s Main Street – spot their wares displayed in the window when you pass by. Practitioners of the craft of leather working, they create belts, wallets and other leather goods from their workshop using traditional techniques.
Galleries to visit on Mull
You’ll find lots of inspiration for things to do on Mull here, but if it’s arts and crafts that take your fancy, we recommend starting here.
An Tobar, Tobermory
Tucked up the hill from Tobermory’s Main Street, you can follow a fairly steep path up to reach An Tobar. The reward for the walk is an interesting gallery with inspiring exhibitions, as well as a cosy coffee shop and cafe.
Calgary Arts, Calgary
You may have heard of the Calgary Art in Nature trail. Often crafted from unexpected materials, sculptures line this wonderful woodland path. But Calgary is also home to an excellent Gallery that showcases the talents of Isle of Mull artists, as well as a workshop that is one of the island’s creative hubs.
South West Mull Makers, Fionnphort
At the other end of the island in the village where the ferry departs for Iona, you’ll find South West Mull Makers. This gallery brings together all kinds of arts, crafts and items created by local islanders. Much of it is available to buy.