SELF-TAUGHT ceramicist Steve Smith has outgrown his garage and opened a Peebles pottery studio.

Mr Smith, 43, moved his potter’s wheel into the former joinery unit, just off Greenside, at the start of this month.

He had worked in his garage for nearly two years since moving to Peebles from Guildford.

A former tree surgeon, Mr Smith, who studied art at the University of Creative Arts in Epsom, Surrey, has been throwing pots for the past four years.

“After art college I did not really believe you could make a career as a creative,” said Mr Smith. “I fancied working outdoors and sort of fell into tree surgery, but latterly my body was suffering.

“I was on holiday in Wales and the landlady where I was staying ran pottery classes which got me started but mostly I am self-taught.

“If I had taken more pottery training I could have avoided some of the pitfalls!”

Mr Smith also spent a year travelling and working on organic farms, many of which had a connection with a potter and he was able to use their studios in the evenings.

Mr Smith said: “I came back from my travels, bought a kiln and a potter’s wheel and changed the garage into a studio.

“Taking on the unit is a big commitment but this is ideal and has a great view of the hills too.”

All Mr Smith’s pieces are handmade although he does have small ranges of vases which he says all have individual quirks.

“Recently I have been experimenting with smoke fired porcelain using hay and heather in the ‘burn’ which creates amazing colours,” said Mr Smith. “I also make up all my own glazes but until the pieces are fired you are never certain exactly how something will turn out.”

Mr Smith has just finished an exhibition at Birch Tree Gallery in Edinburgh.

He also has pieces at Solo Gallery, Innerleithen, and at galleries in England and the United States.

In addition his work is available online at