Meet The Makers: Edward Smith
by Kirsty Thomas
As you might already know, we live and work in the East Neuk of Fife, a string of traditional fishing villages on the East Coast of Scotland and much of our work is inspired by the colours, shapes and geometry of our local harbours and seascapes. So when we started to research new products and makers for Sourced, we really wanted to find objects that reflected our environment as well as complimenting our own work.
Edward Smith’s fishing fleets are tiny works of art which are handcrafted in amazing detail and we fell in love instantly.
Born and raised in Buckie, a once-busy fishing town on the East Coast of Scotland, Edward now lives in the village of Fochabers. His seaside surroundings have provided lifelong inspiration for his artwork and modelmaking. Edward first began making model boats thirty years ago as toys for his three young children and over the years these boats have developed into a unique collection of vessels which capture and record the declining British fishing fleet.
In recent years, the fleet of vessels that serves our waters has seen significant change with many boats sold off, replaced, decommissioned or destroyed. Many of the sturdy wooden-hulled vessels built in the 1940s and 1950s have all but disappeared and Edward’s work provides a lasting tribute to the history and craftsmanship of the fishing industry around Scotland and the UK.
We asked Edward a few questions to find out more about his work and inspirations.
Can you tell us a bit about your work and your workspace?
I am a graphic designer and artist in the wrong place, as usual. The models are graphic thingies that I make in my little workshop and in my studio upstairs in our house in Fochabers. That's all there is to it. I fit the models into the spaces between other things, and I can put them down and pick them up whenever I like. I use my studio to work on paintings that I exhibit fairly widely, but the models fit in there quite easily.
Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because I went to art school to do art, and now I'm doing it, and I'll keep on doing it for as long as I can. I suppose it helps to be pretty determined.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt (through work or life)?
Well, I think you have to have some kind of imagery that is meaningful for you, and the vocabulary to give form to the ideas that arise from the imagery. And you have to stick with it and develop the paintings and other things such as the models which arise from it.
Do you have a favourite boat?
A favourite boat would be Morayshire INS212. One of the last surviving postwar fishing boats, she is now being fully restored. I based a print on her, and the print will be used as a guide for the painting stage of the restoration. I am quite pleased about that.
See and shop our collection of boats here.