Fishwick Creative creates beautiful seascapes inspired by the Hebrides


Joey enjoys painting abstract pieces in oils, acrylics and gouache. Pic Joey Afrin Noir

For the next two weeks, we’re focusing on the creatives at Preston selling their beautiful creations online and at Christmas markets.


Joey Afrin Black started his small business The Crafty Hebridean after a period of illness. She’s also the person behind The Larder’s Christmas mini markets.

Here, Joey talks about his craft and how the support of Vine House and Mandala Yoga and Wellbeing has helped his creativity and recovery.

What inspired you to create Crafty Hebridean?

I have friends who are very artistic and creative, and the plan was that three of us would share stalls selling our crafts. After a period of illness, I took my early retirement and executed the plan. They fired me but then found that work and family obligations prevented them from continuing to manufacture and so I am now the only one with a house full of wool and buttons!

I needed a name for my stalls and online stores and due to my roots in the Western Isles, I opted for Crafty Hebridean.

Joey Afrin Black
Joey Afrin Black

Tell me a bit about the artwork you create and the materials you use.

I found myself developing a few different practices. By taking the classes, I learned to draw and paint using a number of mediums – acrylic, gouache, and oils. I also love to create scenes using wools and tweeds sourced from Harris and Lewis to replicate the hues of the Hebridean shores. My handcrafted items are also created from recycled materials and leftover tweed and buttons – I love using buttons.

Joey is inspired by the seascapes of the Hebrides.  Pic Joey Afron Black
The art workshops at Vine House have been invaluable to Joey after a cancer diagnosis. Pic Joey Afrin Noir

What do you like about the Hebridean landscape?

What is not to like! Aside from the fact that it has real appeal to me as a happy childhood summer home, it is undeniably beautiful. The beaches are calm, sometimes empty even in the height of summer, and the sea is powerful with beautiful Caribbean hues.

What I really liked is bringing the colors of the shore and the ocean to all the different beaches we are on. I also like the moors, punctuated by lochs, and the immense skies, whether they are gray or blue, I will stop now but I could go on for a long time.

Read more: Beautiful, handmade and shiny children’s clothing created at Broadgate

Tell me about the art workshops you attended at Vine House.

As part of the support and therapy provided by Vine House Cancer Help in Ribbleton, I started art classes. This allowed me to develop my odds and ends practice using recycled wools, buttons and tweeds in acrylic and oil paint. I didn’t know I had the ability to paint, but I was hoping they would train me to paint with watercolors so that I could portray the beauty of the Hebrides that way.

However, Sharon Steingold is an excellent former higher education teacher who has helped me find my true style and technique. While I enjoy painting still lifes and abstract pieces in oil, acrylic and gouache, my favorite practice is creating island scenes using Harris tweed and recycled wool which I develop throughout. time thanks to the Vine House layout.

Who is supported by Vine House?

Vine House support groups are available to anyone living with, recovering or supporting a family member with cancer. They offer a whole range of support and anyone in these situations should call them to see what help they can access.

It’s a terrible time and Vine House is one of the places people with cancer can escape for support and respite, or their families can access support to help them cope. . They are amazing.

Joey enjoys creating scenes using wools and tweeds sourced from Harris and Lewis to replicate the hues of the Hebridean coastlines.  Pic Joey Afrin Noir
Joey enjoys creating scenes using wools and tweeds sourced from Harris and Lewis to replicate the hues of the Hebridean coastlines. Pic Joey Afrin Noir

Tell me about your involvement with The Mandala.

One of the terrible side effects of a cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy treatment, and continued hormone therapy is the incredibly high levels of stress hormones flowing through your body. The team that treated me advised me to try yoga and relaxation therapies to remedy this.

After visiting a few courses I tried one in Mandala – it was a perfect choice for me as it is a fabulous and friendly host community. I now know exactly which course to take depending on whether I’m tired or stressed. Additional therapies like sound and groove therapy are brilliant ways to shake the anxiety out of your system.

I couldn’t recommend it highly enough and was thrilled when they asked me to become a volunteer director on the board of the community benefit corporation.

Read more: Owner of Preston’s yoga studio ‘rebuilds better’ after year of heartache

Have you also participated in community art workshops at the Mandala?

The Mandala worked with They Eat Culture during the lockdowns and I attended some of the art workshops with them.

I would like us to do more creative workshops in the future at the yoga center as it is a great way to encourage people who may not feel inclined to go to a place like Mandala to walk through the doors , feel at home, then hopefully I want to try a class or two.

Joey draws his inspiration from the seascapes of the Hebrides.  Pic Joey Afrin Noir
Joey is inspired by the seascapes of the Hebrides. Pic Joey Afrin Noir

What inspired you to create the Christmas mini markets at The Larder?

Victoria from The Larder made me do it! We sat down and brainstormed when I volunteered to help with the Art at the Larder project, which she developed. We thought that a Christmas market would create an opportunity for us both to generate income for The Larder and also to provide local artists, artisans and creatives with a market stall in the city center to sell Christmas gifts. handmade.

It’s also a great outlet for our prolific knitting group at the weekly Knitting Café on Thursday mornings.

Read more: Knitting group aims to bring communities together in Preston

Where do you sell your work?

I will be at The Larder’s Made for Christmas Markets on Saturday December 11th and Saturday December 18th and I will also be selling my work at the Christmas Fair at the Black Bull Pub in Fulwood on Sunday December 12th.

I have an Etsy shop and one Redbubble Store for items that can be purchased with prints of my artwork. I also have a Facebook page, and I plan to start selling my work from there in the New Year.

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