Michaela & Chris Goan

Michaela and Chris Goan

About us


I love clay and I love sharing my passion with others. I have worked for many years in the community and still enjoy running workshops. I have always loved crafting and found my love of clay some years ago on a pottery weekend. It took a while, but now we have the garden studio and I can happily pot every day.

I use the hand-building technique in pottery and will share this with you. This can be by making pinch pots, coil pots or slabs. You will learn some decorating techniques too and learn about the basics of preparing clay and learn how pieces are dried and fired. There is lots of inspiration in the studio, garden and surrounding area and no experience is required – all tuition is provided and we will work together step by step.

“I would love to live as a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.”  John O’Donohue – (I think pottery is the closest I have come to be able to create and live in a free and open way.)


I have spent half my life working with people, as a social worker, therapist, then manager of mental health services. I have also written a number of books, countless articles and edited two poetry anthologies, which slowly took over as my primary activity. However, my love of people and creativity come together in the running of retreats and workshops.

I love to see other people making their own creative journeys, and I think the best way to do this is to provide a safe space for people to be open and vulnerable, because for many of us, creative writing (and poetry in particular) is a way to express soul-deep feelings and experiences. Sharing these things with on another is precious.

I have found that exposure to wild places allows us to reconnect ourselves with the nature of our own humanity, so often the workshops/retreats I run take place in that context.


Pottery: hand-building, design, decorating
Creative writing, poetry
Poetry printing on ceramics

Things we love

Michaela: My family. Life in Scotland and the ever-changing colours. Clay. Birdsong. Films that move me. Kindness. Music, especially live. The wind in my hair.

Chris: Spring. Michaela. Music that makes me cry. Oak trees. Small islands. Big mountains. Carved wood. Sitting around a fire with friends, dreaming of better things. Kindness.

MS Grey dog, wilderness retreat


When the heart
Michael Leunig

When the heart
Is cut or cracked or broken
Do not clutch it
Let the wound lie open

Let the wind
From the good old sea blow in
To bathe the wound with salt
And let it sting.

Let a stray dog lick it
Let a bird lean in the hole and sing
A simple song like a tiny bell
And let it ring.