Jacqui and Barry Horning, the owners of A’anside Studios, are both qualified professional engineers who have seen the light! Originally trading as Kirkmichael Crafts, a name which to this day causes problems as the Royal Mail cannot read any further than Kirkmichael and assume we are in Perthshire despite the AB37 (Upper Speyside) postcode in our address.
Jacqui first learnt the art of stained glass while we were living in Singapore, where, overcome by lassitude due to the expat lifestyle and a maid to look after both house and children, she needed something to challenge the brain. The result was a stunning panel made in foiled glass (Tiffany style) which to this day hangs in the window of our shop. Further tuition took place in the USA where we were next posted and on return to the UK the embrionic business was developed in our kitchen. Ground glass and food preparation do not mix and so we eventually found suitable premises for workshops and a shop (it was the local butchers shop) and A’anside Studios was born.
Barry has a lifelong interest in woodworking having made all sorts of objects as a child including a guitar with a neck carved from a piece of oak that must have been fossilised it was so difficult to work. When living in the USA it became obvious that working in corporate headquarters was not the way to spend a life, we decided then that alternative ways of earning a living and satisfying the creative spirit were in order. On our return to the UK the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy was grasped with both hands – especially the golden handshake! A life of woodworking was then embarked upon interspersed with money earning forays into the world of engineering to satisfy both taxman and bank manager. The skills have been learnt the hard way – mistakes/scrap/firewood/missing parts of the anatomy – but a lifelong devotion to impeccable quality has resulted in the workmanship for which we are renowned.
We have now bitten the bullet and have committed to our craft full time. The development of a new shop and workshops was a major undertaking (in both time and financial expenditure) but it now means that we are able to work together and, at long last, have a stable home life.