QandA with Mike Finnie of Red Houss Shetland
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Mike Finnie and after retiring as an Architect I built myself a very nice red shed where I spend most of my days – I think my bed will be moving in with me soon.
2 What is your main inspiration?
There are various influences but the main one is the Shetland landscape and the buildings set in it. There are lots of other influences but time seems to have stopped me following these up.
3 Where do you work from?
The aforementioned shed. It’s a very posh shed with better heating and better insulation than my house. I designed it with some risky things that I couldn’t do on a clients building. I have a larch roof and stainless steel window sills and the outside is painted in the brightest red that I could find
4 What do you do to relax?
I go to the beach. I have dozens to pick from and some are only a short walk from my house. I have my own stretch of shoreline which I like to call a beach but in reality it’s rock and seaweed.
5 Tell us something surprising about your studio space/education/life experience
I trained as an architect without having much idea what an architect did. I also wanted to be a graphic designer without having much idea what they did either. The studio is letting me play at all the things I might have liked to do.
6 Where did you study?
Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee. I was the first year to move into the concrete building on Perth Road. It was an amazing space, all hard concrete, black floors and red plastic squishy chairs. I loved the place.
7 What’s the best advice you can give to other makers or have received?
Just go for it and give it a try. You meet so many nice folk too.
8 Where do you see your creative practice going?
I have ideas. I’m off to Sweden in June to study the simple red wooden buildings perched on the rocky coast. I’m hoping something will develop from that. Did I mention that I liked sheds?
9 Who would you like to have over for dinner?
Reza Abedini, Chant Avedissian and Gunnar Asplund. Swedish fishy starters, Khoresh and a pudding made with pomegranates and rose water.
10 What is the best thing about being an independent maker?
For me the freedom. Sunny days are special in Shetland and if a brilliant day comes along I can shut up shop and walk along the coast.