Willie was born in Wick in the far north of Scotland and left school at 16 to begin his training in the catering trade. After several moves between hotels in Scotland he had the chance to move to the Dorchester with Anton Mossiman. For the next four years he worked with a team of 150 chefs on various departments.
An article in, "Time Out" magazine about pottery, plus an advert for evening classes gave him the necessary inspiration to change direction. His enthusiasm for pottery grew, resulting in him eventually being offered a place on the three year ceramic course at Chesterfield Art College. He left college being one of the three people in the country to receive a distinction pass.
Willie started his first workshop in Farndon aided by the Crafts Council, "setting up" grant. Here he developed a range of mainly thrown, highly decorated stoneware, each piece individually brush decorated with a variety of animals and fish. The stoneware has now been replaced by an Earthenware range in vibrant Mediterranean colours from egg cups to huge platters. The Earthenware still keeps the designs of the stoneware which have a free, yet precise quality produced by the oriental brush.
Over the years a love of modeling clay has resulted in the evolution of hand built raku animal sculptures. These figures have a free flowing spontaneous feel, which captures the creature's character and range from bison and beagles to a complete bridge of elephants.
Throughout his time in business Willie has been approached to undertake several interesting commissions. Perhaps one of the most enjoyable was reconstructing the medieval floor of the Wakefield Tower ( H.M Tower Of London ). Following the original plans he had to produce floor tiles which he then helped to lay in the Tower. One of the most recent requests was for him to make a special raku penguin which was presented to the former speaker of The House of Commons when she opened the new penguin house.