Hella Young, artist; born

July 27, 1910, died October 6, 1999

Hella Young was known for her art as well as being the wife of the famous nationalist and poet, Professor Douglas Young.

The niece of William Auchterlonie, the 1891 Scottish Open champion, she was born in Bloemfontaine, South Africa, but her family returned to Scotland where, aged 18, she undertook a diploma in design at Glasgow School of Art.

After graduating Hella went on to become a fashion artist, supplying the Scottish press with illustrations of new trends in the 1930s.

In 1943, at the height of the second world war, Hella married the late Professor Douglas Young. A pioneering figure in Scottish Nationalism and celebrated poet and classicist, Young was a former chairman of the SNP.

After only three months of marriage Mr Young was famously sentenced to a year in prison and served eight months for refusing to recognise the legitimacy of conscription of Scots by the British state.

When her husband was released from jail Hella studied pottery with Katie Horseman and both of the artists' works continue to appear alongside each other in exhibitions today.

After the war Hella was one of only a handful of potters in Scotland. She was one of the first to set up her own studio, in an outhouse at her Tayport home in 1949.

Hella was involved in every stage of making the pots for which she is now famous. She did everything from mixing the clay to firing the pots herself and was known to make quite large batches. Today most of her pots have been sold to collectors, who prize them for their originality, and only a few remain in the family.

By the mid 1960s, Hella stopped producing pottery and moved her interests to silversmithing and painting watercolours. She could often be seen scouring the pebble beach in Tayport looking for agates which she polished and collected.

Her work is on display at the Scottish Craft Centre, the National Museum of Scotland, the Paisley Museum, a well-known centre for pottery in Scotland, and the McManus Galleries in Dundee, where her daughter Clara is curator of fine art.

In the early 1950s her pots took either 1st or 2nd place at The Royal Highland Show for several consecutive years.

Hella was also a keen swimmer and in 1954 was one of the founders of the Tayside Aqualung Club after her husband wrote to the inventor to ask where he could get one for his wife.

Hella subsequently enjoyed scuba-diving in the fresh water at the upper reaches of the river Tay, where she fished the mussel beds for their prized pearls.

As well as loving water sports she was an avid fan of the great outdoors. Hella and her husband often took their young family away on camping trips, trekking across hills and going on long countryside walks.

Over the past 15 years Hella has divided her time between living in Tayport, near Dundee, and Fitou in France.

She is survived by her daughters, Clara, 55, and Yana, 53, as well as her grandchildren Sophie Helena, 17, and Louis Douglas, 15, who live in France.

Lorna Dillon