Photo: Tim DeWitt


Tree Spirits, by Island sculptor Bill O’Callaghan
Open daily dawn-dusk through October 2020. Free and open to the public

The Tree Spirits are the creation of Island sculptor Bill O’Callaghan, accompanied by verse written by Bill and his partner Heather Goff. The beautiful, mysterious, and whimsical figures are fashioned from driftwood and other natural materials.

Bill O’Callaghan

Born in Cork City, Ireland in 1960, folk artist Bill O’Callaghan (the Mad Potter) came to Martha’s Vineyard in his 20s. The Island offered many opportunities for an inquisitive young man who had grown up riding horses bareback and running through the woods. Bill worked briefly at Chilmark Pottery, and also as a mason and carpenter.

Driven by a need to create and an extraordinary vision, Bill applies all of his acquired skills in his fanciful creations. His work is inspired by natural materials that he finds on the Island’s shores, and a fertile imagination fueled by the Irish folklore that he grew up with.

Heather Goff

Heather was born on Martha’s Vineyard, and her family has been coming to the Island for generations. She has a BFA in ceramics and is best known for her carved decorative tiles, illustrated functional pottery, and a daily sketch series of digital drawings that she created between 2012 and 2014. She also finds great joy in writing.


To learn more about their work and collaborations, please visit islandfolkpottery.com, or find them on Instagram: @islandfolkpottery and @madpottermv.