What is Double Door Studios?
We are Dundee’s newest creative enterprise: studios and exhibition space for jewellers, designers and makers, small but perfectly formed. We are home to established jewellery designer makers Islay Spalding, Christina Vernon, Holly McAfee and ieva jankovska, who all run their practices from the Jewellery Studios, a fully equipped shared jewellery making space with hot desks and space for workshops. Alongside, in Studios 1 and 2, we have The Candle Bothy and Hung Up framing service who run their business from the private studio spaces. We have a small but flexible exhibition space, which can be hired for product launches, exhibitions or pop-up shops, or otherwise filled with the wonderful creations of the designers, artists and makers inside the studios.
We design things with skill and passion.
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Meet the current residents of the Double Door Studios.
Islay Spalding is a jewellery designer who specialises in bespoke commissions for Kilt Pins and contemporary jewellery. After graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2005 she set up her workshop in her parent’s garage in Broughty Ferry, moving to a shared workshop in Dundee a couple of years later. Here she had many happy years working on jewellery collections for galleries, establishing the bespoke Kilt Pin part of the business and creating the Man Pin brand with workshop buddy and woodworker Louise Forbes. After dreaming of owning her own workshop, filled with jewellers and creative people, Islay finally bit the bullet and offered up her soul to the money lenders and started Double Door Studios, now her jewellery home.
Islay’s jewellery is inspired by nonsense stories, surrealist art, landscapes and the world around us, and the beauty of the between, Islay describes her jewellery work as evolving collections. These range from colourful and curvy Biomorphs and Small Worlds to bold and geometric Biocubes and Oddgons. Her aim in jewellery design and making is to create unique pieces that are well made, unusual and distinctive yet practical and pleasing to wear.
The Kilt Pins are an abstract take on the traditional style and use elements such as grooves and notches to signify dates, hillscapes, landscapes and coastal outlines and pieces of music or lyrics to bring that personal meaning to the design and make it unique to the wearer. They are fabricated in silver using a variety of hand techniques and can include other metals or materials such as wood and semi-precious or precious stones.
Islay is really excited to now have the space to display work and hold more workshops and events and can’t wait to fill the calendar!
Christina Vernon is a designer, maker and enameller from Arbroath. In 2016 Christina graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design with her BDes (hons) in Jewellery and Metal after completing her HND Jewellery at City of Glasgow College. In 2018, Christina also participated in the Vanilla Ink Inkubator programme, a 9 month business development course for jewellers and silversmiths starting their careers, providing them with the skills and confidence to take their career in jewellery to the next level.
After Christina graduated she worked from a tiny shed at the bottom of her parents garden until moving into a larger space at WASPs Dundee which she shared with fellow Double Door Studios resident Holly McAfee, before they both moved to Double Door Studios in the heart of Dundee. Christina is also a workshop assistant for Islay Spalding and Scarlett Erskine.
Much of Christina’s inspiration comes from the harbour area of Arbroath and the Angus beaches. She is drawn to the shapes and colours of the creels and other fishing paraphernalia found stacked around the harbour.
Sgèile (sce-leh) is Christina’s latest collection, based on shapes that she first explored during her 4th year studies at DJCAD and then developed into a collection during her time at Vanilla Ink. A repetitive scale pattern reminiscent of creels stacked up round the harbours edge or the skin of haddock before being smoked.
You can find Christina’s work at Harbour Lane Studio in South Queensferry, Tayberry Gallery in Perth and Vanilla Ink The Smiddy in Banff. This year (once things have calmed down!!) Christina is looking forward to hosting some enamelling workshops at DDS as well as others further afield.
Inspired by nature and ethical practice, Holly McAfee’s jewellery collections are handmade from recycled precious metals wherever possible. In line with vegan principles, no animal products are used in the creation or embellishment of her work.
Holly graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2010 and has been designing and making jewellery ever since. She currently has work stocked in galleries scattered over the UK. The styles of her collections have evolved over the last 10 years, but the work always retains her original principles – highly wearable, considered design, which includes a contrast of finishes, textures or details.
From her new bench at Double Door Studios, Holly plans to grow her current range by adding new designs to the collection. She also hopes to enjoy some time in the sunny exhibition space researching and sketching, designing a small range of more ornate, one off pieces to sit alongside her usual work.
Contemporary jewellery designer and artist, Ieva Jankovska, is based in Dundee, Scotland. She describes her practice as an amalgamation of her Latvian heritage and appreciation for the skills and knowledge gained over the last decade living and studying in Scotland. Ieva is a graduate of the Duncan and Jordanstone College of Art and Design. During her studies in Jewellery and Metal Design, she researched the use of modern technologies in communicating traditional craft.
The duality of her identity is evident throughout her designs, merging traditional silversmithing techniques with modern technologies; contrasting natural forms with stark, geometric shapes and enhancing minimal aesthetic with fine details.
Although the visual inspiration in her work is mostly derived from nature – time spent indoors, observing the world through windows, has prompted the recurrent use of architectural elements, such as rigid frames, straight lines and flat planes.
Ieva’s ambition is to demystify the craft making process and reclaim its place in the contemporary art realm. Thus it is no surprise that her practice often transcends the jewellery medium to include performance, video and other works.
Sophie is the owner of The Candle Bothy, a small candle and home fragrancing business now based at Double Door Studios. This is where she hand-pours and packages the whole product range, which currently includes candles and reed diffusers in different sizes, wax melts, car air fresheners, reed diffuser refills and gift sets. All products have long-lasting and vibrant scents and you can choose from the most popular scents as well as seasonal fragrances.
The candles are made using 100% soy wax, cotton and linen wicks and highest quality scents ensuring a clean, slow and even burn. Candles and wax melts are vegan friendly. Reed diffusers and car air fresheners combine an eco friendly base with highest quality scents and fibre reeds making them long-lasting and spreading the scent evenly throughout any room.
Being environmentally friendly is important to The Candle Bothy. Sophie tries to re-use and avoid unnecessary packaging and use paper labels for all the products. She has recently changed the packaging of wax melts to waxed paper bags and offers diffuser refills. She is hoping to start offering both, a refill and collection service from Double Door Studios.
Sophie also runs candle making workshops where you will be making 2 candles and learn the basics in candle making. Some of her workshops will be taking place at Double Door Studios. She also offers private bespoke candle making workshops at people’s homes and other locations, ideal for hen parties, family get-togethers, birthdays, …
If you want to find out more about The Candle Bothy’s workshops, personalised products, (ideal for weddings, birthdays, hotels, B&Bs) and where to buy The Candle Bothy’s products, please have a look at www.thecandlebothy.co.uk.
See you soon at Double Door Studios – maybe for The Candle Bothy’s next product launch?
HungUp Frames is run by Shona Spalding. Originally set up to frame work for Tayberry Gallery in Perth, Shona now also takes orders through the studios for her bespoke framing service.
Shona has studied and dabbled in many practices including print, film, photography, book binding, fabric, graphic design, illustration and animation. Her extensive art experience lends itself to a well informed approach and careful, complimentary framing of artwork.
HungUp Frames offers a variety of hand finished solid hard wood and unique painted moulds. Transferring Shona’s printing practice to these new materials, we offer a selection of water-dipped marble effect frames, chosen or made specifically for your artwork and home.