What is Double Door Studios?
We are a creative enterprise established in 2020 in Dundee, Scotland.
Consisting of studios and an exhibition space for jewellers, designers and makers, we occupy small but perfectly formed premises on Ward Road – just across from the Howff graveyard in the town’s centre.
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.
Read more in this article by Creative Dundee.
Explore The Space
DDS exhibition room is a light and spacious (15.5×13ft) room with high ceilings, through view bunker and a central original safe feature. On a daily basis we use this space for customer meetings and desk work, but our intermittent events programme sees the space transformed in to a gallery, pop-up shop or product launch area (among many thigs). If you would like to rent the space for your upcoming event, get in touch and we can discuss the further availability and come up with a solution for your needs. Please note, the price guide attached here is for reference only.
As you enter the space through the large mahogany double doors you enter the reception room - usually filled with work from our resident jewellers. The space also benefits from a pass-through counter connected to our Exhibition Room.
Our Jewellery Workshop is home to four jewellers who permanently work in the space - Islay Spalding, Christina Vernon, Holly MacAfee and Ieva Jankovska. Additional jewellery bench is used as a hotdesk space and can be rented out - see the guide price list attached. We have a good selection of tools, such as rollong mills, drawbench, soldering equipment etc., range of hammers and other tools.
Four additional bench spaces are located in the Workshop No.2 and can be used for small classes. This space is also used to house our polishing and grinding motors and two kilns that we use for enamelling and precious metal clay firing.
Meet the current residents of the Double Door Studios.
Islay Spalding is a jewellery designer/maker who specialises in bespoke commissions for Kilt Pins, and contemporary jewellery, including wedding and engagement rings. She believes in quality craftsmanship and meaningful design, aiming to combine organic complexity with modern simplicity, creating unique pieces that are unusual and distinctive yet practical and pleasing to wear.
After graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2005, Islay set up her workshop in her parent’s garage before moving to a shared workshop in Dundee a couple of years later. Here she had many happy years working on her own jewellery collections for sale in galleries, doing craft and trade shows, establishing the bespoke Kilt Pin part of her business and creating the Man Pin brand with fellow workshop buddy and woodworker Louise Forbes. Islay is a proud advocate for the city and is actively involved in making it a more creative and vibrant place. After dreaming of owning her own workshop filled with jewellers and makers Islay finally bit the bullet in 2020 and opened Double Door Studios in Dundee city centre, now her jewellery home.
Islay’s 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 hand fabricated, usually in Sterling Silver, using a variety of techniques from photo-etching to wax carving and casting, and can include other metals or materials such as wood and semi-precious or precious stones.
As well as her commissioned work, Islay makes evolving collections of jewellery which she sells online and through local galleries. Inspiration varies and intertwines between surrealist art, geology, landscapes and environments, architecture, a sense of place and the beauty of the between. These range from colourful and chunky Biomorphs and Biocubes in resin and silver, to angular and geometric Oddgons and Dundee Deltas.
Islay is currently working on a set of silver and gold brooches and Kilt Pins, incorporating pieces of agate from a local quarry, to be part of a burgeoning collection of geology inspired work.
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.
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 resident Holly McAfee, before they both moved to Double Door Studios in the heart of Dundee.
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.
You can find Christina’s work at Tayberry Gallery in Perth, Pretty Fly Workshop in Broughty Ferry, Saltwater Gallery on Arran and always at Double Door Studios.
Holly McAfee has been designing and making jewellery since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2010. Holly has designed and launched several collections since then, each one flowing on from the last in style but always inspired by nature and always adhering to the same principles – highly wearable, considered design, including a contrast of finishes, textures and details.
The latest collection, ‘Verdant’, comprises stylised petals and leaves, arranged in contemporary formations. Particular attention is given to the subtle contrast of textures, and each piece features varying polished and delicately textured areas.
Holly is also inspired by ethical practice, and in line with vegan principles, no animal products are used in the creation or embellishment of her work. Wherever possible, she opts to use recycled metals and more eco-friendly alternatives to the usual jewellery workshop chemicals. Stationery and packaging are also chosen carefully, made from recycled materials and/or are able to be recycled.
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.