JEWELLER IN RESIDENCE
ISLAY SPALDING

The final piece - 

Dundee based jewellery, Islay Spalding took to the pop-up bench during Scottish Jewellery Week as part of Dundee's first International Design Festival as our Meet Your Maker, sponsored by Craft Scotland. Islay worked at the bench for two days and created an stunning brooch inspired by the incredible DC Thomson building, West Ward Works. We had a chat with Islay post event to see how SJW went for her...


the interview - 

Islay Spalding working in the beautiful West Ward Works

Islay Spalding working in the beautiful West Ward Works

SJW: So we wanted to have a chat about Scottish Jewellery Week and your experience as the resident jeweller as part of Craft Scotland’s Meet your Maker. You were selected as the resident jeweller for Scottish Jewellery Week where we set up a bench within DC Thompson magnificent West Ward and we asked you to design and make a piece of jewellery inspired by the building itself in just two days.


SJW: What made you want to be part of Scottish Jewellery Week?
Islay: I was really excited to be selected to be jeweller in residence for Scottish Jewellery Week as the brief was something I enjoy doing; designing and making something inspired by a building, with the added advantage of getting to make it inside the actual building! 
 

SJW: What inspired you?
Islay: After having a good explore with my camera in areas I probably wasn't meant to be, I decided it was the layers of piping, grating and paint and the left over fragments of the buildings purpose that really got my solder flowing.
 

SJW: Then what happened, can you talk us through your process for those that weren’t able to make the event itself.
Islay: I sketched out some ideas, I was restricted by the materials I had brought with me which provided a useful constraint to finalise the idea and start making.  I really wanted it to be mixed media, again to reflect the different materials in the building, and I wanted to give an idea of layers of time. I especially liked this photo I took of a window that had been covered in paint and then washed back to reveal the murky glass so that was my starting point.  I played about with some pieces of perspex that I roughened up by rubbing on some of the more scratchy parts of the concrete floor and gritty windowsill before painting, rubbing back and lacquering. Then I started making the silver parts while this dried. The pipe work was made from tube and wire and the base of the piece started life as a beautiful flat piece of sheet silver that was reticulated, rolled, hammered, reticulated again, and generally abused until it looked pleasingly worn. This part of the design also got a paint, rubbing and lacquer treatment.  The whole piece was soldered together (although the piping was holding well with tension, almost seemed a shame to solder it!) and after finishing, the grating and perspex was riveted into place and steel pin attached. 
 

SJW: How did you feel having an audience?
Islay: I really enjoyed it! Made a lovely break from working away alone and I enjoy people seeing the process. I even got some help soldering :)
 

Islay shortly convinced her to help her solder...

Islay shortly convinced her to help her solder...

SJW: Did you have any strange questions?
Islay: I don't think I did.....I've been trying to think whether their was any but I've either forgotten or their wasn't any..or there was but I didn't think it was strange..

SJW: What was your favourite part of the experience?
Islay: Free lunch! Heehee, well that was good but I think what I really liked was just being able to explore that building and being part of Scottish Jewellery Week and the Dundee Design Festival as a whole...I am a proud Dundonian so I really was thrilled to be part of it all in such a way. 
 

SJW: Would you do something like this again?
Islay: Yes. I like working to a deadline, I enjoyed making something in the time I was given and I like having only so many tools and materials to work with as that becomes a massive influence in what you make and forces you to think creatively to use what you have. 
 

West Ward Brooch in the making...

West Ward Brooch in the making...

SJW: Are you happy with end result?
Islay: Yes! Happy with the result, I feel I achieved what I wanted to achieve, of course as an artist I feel I could always do better, but that's why we keep going :) 

 

the auction - 

The West Ward Brooch will be auctioned to raise more money for the Archie Foundation which will help transform the paediatric care in Ninewells hospital in Dundee. The auction will take place online on our Facebook page from the 26th of November through to the 21st of December with the brooch arriving in time for Christmas. You have the chance to see the brooch and try it on during Tea Green's Concept Atelier in The Old Flour Mill where there will be a silent auction box positioned to hold your highest bid. Retailing at £432, this unique brooch will hopefully raise more money for the fantastic Archie Foundation. 

Dundee have just celebrated their Oor Wullie's Bucket trail, where over 70 Wullies, adorned by local creatives and made up a tour of the city. Each Oor Wullie was auctioned to raise money for the Archie Foundation and raised an INCREDIBLE £883,000, a proud moment for the city. Islay played a part in helping raise funds for this too with her 'Wullymorph' design, help her raise even more with half the money raised going straight to the Archie Foundation. Missed out on yer wullie, grab a piece of DC Thomson inspired silverware instead.

Islay on the right with her Wullymorph

Islay on the right with her Wullymorph

Keep an eye on our social media for more news.

The Archie Foundation

The Archie Foundation


As part of Scottish Jewellery Week  hosted by Dundee Design Festival and supported by Craft Scotland's Meet Your Maker, we have invited Dundee based jeweller, Islay Spalding to set up a live studio within West Ward on the 27th and 28th of May (10am-5pm). We ask you to delve into the process of making and understand what makes a jeweller. Islay will be asked to design and make a piece of jewellery inspired by; Dundee, The Design Festival or West Ward Works and the final piece will be auctioned at the end of The Design Festival.

Islay spalding - jeweller in residence

Islay Spalding's aim in jewellery design is to create unique pieces that are unusual and distinctive yet practical and pleasing to wear. She believes in quality craftsmanship and meaningful design and specialises in bespoke commissions for kilt pins and contemporary jewellery.

Islay's kilt pins are an abstract take on the traditional style and fabricated in silver using a variety of techniques. She uses elements such as grooves and notches to signify dates, hillscapes, coastal outlines and pieces of music or lyrics to bring that personal meaning to the design and make it completely unique to the wearer.

Islay’s jewellery is a constantly evolving range of unique pieces originally inspired by the colours and forms found in Surrealist and Abstract Art; especially the works of Desmond Morris, Yves Tanguay, Miro and Kandinsky. Silver is combined with hand-dyed resins to form colourful and chunky sculptural shapes that are then translated into rings, pendants and brooches for the Biomorph, Biocube and Small World Collections. Islay also works with silver, 18ct Gold, precious and semi-precious stones and is now working on a collection of engagement and wedding rings inspired by her love of the Scottish landscape using Cairngorm stones.