Saturday, 4 May 2019

The Month of May

Well hello! It's been a while! Thought I'd dust off the ol' blog and write about all the things I'm getting up to over the next month.   May has become a busy one for us Dundee designers....as it's Dundee Design Month! 

First up.... Man Pins! Louise and I, along with our team of rubbers, drillers and benders, have been busy in the workshop designing and making our new collection, the Solar System Collection which will be ready to launch in July. We're really excited about this collection (I'm really excited about this collection!) as for the first time we'll be using precious metals in our designs! If you check out our Man Pins instagram @pinsformen you'll get some wee peeks of the new designs as they're being made.

But what I really want to tell you about is our Make Your Own Man Pin Workshops! They are happening TOMORROW 5th May! We still have spaces left for you to come along to a workshop and make your own Man Pin, tie clip or pair of cufflinks.  Bring your own bit of wood - an old wooden object, an old instrument or piece of sports equipment, a bit of something you can't bare to throw away and we'll provide all tools and guidance to turn it into something wearable. There are four 2 hour workshops to choose from, £20 a head, head to our website www.manpins.com to book.

Here's some photos of last years workshops! We had great fun!






One last Man Pin thing.... you'll find some of our Fruit Wood Collection in this years Design Festival Shop run by Tea Green. Dundee Design Festival is taking place from the 21st-28th May in the Keiller Centre, curated by Agency of None....I can't wait to see what they do with it! Man Pin Maker Louise will also be stocking the shop with some of her beautiful hand carved spoons AND is heading up the install team to build the thing!

Next! Oor Wullie's Big Bucket Trail! I am excited to announce that I'm painting another giant Oor Wullie! This time the trail goes nationwide with sculptures in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness to find from 17th June until 30th August. After this they will be auctioned off to raise money for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and the ARCHIE Foundation. And even more exciting.... V&A Dundee are sponsoring my design! Whooohoo! Turns out stripes are right up their street :) It's called Dazzle Wullie and is inspired by Dazzle Ship camouflage, much like Dazzle Penguin was last year, I'm trying to channel a bit more of the V&As angles and stripes this year (it basically looks like a big dazzle ship anyway) and am very happy to be getting to do this sort of work again....I'm finding it very therapeutic in a time of lots to do! Can't show you the full design yet, but here's a few wee bits :)



And while we're on drawing rather than making... Colouring Club! Another Design Month activity! The wonderful Suzanne Scott aka WhimSicAL LusH and I are holding Colouring Clubs in her fabulous studio (just under WASPs) on Thursday 9th and Thursday 23rd May from 7-9pm. It's be an evening of colour and cake! We're gonna get all our coloured pens and pencils together for you to use and we have six original drawings for you to choose from, colour in and take away...and another one for home :) We'll guide you through picking a colour pallet, demonstrate and help you with techniques and fill you full of tea and cake! It costs £20 (£14 if you're aged 14-18) and tickets can be booked on Eventbrite here 9th May or here 23rd May


If you haven't seen WhimSicAL LusH's work and you're on the Instagram go give her a follow @whimsicallush...you'll find some photos of her wonderland studio there too! 

Now back to jewellery! There's a new club in town! The Dundee Jewellers Collective are holding their first exhibition - The 4th J - on the weekend of the 25th-26th May in Studio 215 of the WASPs Artist Studios. The DJC started life as a network to share information, support, tools and materials between independent jewellery design/makers in Dundee. 14 of us are exhibiting together to showcase our work and highlight the impact that contemporary jewellery has on Dundee's design scene.



This is something I've been wanting to pull together for a couple of years now so very pleased we'll be taking part in Dundee Design Month in this way. I'll be exhibiting some Kilt Pins along with some new jewellery designs all inspired by this evolving city.

If you're in the Ferry this month pop into Pretty Fly on Brook Street. They are stocking a selection of my Biomorphs and Thritty Pings...I think they've got a few of my greetings cards too! 




For those up Perth way get yersel to Tayberry Gallery on Princes Street, the best selection of Islay Spalding Kilt Pins in Scotland....the world actually! And some other work like this silver Small World Domed Pendant (they have one in 18ct too....lush!)


Photo by Chris and Eliza Photography - www.chrisandeliza.co

Anyone in Aberdeen? Teasel and Tweed have a selection of Kilt Pins, including a specially designed Aberdeen Coastline Kilt Pin and some Man Pins. And if you're on your way up there, pop into Forfar and see Zoe Duthie's beautiful new jewellery shop on the High Street which has a small selection of my Kilt Pins and cufflinks. 



I've got loads of bespoke Kilt Pins and some rather lovely engagement and wedding rings on the go just now :D which means along with everything else my order book is currently full with new work starting in July. But if you have an idea or an occasion for a bespoke Kilt Pin then send them my way and I'll schedule you in! Thank you to all my customers for giving me such interesting work to do and for your patience as I juggle all my work! Best place to see my most recent creations is on my instagram @kiltpins.

May is usually a time for pipe bands for me with the Scottish Champs happening in a couple of weeks.... but not this year :( I've taken a wee year out from competing with my band MacKenzie Caledonian, just a wee year... to put a bit more time into my business, put some plans into action and move it up a notch...it's time to level up! I'm still keeping my hands in though and doing some teaching work, which includes teaching at the Dundee City Pipe Band, the worlds first all inclusive Pipe Band, based here in Dundee. We'll be out recruiting at the Dundee City Pipe Band Competition in the City Square next Sunday 12th May so if anyone fancies trying their hand at being a pipe band drummer, now's your chance to come and have a go! And my two worlds will collide on Saturday 25th May at the Dundee Design Parade as the band will lead the parade through the city centre....also the same day as the DJC exhibition....oh it's all going on!

Better get cracking!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The West Ward Works Brooch and Some Recent Commissions

In May this year I took part in a Craft Scotland Meet Your Maker Event at Scottish Jewellery Week.  The event was hosted by Dundee Design Festival in the old DC Thomson's print works building West Ward Works.  This was where the DC Thomson annuals were printed; the Beano, Dandy, The Broons and Oor Wullie to name a few. I was asked to design and make a piece of jewellery responding to the festival and I choose to make a brooch inspired by the building itself.  I was fascinated with it's history, it's size and being a Beano fan the fact that so many pages of happiness would have been printed and spread all over the world from that building.  I loved the layers of what was left of the building which held the secrets of the things that happened inside. Read the interview here


The brooch will be auctioned online to raise money for ARCHIE Foundation's Tayside Children's Hospital Appeal, the same charity as benefited from the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail. It will be on display at Tea Green's Christmas Pop Up Shop in The Old Flour Mill in Dundee from 26th November where bidding will open until 21st December, bids can be made in a silent auction box or online and will close at 8pm on the 21st.

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I'm now busy helping Santa with some bespoke commissions and making some new Kilt Pins which will be ready to buy in time for Christmas. I'll leave a list of where you'll be able to find my work over the next few weeks at the bottom but meanwhile, feast your eyes on some recently commissioned pieces and if you have an idea yourself for a bespoke piece of jewellery in time for Christmas then now is the time to get your orders in! Read the 'Commission a Kilt Pin' page on my website and send me an email, or see what I have in stock in my online shop...and for more inspiration check out my gallery of bespoke jewellery here 

Kilt Pin and Earrings for Calum and Laura
designed as recognition of their commitment to the MacKenzie Caledonian Pipe Band

Bennachie Kilt Pin
with labrador, sheep and date notches

Bagpipe Kilt Pin
a stylised bagpipe with African Blackwood from an old set of bagpipes and the owners initials BW

Edinburgh Skyline
with music and Roman numerals

Kilt Pins for The Gang
for the groom and his groomsmen made to their own design

Mackintosh Rose and Music Brooch
a 60th birthday present with date notches and sapphire 

Moffat Hills Kilt Pin
view from the wearer's wedding day with date notches and photo-etched map

Sail Kilt Pin with River Thames
with date notches and textured silver

Celtic Cross Pendant
with peridot

JJ Bagpipe Kilt Pin
for a piper with the first letters from his and wife's names


Wren Kilt Pin
blade and plate design with customer's family emblem

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CHRISTMAS STOCKISTS

You can find my work in the following places in the run up to Christmas....there is limited stock in each so please enquire before you visit if you are looking for a specific item. 

DUNDEE

Location - Tea Green Concept Atelier Pop Up, The Old Flour Mill, Exchange Court
Dates - 26th Nov - 24th Dec
What's there? - Special edition Oor Wullie Colour In Jewellery collaborations, Thritty Pings, Men's jewellery (tie slides and kilt pins), pieces from my Oddgon Collection, a collection of silver rings for men and women.... and the West Ward Works Brooch will be on display to bid for.

Location - Pretty Fly Workshop, Broughty Ferry
Dates - all
What's there? - Biocube and Oddgon & Angular Jewelley, Triangulate Kilt Pins and a Dundee Skyline Kilt Pin

Location - Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre (DCA), Perth Road
Dates - all
What's there? - Man Pins

PERTH

Location - Tayberry Gallery, Princes Street
Dates - all
What's there? - Biomorph Jewellery, Kilt Pins, Man Pins, Twist Rings and Thritty Pings

GLASGOW

Location - Tea Green Christmas Market, Kibble Palace, Botanic Gardens
Dates - 10th - 11th Dec
What's there? - Oddgon Jewellery, Thritty Pings, Man Pins, Men's jewellery (tie slides in wood and silver, Kilt Pins and silver rings), Christmas and greetings cards


I am still taking orders for bespoke jewellery and Kilt Pins in time for Christmas, but please get your orders in fast to guarantee delivery under your tree!

I wish everyone a cosy and happy winter, have a jolly time folks!


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Cheerio Wullymorph!

Today's the day! Later on tonight all of Dundee's colourful Oor Wullie sculptures will be auctioned off to raise money to build a new operating theatre in Tayside Children's Hospital.

Back in June I spent five days in Tayberry Gallery live drawing all over a 5 foot tall fibreglass Wullie to create Wullymorph!  Artists, local and international, were asked to submit designs for the Wullies and then the chosen designs were sponsored by local businesses and brought to life for the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail.

The proposal drawing for Wullymorph
Progress being made....

If you live in Dundee or have visited over the past couple of months then you will be familiar with the cheeky chappy who's been popping up all over the city, some have been on tour to other cities, and over the weekend there they were all brought together in Slesslor Gardens for a spectacular send off!

I was so excited to find out my Wullie was to be displayed in Broughty Ferry, my home town! Thank you everyone for looking after him so well! And here he is in Slessor Gardens with the rest of my family :)

A visit to the P2s at Grange Primary School, we had fun playing with jewellery and making shape pictures together!  

It has been amazing seeing how these sculptures have affected people in the city, I think many will be sad to see them go, but glad it's all for a good cause and has made, and will continue to make, so many people happy and well. Huge thanks to all the organisers who have done a fantastic job making things run smoothly and making sure all the Oor Wullies have been well looked after, it's been a privilege to be involved, fingers crossed for the auction tonight!! Good luck Wullymorph and all the rest!

Friday, 5 August 2016

Spotlight On Meeeee!

This month I am showcasing my work at Tayberry Gallery in Perth as part of their 'Spotlight On' exhibition series.


I designed three Perthshire Kilt Pins specially for the event. The Perth Skyline design features an abstracted version of the famous skyline including St Matthew's Church and Smeaton's Bridge as seen when crossing the Queen’s bridge. As big fans of all things design and architecture, we are donating 10% of every sale of this Kilt Pin to the St Matthew's Church Refurbishment Fund. The Auld Brig is a stylised representation on Smeaton's Bridge and the River Tay Kilt Pin features an ariel view of the river.



My talented sister Shona spent a couple of days in the workshop with me while I made the Auld Brig Kilt Pin and filmed some of the process. She has produced this brilliant video with sounds from local lad Architeq.

Making the Perth Bridge Kiltpin from Shona Spalding on Vimeo.

There's also three special Biomorphs being exhibited, each pendant strung on different beads complimenting the colour of the resin. The first one, strung on the green chrysoprase, was made specially for the Dundee Design Festival earlier this year and was exhibited in the Scottish Jewellery Week Exhibition 'These Hands'.


The exhibition is on for another couple of weeks so head along to the gallery to see more! Here's some sneaky peeks to tempt you :) and if you are too far away to visit but see something you like then please contact the gallery for enquiries.




Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Selected Commissions

Oh dear! I have let the blog slip a bit! :/ So to warm things up again here's some commissioned Kilt Pins and other jewellery from the past year.....

Loch Lomond Kilt Pins
designed for a groom and his groomsmen with their names on the back

Brodie Kilt Pin
reworking of the Brodie Clan crest

Whisky Cask Oak Kilt Pin and Cufflinks
made for Dave and Claire's wedding day, a C shape in the the hole in the wood and a long D shape in silver on the right of the Kilt Pin, date notches representing their wedding day on the kilt pin and the day they met on the cufflinks

Edinburgh Skyline and Rugby Ball Kilt Pin
with date notches

Loch Lomond Kilt Pin
the view over Loch Lomond, notched date stick, music score

Oban and Mull Kilt Pin and Belt Buckle
the view from McCaig's Folly over Kerera and Mull, pipe score to 'I See Mull'

Yorkshire Rose Tie Clip
mountains of Montana, turquoise stone and initials

Swimming Salmon Kilt Pin
little salmon move up and down a cut out of the River Dee

Kilt Pin for a Dundee Piper
bass drone with views of the Law, date stick and stag's head

Anchor and Claymore Kilt Pin

The Bang Club Pendant
a present from husband to wife using the logo of the club where they met, the holes round the edge signify the 25 years they've been together with markers for the years when their children were born, the snake represents their first dance - The Snake by Al Wilson

Maple Leaf and Thistle Claymore

Kilt Pin for a Glasgow Pianist
with date stick, keyboard and views of Glasgow

Initial Thistle Kilt Pins
with date notches and birthstones

Biomorph Cufflinks
colours to match the wearers kilt

Flute Brooch

Snowboard Pendants

Husky Kilt Pin
design from the clients illustration with a topaz for the husky's eye




I've been lucky enough to have a couple of awesome friends commission me to make their engagement rings which allowed to experiment with some new ideas and the Cairngorm! My new favourite stone! The Cairngorm is a type of smokey quartz found in the Cairngorm mountain range, it's very rare and these ones in particular are very pretty, a sparkly champagne colour with a hint of grey/purple mist, so very Scottish!


I'm going to leave it there just now....silly of me not to have blogged earlier, so much has happened over the past year.....I'll quickly list some things so I don't forget! My sister's wedding and hen do adventure on Skye, making cap badges for Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, Dundee's Big Wedding Exhibition in the Caird Hall, taking part in Tea Green markets and pop up shops and started 'Colour In Jewellery' with Joanne MacFadyen, a Christmas visit from my Brazilian sister Kira, skiing in the Alps, photographing Man Pins on Skye, pipe band trips to Germany and France, Scottish Jewellery Week and the Jewellery Trail around Dundee, Jeweller in Residence for the Dundee Design Festival and painting a giant Oor Wullie! 
TTFN