Islay Spalding is a jewellery designer/maker, based in Dundee, Scotland, who is inspired by the colourful, the surreal and the real that surrounds us.
A believer in quality craftmanship and meaningful design, Islay's pieces are made and finished to the highest standard, each carrying her makers mark and Edinburgh Assay Office Hallmark.
Inspired by the thoughts, ideas, colours and forms found in European Surrealist and Abstract Art; especially the works of Desmond Morris, Yves Tanguay, Joan Miro and Wassily Kandinsky. Silver is combined with hand-dyed resins, and more recently hardwoods, to form colourful, chunky sculptural shapes that are then translated into rings, pendants and brooches for the Biomorph, Biocube and Small World Collections. Islay also works with 18ct Gold, precious and semi-precious stones to create her narrative Jabberwocky Collection and rough and sparkly Flotsam and Jetsam pieces and Treasure Rings. Offshoots from these works have spawned to create sub-collections of their own, Sweet Sweet Jewellery, Thritty Pings, Oddgons and Angulars, each growing and evolving in their own ways.
Islay is a competing snare drummer with the MacKenzie Caledonian Pipe Band and has the unusual credentials of being a qualified British Army Drum Major (Army School of Bagpipe Music and Highland Drumming, 2010), she therefore knows how to wear a kilt and how to tell others to! She also plays the fiddle and has a keen interest in Scottish folk music and Gaelic culture. A big part of Islay's ethos when designing Kilt Pins is to marry up this 'tradition' with contemporary design and create something that has the symbolism and timeless appeal of traditional Scottish Highlandwear but with a fresh, modern approach. Elements such as grooves and notches to signify dates, geographical features, pieces of music or re-workings of clan crests are some of the ways Islay brings that personal meaning to the design, making it completely unique to the wearer.
As well as this she is a lover of making, her workshop and tools are her heaven.....apart from that feeling of being immersed in the Scottish landscape, achieved by 'research trips' hillwalking, camping and skiing. A continually fickle nature leads her to create unique items of jewellery, all parts of evolving collections that ebb and flow with time.
- June 2021 - 100 Jewels by 100 Women, Dundee
- May 2019 - The 4th J, WASPs, Dundee
- Aug 2016 - Spotlight On, Tayberry Gallery, Perth
- May 2016 - These Hands, Scottish Jewellery Week, Dundee
- Nov-Feb 2013 - Christmas Showcase, Six Foot Gallery, Glasgow
- Feb-June 2012 - The Best of British Contemporary Jewellery, Equinox, Hampshire
- Nov-Jan 2012 - Objects of Desire, Chapel Gallery, Lancashire
- May 2011 - 2b1, Tayberry Gallery, Perth
- Nov 2010 - ACJ Christmas Extravaganza, Wasps Studios, Dundee
- Nov 2009 - Jan 2010 - Christmas Exhibition, Artifex Gallery, West Midlands
- Nov-Jan 2010 - Christmas Exhibition, MIMA, Middlesbourgh
- Nov 2008 - Jan 2009 - Genesis 08, SDC Gallery, London
- Nov 2008 - MADE08, Corn Exchange, Brighton
- March-Apr 2008 - Easter Exhibition, Hannas Gallery, Dundee
- Jan-Feb 2008 - Reveal, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh
- Dec 2007 - The White Exhibition, The White Gallery, Dundee
- Nov-Jan 2008 - Winter Warmth, The Park Gallery, Falkirk
- Nov 2007 - Designer Maker Fair, MAC, Birmingham
- March-Apr 2007 - Swirly Wirly Carnival Exhibition, The White Gallery, Dundee
- July-August 2006 - Colour Verve, Craft Town Scotland, West Kilbride
- December 2005 - Christmas Exhibition, The White Gallery, Dundee
- December 2005 - Christmas Exhibition, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh
- October 2005 - Braveart, The Atlantis Gallery, London
- October 2005 - Pick of the Crop, Turning Heads Gallery, Brighton
- June-July 2005 - New Designers, Buisness Design Centre, Islington, London
- May 21st-28th 2005 - Duncan of Jordanstone Degree Show, Dundee