M E E T | A M Y D U N N A C H I E
VI | What’s your background (where are you from, what did you study)?
AD | I grew up on the Isle of Jura and then made the voyage to Glasgow (as a wee young thing!) to do a portfolio course at the Glasgow School of Art. I was then accepted to do Silversmithing and Jewellery there too.
VI | What brought you to jewellery making?
AD | I had always really enjoyed making things, but it was after doing my portfolio course that my eyes were really opened to what Jewellery and Silversmithing was all about, as we had access to the studios on campus. Jewellery as an object to me is about sentimentality, discovery, curiosity and conversation, as is the making and designing process. I think when I wondered into the jewellery studio for the first time it was all of those things, complete with a proper sense of community too.
VI | Who or what do you take your inspirations?
AD | I am particularly interested in our childhood memories and how we “create” our own nostalgia, and therefore our own happiness. All those fondly remembered antics of DIY rope swings, building dens full of coconut scented gorse bushes, rowing around the bay in ‘borrowed’ wooden dingies, first kisses behind the village hall, prank calls to the red telephone box… it’s these types of wee stories that inform the materials I use, the colours and the construction.
VI | What do you use/how do you make your work?
AD | I like to use salvaged objects such as wood, screws, nuts, lenses, material and metal such as copper, brass and silver. I use photography in all areas of my work too, right from the start (recording themes and memories) and composing in sketchbooks with samples, to actually using them as a texture and colour on the material itself. I work intuitively with materials and playfully put materials together with screws, rivets, wrapping and tension.
VI | What do you enjoy the most about making?
AD | Collecting things at the start, and also I love putting physical elements together to discover what works well – that experimental stage just before settling down to finish a piece of work. I love it!
VI | What don’t you enjoy?
AD | Emery-ing…
VI | What are your aspirations?
AD | To be at a point where I can make a living from being a maker – from boosting and encouraging creativity in my local community through workshops and sessions to collaborating with other artists for projects out with.
VI | What’s your favourite piece you have created?
AD | My favourite piece was a magnifying glass I had made for my degree show called “The Looking Glass”, made from an old salvaged camera lens and brass and was on a simple brass chain. It was the last thing I had made and really completed the collection as a whole, with its playful functional side as well as being an interesting object in its own right. I have since sold it on to a new friend who has moved to Jura from New Zealand, absolutely falling in love with the place.
VI | Who’s work do you admire?
I love the work of so many makers, writers and artists that I feel bad for only picking out a handful! That’s the start of my list anyway!
Children's book by Mac Barnett. He talks about his writing here "Art can get us to that place, that place which you could call art or fiction. I'm going to call it wonder.”
This is a massive inspiration to my approach in making and designing, that anyone can have a snippet of wonder in their lives through a good story, whether that’s through words or materials. You can watch a Ted talk by Mac Burnett here.