Creative Dundee

Vanilla Ink Celebrations


There can’t be many people who haven’t heard of the great work of Vanilla Ink, here in Dundee. Kate Pickering, who is the creative force behind VI, launched this immense jewellery incubator over a year ago. Now, the first year’s talented designers are ready to fly the nest and the new Inkers are ready to move in…

Having followed the work of Vanilla Ink over the last year, we’ve seen the current nine Inkers develop their confidence and businesses, they’ve run public workshops, pop-up shops and successfully smashed their crowd-funding target to get themselves to the International Jewellery London (IJL) exhibition – which has not only encouraged sales of their individual work, but also has put Vanilla Ink and Dundee on the national map – Kate was recently awarded a place as a ‘trailblazer’ on Professional Jeweller’s Hot 100 (see article below). Also check out this recent article about VI on the economic necessity of incubator support for creative businesses in the Financial Times.

Creative Dundee wants to say a massive well done to the current and first Inkers: Audrey Reid, Scarlett Erskine, Robin Bell, Victoria Kelsey, Filipa Oilveira, Leanne Evans, Ruth Morrison, Joanne MacFadyen, Sally-Anne Fenton and of course, Kate Pickering!

So before they fly the nest, they invite you to their End of Year Show, showcasing their inky adventures over the last year, on Friday 13th September, from 7pm, 4th floor WASPS Artist Studios, Meadowmill Dundee. BYOB. Find out more and register to attend, here.

And with the farewells, come the hellos to the Inkers of 2014! As part of the interview team interviewing this year’s Inkers, it was really tough to select, as the quality of all applicants was really high. Now, we’re delighted to say a warm welcome to the Vanilla Ink crew of 2013/14:

Pamela Goodman:
Pamela is influenced by the notion of empowerment and the effects a statement piece can have upon the wearer. By creating oversized, bold imaginative wearables using a mix of leather and precious metal, this aesthetically menacing collection, encourages the feeling of caution as well as the curiosity to touch.

Pamela Goodman

Karen Smith:
Karen creates quirky narrative jewellery with a personal touch. Each piece she treats like a story book burying secret meanings beneath the surface. Karen is fascinated by kinetic objects and for her degree show she combined elements of Victorian optical devices with song lyrics to create what she likes to refer to as ‘wearable optical toys’.


Kirsty Stewart:
A jewellery designer maker based in Scotland. Inspired by nature and investigate the forms, textures, patterns and colours within it. Kirsty uses a combination of perspex, silver and stones, these mediums create striking effects when juxtaposed.

Kirsty Stewart, Feather Ring II

Lucie Hunter:
Lucie takes inspiration from Scottish shorelines, specifically places of importance to her. By exploring the relationship the sea has with our shores and by using a selection of objects gathered she uses the patterns & lines to create pieces that are both wearable and have the ability to recreate a treasured memory of a special place.


Kirsty Stevens:
Kirsty was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (M.S), 6 years ago, since then she became aware that, even although around 100’000 people in the U.K have it, it is still quite an unknown condition and very rarely understood. It is due to this, that it has driven her to bring it peoples attention in quite an unconventional way. Kirsty designed and made large, laser cut pieces which each represented her experiences with M.S, for the Catwalk.

Kirsty Stevens Degree Show-Haunch injection site Brooch

Elizabeth Armour:
Contemporary Jewellery and objects handmade and digitally designed, inspired by the natural world, telling stories through plant life cycles. Lizzie used mixed media to reflect the beauty, forms, textures and colours of the flora and fauna, where she aims for the wearer to explore and enjoy all of these elements, with bold statement pieces.

Coral Pod Brooch Elizabeth Armour

Shira Goldberger:
Shira was inspired by the diversity of Jerusalem, the city she comes from, with its different religions, its vibrant colours, its flavours and its inescapable politics. Another source of inspiration in her work has also been a critical outlook on ideas of femininity. Shira’s designs are mostly based on various unexpected materials (from wool to plastic bags) and she uses different techniques such as sewing and weaving, combined with classic metalsmithing.


Mairi Collins:
Mairi has an interest in biology and natural history which she references in her jewellery practice. Her designs draw on the processes of evolution, mutation and life, and are influenced by museum specimens and scientific illustrations. To evoke notions of life, age and change, Mairi manifests these themes as broadly as possible, making use of various materials, technologies and construction methods.

Mixed metal rings



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