Creative Dundee

Amps Breakfast Micro-Commissions: Islay Spalding

Breakfast Brooch by Islay Spalding

We invited nine supporters from our Amps community to creatively capture the spirit of Amps Breakfast. This is Islay Spalding’s response.

Islay Spalding is a maker of contemporary jewellery and owner of Double Door Studios. She’s inspired by natural forms, nonsense stories, surrealism and symbolic art, resulting in fun and intriguing objects. For this project, she created a tactile brooch that plays on circles as symbols of connection—and breakfast treats!


“I made a silver and copper Breakfast Brooch… or even a Bagel and Banana Breakfast Brooch! Inspired by my standard breakfast of circles, I thought the hoop of circles was a good symbol of community and connections. The banana circles are like the heads of people holding hands in a ring, or sitting round a bagel table in a joyous bed of chocolate spread. I chose to make a brooch to reflect my practice as a jeweller who specialises in designing and making bespoke kilt pins, brooches for the kilt! Brooches and pins are the jewellery archetype for conveying meanings, messages and allegiances and tend to take on a more symbolic or practical use rather than being purely decorative.

After coming up with the basic shape I moved into metal. I knew I wanted to texture the metal and have some contrast, so I chose to make the bagel in copper and the bananas in silver for the colour difference, then roller printed the copper with another breakfast product, an orange net! After cutting out all the bits and playing about with them I decided to solder little pins onto the bananas so they could spin about round the outside, bringing a little joy and movement to the piece.”


To mark the two year milestone of meeting online each week since March 2020, we asked some Amps to create a piece of work that both reflects their practice and celebrates building community, forming connections, and the joy of Amps Breakfast!


This blog is one of several celebrating Two Years of Virtual Amps Breakfasts. Breakfast is a weekly opportunity that brings together supporters of Creative Dundee’s Amps network to chat and connect. New faces are always welcome—join Amps and come along!

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