Creative Dundee

DDS x DSS: A Tale of Two Spaces

Double Door Studios and Dock Street Studios have joined forces for a collaborative event series. Sometimes confused for each other, they’re highlighting and celebrating the work they both do.

Dundee’s Double Door Studios (DDS) and Dock Street Studios (DSS) are joining forces to celebrate and showcase the work of each studio with a collaborative event programme. Sometimes confused with each other, the two studios want to tell people about what they do, how they work and what they make.

The event series began on the 9th and 10th July across three locations – Double Door Studios, Dock Street Studios, and a stall in the Overgate Shopping Centre bridging both locations. Visitors were treated to live jewellery making demos at DDS, a jewellery showcase at DSS, and a pop-up at the Overgate.

The jewellery showcase at DSS, featuring work from residents of Double Door Studios, will be open every day until the 17th June. And they’re hosting a special Meet the Maker event on Thursday 14th, with familiar faces from both DDS and makers represented by DSS.

The workshop at Double Door Studios.

Jewellers Islay Spalding, ieva jankovska and Holly McAfee from Double Door Studios got together with Sara Campbell from Dock Street Studios to ask each other some questions about their studios, and what they do, ahead of the event:

DDS: What is Dock Street Studios?
SC: Dock Street Studios is a gift shop gallery and cafe. We aim to give visitors a unique shopping experience with a wide range of local artists and designers work on sale together with sustainable international homewares brands.

DSS: What is Double Door Studios?
IJ: We are studio space, a jewellery workshop and exhibition room shared by six independent craft businesses. As a collective we run an intermittent events programme with an aim to promote independent craft designers and makers that are local to Dundee or sometimes further afield.

DDS: When/why was Dock Street Studios established and what can people expect to see there?
SC: Dock Street Studios was established in 2017 as a permanent centre for local makers and artists to showcase their work to locals and visitors to the city. You can expect ever-changing artworks, collaborators and workshops. Dock Street Studios is an open plan adaptable space with separate cafe, retail, and gallery/workshop areas all under one roof.

DSS: Tell us a bit more about how you chose the name ‘Double Door Studios’?
IS: The name originates from the location; a 140 year old office building in the centre of Dundee with original features including the grand double door leading into the space. I wanted to choose a name that had nothing to do with our existing businesses so it wouldn’t refer to any one person working in the space, but the actual space itself.

DDS: What makes Dock Street Studios unique?
SC: I love that when we have a different exhibition, the space takes on a new identity. We have had such a varied array of events, from a car launch and comedy nights, to life drawing and live music.

DSS: If you had to name your favourite thing about Double Door Studios, what would that be?
HM: My favourite thing about Double Door Studios is the bright and flexible exhibition space. We curate pop-up shops throughout the year and hold exhibitions showcasing work of local artists – notably, the ‘100 Jewels by 100 Women’ exhibition held in 2021. The space looks very different each time we use it. It’s also a lovely creative and light space to welcome clients for consultations.

The showroom at Double Door Studios.

DDS: What would you say is the biggest challenge for Dock Street Studios?
SC: We welcome many visitors to the city and the shop but our ongoing challenge is getting more locals to know about the exciting things we do.

DSS: What would you say is the biggest challenge for DDS?
IJ: We struggle with accessibility issues due to being located on the first floor of an old building with no lift, but this also drives us to think of new ways we can bring audiences to the work we do. For example, we are happy to arrange virtual shopping experiences during our pop-up events.

DDS: Could you describe ‘a regular day’ at the Dock Street Studios?
A typical day is relaxed and fun. Consisting of opening up, getting the coffee machine on, and freshly grinding the beans. Making sure everything is neat, tidy and ready to greet visitors. Reviewing new applications for artists coming on board or meeting with new stockists. Planning launches and promotions. Preparing delicious menus for the cafe and chatting with regular faces that pass by.

Cafe Colombo at Dock Street Studios

DSS: Could you describe ‘a regular day’ at the Double Door Studios?
IS: As we all run our independent businesses to our own schedules, no two days in the studios are ever the same. The jewellery workshop is the busiest space on a regular day with each of the four resident jewellers having a permanent bench space there, and sometimes an extra person using the hot desk or assisting a resident. As well as sharing the workshop, we also share tools, equipment and knowledge. We have our own work on display and for sale and we are open ‘by appointment’ for viewings and sales. Some of us run jewellery making workshops for the public, or we might have a consultation for a bespoke piece of jewellery with a customer in the exhibition room. On sunny days we have also been known to be found out in the Howff graveyard doing some admin or social media in the fresh air!

DDS: Have you got any exciting projects in the pipeline?
SC: We are looking forward to hosting another Dundee Fringe Festival in September. A great range of performers joined us last year and we aim to make the two week event grow bigger this year.

DSS: And have you got any exciting projects in the pipeline?
HM: The jewellers of DDS are currently working on an exciting collaborative project – combining their styles, skills and creative ideas… follow our Instagram page to keep up to date!

DDS: What is your favourite thing about Double Door Studios?
SC: I am a self confessed ring addict! I love the intimate events you host and always treat myself to a little sparkly something when I’m there.

DDS: What is your favourite thing about Dock Street Studios?
HM: I love that you can go to Dock Street Studios to browse a brilliant selection of work by local artists, then sit and enjoy the space with a really good coffee from the café.

Meet The Maker: Thu 14 July, 4-7pm at Dock Street Studios.

Event programme runs Sat 9 – Sun 17 July 2022.

Double Door Studios:
7 Ward Road – first floor,

Dock Street Studios:
9/10 Dock Street,

Thank you for visiting

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