Get to know us: Jill Skulina

Did you know that DCW is run by a volunteer committee? Well, we are! We meet each week to oversee day-to-day planning in the workshop, and each contribute to DCW’s future and vision. We also have two technicians, an administrator and wonderful volunteers, plus a board of directors who help us get stuff done.

In a bid to shine a light on our gang, we’re going to share some Q&As with folks involved at the workshop. First up: artist and technician extraordinaire, Jill Skulina!

Haven’t you noticed
Suddenly I’m bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new 
Things I’m learning about you…

Firstly, tell us about yourself!

Who me? Ok then. I’m a woman with a vision to live in a house with a studio (for me to create freely), a kiln, a garden (for dogs to pee and poo freely), and maybe one more dog. I have a wonderful teenage daughter and 2 little four legged fluff bags, my favourite colour is green and I graduated from good old DJCAD with my MFA in 2007. I’m currently based in Dundee WASPS in the same building as DCW. Howdy neighbour.

What’s your role within DCW? 

I’m one of the workshops 2 technicians and I was on the DCW committee for 2 years. As part of the committee I had the opportunity for a road trip to a number of ceramics studios in England and Wales with other committee members. Apart from being a hoot it was also massively inspirational. Read all about it here

What sort of work do you create in your professional practice? What’s your day job/career/vocation/calling?

My calling is to make and to keep making forever and ever. I am an artist working in clay and textiles, I also work in costume for film and theatre.

What is your experience of working in clay?

My experience with clay started in 2017 when Dundee Ceramics Workshop opened. I had received funding from Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards: Fife to develop my creative practice, I spent some of it participating in DCW classes and joining as a member. I haven’t stopped playing with clay since then. Clay was my lockdown saviour, I made 16 teapots over the first couple of months of lockdown.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

I’ve been taking part in a couple of courses recently and I’ve received so many good pieces of advice! My favourites at the moment are; No one’s going to do it for you; You get to decide; Say what you think and Practice, practice, practice.

Who are your role models? Who or what inspires and encourages you?

My art role models are Susannah Montague, Louise Bourgeois, Grayson Perry, Kiki Smith and Paula Rego to name not very many. My new life role model is an amazing woman called Professor Maja Jovanovic, everyone should find out about her. Just to get you started, here’s her TED talk.

What does DCW mean to you?

Without access to DCW I wouldn’t be making the art work I’m now making, it’s played a really important part of my creative practice. The workshop has also provided me with a job; since joining DCW in 2017 I’ve gone from knowing nothing about working with clay to being trained up to become a workshop technician.

Hopes for the future of DCW? 

My hopes for DCW would be for it to be one of many assorted workshops facilitating local artists in their ability to make art works. An additional wood/metal workshop and a foundry would be pretty exciting. Oooh aaaand a ceramics workshop with outside area for raku firing, more space for members to work, a kiln room,  glaze room with spray booth and perhaps a wee clay shop. One thing at a time though. 

Anything else you want to share? 

When we get out of lockdown restricted living get yourself down to DCW, take out membership, book classes, attend events, do anything and everything you can to help support our little clay community.

Find more of Jill’s work here:

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