Get to know us: Ellen Forbes

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. This week we’re talking to Ellen Forbes –

Firstly, tell us about yourself!

Hey, I’m Ellen and I’m based in Dundee and Angus. I have two rescue cats, a bunny and lots of house plants!  I’m currently studying illustration at DJCAD, which has been an absolute joy and amazing experience so far. I love to go for walks, create, look for cats and just generally enjoy the peaceful things in life.

What’s your role within DCW?

I’m a Committee Member.

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

I want to create feelings of adventure, nostalgia and a joy for the small things and nature through my work. I love to try different mediums and ways of expressing different feelings, I’m continually experimenting and embracing the process of making. I would love to try teaching in an informal and low-key environment, creating a space for creative people and anyone really to meet and learn about making, community and the environment. Overall my aspirations are still wide open and I’m up for throwing my hand at most things!

What is your experience of working in clay?

I did a class in throwing while making a portfolio for University, where we made these cute little bowls. Since going to DJCAD I’ve had the chance to play around with clay, learn more about the tools used and getting more familiar with firing. Over lockdown I got some air drying clay and messed around with making lots of wonky objects and getting a feel for how to make all sorts of things with the most basic tools and my hands. 

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

Have fun! It’s important to try and enjoy yourself whenever you can, be it in making or just going on a walk to the shops. Look for the beauty around you, appreciate the small stuff and keep pushing for what you believe in. This allows you to stay true to yourself and the work you want to make and oftentimes this leads to stuff other people like too.

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

Gosh! So many things – my family, friends and the Dundee creative community are the three big ones though. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing, inspiring and kind people that make the world feel less chaotic and the good feel more in reach.

What does DCW mean to you?

A place of opportunity, excitement, kindness and community which is all the more important now with the difficulties that we are all facing. I feel so lucky to be part of such an amazing team and I hope that, as the space we continue to grow, it can be of inspiration for more spaces to be created around Scotland to support the creative community and open up further opportunities for everyone.

Hopes for the future of DCW?

I hope that we can just continue to follow the route we’re going down. There are so many amazing ideas and possibilities that lay before us that I can’t wait to have come into fruition.

Check out more of Ellen’s work here:

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