Dorothy studied at Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art and was course leader of silversmithing and jewellery at Edinburgh College of Art from 1985 until 2007.
Discussing her work she says “My aesthetic is driven by my subconscious mind and reflects in an abstract way events and changes in my life. The structure of the body, its movements and related conscious and unconscious symbolic thoughts preoccupy my design process.
“I work mainly in precious metal and am fascinated by the way forms can be constructed in sheet metal to appear solid. I make tube forms from sheet metal which give the appearance of density but are in reality light as they are hollow containing space.
“Parallel to making jewellery, I have been involved in education and have taught and assessed at various art institutions since 1972. For 20 years now I have been lucky enough to be Course Leader of the jewellery and Silversmithing Department at Edinburgh College of Art. I am committed to ensuring that the progression from college to the professional world is more accessible to current students than it was to those of my generation.”
In 2005 she won the Brilliantly Birmingham Jewellery Award which is awarded to the jeweller who has made the greatest contribution to the world of designer-maker jewellery. The commissioned piece is now in the permanent collection of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
A variation of this piece was shown in the exhibition '100% Proof a distillation new work in jewellery and silversmithing from Scotland'. Dorothy was invited in 2001 to curate the first version of this touring exhibition. The second version of the exhibition in 2006 showcased the work of 33 jewellers and silversmiths from Scotland.
In 2001 she was awarded an MBE for services to jewellery and Silversmithing and in 2006 was made a fellow of the Royal College of Art. She was recently appointed as the first Emeritus Professor of Edinburgh College of Art. In 2008 she spent six months at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London as their first ever craft artist in residence.
She has work in many collections and exhibits widely both in the UK and internationally.