Handmade Jewellery And Accessories Maker
Fiona makes contemporary, handmade jewellery and one-of-a-kind accessories; turning locally sourced materials, along with treasured items into statement pieces.
From her Brighton based studio, Fiona works with artisan textile traditions, a process that began with a constructed textiles degree in knitwear, now fused a deep curiosity about the inherent value in overlooked materials.
Fiona also gets involved with teaching; encouraging people to turn their jewellery and clothing into revived items as a regular volunteer at the Brighton Repair Cafe.
In addition she runs community workshops with The Lost Mitten Project, which demonstrates and supports the skill of mending and focuses on the potential of reclaimed textiles and found materials.
As a fan of utility and the Make and Mend and Do ethos, and having a personal design lens that admires the Dutch design group Droog – for their stance on re-use ( iconic Rag Chair). I guess it was an organic movement that led me towards fully embracing eco-chic as a designer.
Fiona began her career in textiles upon entering a national competition to Win A Job With Zandra Rhodes, where she made it to the finals of the competition.
‘My designs were paraded in front of TV cameras at London’s Camden Palace, filming was for the 1987 Fashion Show Series, hosted by Selina Scott, which was a rather whacky and exciting time, I was encouraged by this to then pursue a fashion and textiles degree course at Brighton University.”.
She goes on to say:-
Then I drifted into making bags and printing t-shirts for a stall in Spitalfields market for a while and co-run a women’s cooperative in Bethnal Green. I took up photography and graphic design freelance work as side projects; designing for a women’s wear printed textiles agent. I’ve been a copy chaiser at the Guardian Ad Services desk and a photographer’s assistant whilst in London. I moved into community arts and teaching as a self employed maker on my return to Brighton. The jewellery work has been a more recent evolution.
Fiona is passionate about working in a remade way. It’s become a part of her core thinking, she is concerned with turning the tide around, especially as more people care about where and how something has been made. She feels her creativity contributes to the local environment by reworking a product from the ‘ground up’. This is sustainability at work in the smallest of details.
Maker Of Upcycled Jewellery And Accessories
Fiona feels that there is a very creative model at the heart of recycling and re-making – it is a place that affords a genuine value to materials. She is absolutely not in support of jewellery practices that mine the earth. For her, producing pieces with reclaimed, non-traditional materials adds something to the design itself. She would love to see textiles and clothing to be considered durable, mendable items – and to get away from our disposable lives.
Within her maker community a re-economy emerges too; as a shared understanding of practices, demostrating that an item can last beyond one user cycle. Recyling is a circular, waste avoiding design principal which has many creative outcomes.
Fiona grew up on The North London Line, between Colindale and Highgate and the West End. She initially came to Brighton to visit her Grandmother, Eveline and then she embarked on the Fashion and Textiles Course in Brighton in the late 80’s.
Fiona now loves Brighton – especially the theatrical, open hearted nature of its residents, the improvisation that is everywhere, the Laines, the perpetual extension of a life living amongst this giant, wondrous dressing up box !
Shaboutique is a vibrant space for makers, with a committed re-use design identity, it’s strongly based in the community, offers a bespoke, unique vision, with super locally made products large and small !
I’m really chuffed to be working with the team at Shaboutique offering my bespoke jewellery collections. I consider myself to be contributing as a key member-maker. I am proud to showcase and sell under this outfit, and would be supportive of creating a space for people to consider recycling techiniques themselves. I am hoping to run monthly jewellery repair surgeries and organise a community rag rugging endeavour as a ongoing project.
Fiona’s Favourite Things
When asked what is her favourite things to work on – she smiles and says –Working with felted wool has me quite excited. She is rather proud of a finely worked crochet, hand beaded open work capelet that she still treasures, and she is also very pleased with a bold and tufted textile accessory made using reclaimed jumpers.
Life, art and culture inspires her life. For example she found The Nuit Blanche (White Night) free festival of Art and Culture hugely inspiring, and last summers Balcombe protection camp; these spontaneous ‘coming together’ events help her find great appreciation in the creativity inherent in non-linear groups – how many hands can achieve great things, the effect of that shared space may be transient and ephemeral, whilst the message and movement continues to grow outwards. She feels lucky living in Brighton, as she is forever finding inspiration in amazing people.
One of her favourite places is the Whitehawk Community Food Project; it’s full of edible wonders, fire pit smells, plus wild flowers and bees and gorgeous folk that grow honest food.
When Fiona is not, making she is walking, clothes swapping, making curries, visiting the allotment, reading the tarot or giggling with her son and boyfriend.
When asked What would be your most inspired creative collaboration? she had no hesitation in answering:-
I’d love to work alongside Tanvi Kant, her work is very intense in colour, and embracing of found fibre and cloth; Tanvi’s jewellery pieces are equisitely crafted.
I also admire the patient and humourous crochet work by local artist and maker, Kate Jenkins – I’d love to do a masterclass with these two, what design starting points, we would bound to come out with some creative gems !
Fiona necklaces and accessories for Shaboutique offer a revived celebration of once worn beautiful cloth and found objects. Driven by her desire to deconstruct and re-invent, she brings you eco-infused, bricoleur inspired, responsibly crafted collections