Fiona Gall, is an artist who works under the brand name of Emerald Faerie, making beautiful bespoke contemporary lighting and costume jewellery. Fiona creates one-off sculptural art lighting pieces and replicates her master designs to order. She specialises in custom designs for private, retail and hospitality clients in the UK, and the USA. Each piece is handmade in her studio in Kent.
- Interior design
Ramsgate, , Ramsgate, Kent, United Kingdom,
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I design and make bespoke decorative lighting and statement jewellery.
My work is made from reused, repurposed & upcycled materials, from antique and vintage finds (and sometimes not so old) mixed in with new materials like glass, brass, steel, silver and bronze. I have even made chandeliers from car parts for a museum.
I grew up in Hayes Kent, I went to art college in Croydon on a General Art and Design course where I got to experience a bit of everything from fine art, textiles to photography and print making. I then went on to study a Ba hons in Design Crafts at Hereford. Again it was very mixed media based. I have lived in South and East London. Both my parents grew up in Bromley and South East London, with grandparents from the west country and Scotland.
An artist, I used to practice my signature and sign every drawing that I did.
My Dad used to work as a sales man at the big paper mills. He would often bring home beautiful full colour printed images of tropical birds for me.
For me there was nothing else that I wanted to do. As a child I would watch birds and draw them. I always knew I would be doing something creative with my hands. Although I drew a lot as a child, at college I would always end up making very 3D pieces, even my textiles were 3D.
I love mixed media and making objects that have a purpose and a use and I think I am quite literal about that. Hence why I make lighting and jewellery; for me they both have a purpose and use.
I have always been drawn to the craftier side of things which is probably why I didn’t study sculpture. I guess a chandelier is now considered a sculpture and you can explore many things through it, put a light in it and call it a chandelier and it is widely accepted.
Why lighting? Firstly, it works hand in hand with glass, I was always holding glass and my work up to the light and it seemed like a natural progression to add a light source and start working in a more controlled way with light.
Lighting creates dramatic shadows and magical atmospheres. I am very much about creating objects that would look at home in the world of the Faerie. I am fascinated with mythology, metaphysics, the secret life of plants, the idea of nature spirits and the hierarchy of elemental beings.
I have always drawn and made things, it was when I was at college in Hereford that I began to work with wire and glass to create candle holders, tables, lights and jewellery. It was also very much about the way I drew, which tends to be quite linear.
We had been set the brief “Family”. I had been collecting different coloured/ types of glass and old Victorian bottles down by the river. I organised my glass into families. Wire just seemed like the obvious way to contain and present them allowing the light to travel through the glass. They turned into more obvious bottle like forms, which I refined into glasses and decanters and, voila, I had created my family of objects.
A few years later I was commissioned by a gallery to make a chandelier and I have not looked back since. The jewellery has always been created out of the smaller elements within the bigger pieces of lighting that I make.
Finding treasures at car boot sales & antique markets. I need to find and collect ‘materials’ objects and antiques to work with, they, in themselves, will spark off a new idea/direction or design.
I am inspired by Japanese ink drawings of flowers and trees, walks in nature, visits to museums, interiors of grand stately homes and their walled gardens, creeping vines and where ever nature is starting to or has taken over a building.
Going to car boot sales & antiques markets- looking at all the treasures that I find and grouping them together. Exploring new materials & techniques. The freedom that it gives me.
In 2016 I started working/collaborating with a retail clothing brand in America. They asked me to customise some of my existing designs into massive statement chandeliers that would help to create an experience within their stores. They were the main focal point within the stores.
OMG is that a Bra? Made from wire and glass? And it is a light?!
I am currently working more and more with wax to create decorative elements using the lost wax process to turn the forms in to bronze, silver & brass. It is great fun you can take moulds/waxes of existing objects cut them up and turn them into something new!
I can now apply this technique to cast glass and work with glass more in depth, having recently bought a glass kiln – I am very excited about what I can create from this.
To create pieces for film sets, they would have to be on the magical, fantastical side of things or an opulent period drama!
I don't have any one or stand out hero or inspiring figure. For me at this point in time I am inspired by other artists and creatives I know or know through social media- who keep pushing and creating through these difficult times, those who have created a successful business out of their passion – they are my hero’s and inspiration.
Earning a great living doing what I love and of course rummaging around antique fairs, oh and eating cake!
In my work: always take a deposit before starting any commissions.
These were deep and tricky questions to answer, they have given me a chance to think about my work and why I do what I do.