Meet Fiona – A Contemporary Jewellery Artist

Before introducing you to my next highlighted Artist. Let me explain the reasoning behind these artist interviews.

The main reason is that during our travels we enjoy many various forms of art, some in prominent places such as in museums, art galleries or street, to even footpath art. It is a part of ordinary life for many, and very much a part of a housesitter’s life. Those that do take the route of making a living out of it, though fueled by passion it is still very much a hard road to follow.

This is my way of supporting and highlighting artists who I have come to know via blogging or family/friends. Their art tells so many stories.

So now let me introduce to my next Artist.

Fiona is someone who I have been following via her Mum who I knew back in the day when we were both training to be preschool teachers.  I have enjoyed following Fiona’s progression from being an Art student to becoming an established Artist.

She is vibrant, and I love her energy and exuberance when sharing her creative side.  What I love most is her ability to think outside the square.  As Fiona says her love of op shopping has been an excellent source for materials for her creativity, it’s bringing objects with history to making something new and to create another story with each piece of her jewellery.

An artist’s backstory can be very interesting and offer more context to the work you are viewing. Often it is a story behind the work or artist that can bring it more worth in my own eyes.

How did you decide to become a jewellery designer?

Becoming a jewellery designer came about through my journey at art school and exploring many different media from painting, printmaking, interior design and conceptual art.

Through playing and experimentation, I realised that I was most happy when playing with found objects and materials traditionally not used in jewellery. Jewellery also seems to fit with my love of metals, geometry and my upbringing as the daughter of an engineer.

Tell us about your design style.

My design style is playful and experimental.


I often incorporate non-traditional materials into my pieces and form them in ways that push boundaries. My pieces have a sting geometric personality, and the use of colour is vital in creating pieces that are beautiful even though there is always a tension between the materials used and the ideas and concepts played with.

What art media do you prefer?

My hobby of op-shopping has come to serve me well as a source of materials that often find their way into my pieces. These objects often have nostalgic connotations such as plastic picnic wear and the prior life of the objects is an important part of the pieces.

I do not stick to one particular medium and am always playing with different materials, learning how to form them, push and pull them into a new life, an original story.

Do you use that media now as your primary one?

In the past, I have primarily used plastic in my work but look forward to learning how different metals and stones, mainly semi-precious, might be incorporated into my work.

When did you first become interested in art?

I have always been interested in a creative career but chose the safe path of teaching initially. My teaching career was great but when the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010/11 hit, my mental health did not cope with the significant demands of a teacher and I had to quit.

Ever since then, creativity has been my refuge and therapy.

Branching out into a creative career, a moneymaker, is daunting, but I am unable to do anything else, so here goes, wish me luck!

How do you show and sell your work?

I am not much of a salesperson and selling my work and showing it is my constant struggle. I now have a website which has a shop and shows my pieces. I also endeavour to become an exhibiting artist, in local, national and international galleries.

Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?

My inspiration comes from everyday life, contemporary culture and topical issues but mainly, the materials that I use, have stories that want to tell and I see myself as merely a part of the equation in telling these narratives.
My own life and identity is a strong influence in my work also, always trying to figure out who I am, my artistic practice allows me to continually explore this.

Does the place you live influence your art?

Place and space are important aspects of my work. The objects have come from particular places and now are in mine. This creates tension, and through play and experimentation, I am able to explore this tension and see if any resolutions can be made.
Where I am, the place my feet walk is a part of my identity and therefore always part of the narrative. Currently, I live in Rotorua, the area I grew up but have spent 20 years living all over the world. Coming home has created many new and some old questions for me to contemplate.

Favourite or most inspirational place?

My favourite place is the place I go to when I am in my studio, creating. My studio is the place where I can create a space within myself that feels like home, space where healing occurs and I am connected with the whole universe.

Fiona, I wish you much luck, though I am quite positive your creative talent will not require you relying on luck.  I am sure many others reading this interview will want to wish you the best in your new adventure. 
Meet Fiona
Check out more about Fiona and her jewellery:
Website:  Fiona Frew
Instagram:  f.frew

13 thoughts on “Meet Fiona – A Contemporary Jewellery Artist”

  1. Lovely to meet Fiona and as you say, Suzanne it is nice to understand a little of the story behind the work. As Janis said, Fiona’s jewellery is so unique & so clever to create such interesting pieces from such different materials.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your comment. I think part of the reason for repurposing materials is that my conscience doesn’t allow me to create more ‘things’ without someone acknowledging the fact that the earth doesn’t need more stuff to pollute it and so recycling is my small gesture in trying to create a new way of doing things.

      Liked by 1 person

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