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We talked to Sydney Jewellery Designer, Fairina Cheng

What inspired you to design jewellery?

My journey into jewellery design started unexpectedly. I was working long hours at a full-time office job and decided that I needed a reason to leave on time at least one day a week. A jewellery making class was the obvious choice. I was so curious to learn how jewellery was made!

I picked up my first jeweller’s saw at the local arts centre and fell absolutely in love with the process of manipulating metal. Soon after, I was applying for a two-year course in Jewellery and Object Design. Upon graduating, I decided I hadn’t had enough and enrolled in a three-year course in commercial jewellery manufacture. I love that I can combine both perspectives to create work that’s unique and well made!

Where does your inspiration come from for the pieces?

Most of my designs come as fleeting glimpses that materialise as ideas in my head. Some of them are there for a split second. Others I can grasp onto long enough to form them into thoughts. I know I should be keeping a sketchbook filled with ideas and inspirations. But for now, they’ll live in my head until they get translated into jewellery!

Do you custom-make pieces?

I most certainly do! Each item is either made in small runs, one-off or made-to-order in my Sydney studio. My favourites are the ones that tell a story about the people they have been designed for. It gives each design its own special character. This isn’t something that can be matched with mass produced pieces.

What's the best way to care for jewellery?

With the right care, it’s possible to maintain a beautiful finish on your jewellery. Most jewellery can be cleaned gently with a soft polishing cloth or washed with a soft toothbrush in a warm soapy water. When you’re not wearing it, store it in its box or wrapped in acid free paper.

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