Fiona Luing’s Jewellery range is crafted from precious metals and gemstones of intense, lucid colours achieving clean and striking designs. The stones give the pieces an opulent radiance, as Fiona says, “when it comes to stones, it’s the brighter the better if you ask me.”
“I take lots of inspiration from antique jewellery. The level of workmanship and strength of design involved in making something that will last for hundreds of years without dating is definitely something to strive for.” Fiona’s jewellery certainly has antique and vintage elements to their designs yet the execution is a quality crafted, timeless piece of jewellery. ‘The Victorian era is my favourite for jewellery, due to their fearless use of colour.” Fiona’s Honey Pot rings and pendants encircle various gemstones, adding an attractive burst of colour. “When it comes to stones, it’s the brighter the better if you ask me. Chrysoprase is my favourite of all the stones, as when you find a nice one, it’s such a pure opalescent green, that it seems almost artificial in its beauty.”
Fiona Luing Jewellery was set up in 2006 in the boarders of Scotland with the help of Scottish Enterprise. With a desire to turn her hobby into a main occupation, Fiona took night classes at Edinburgh College of Art. "It's taken a while to find my style, but I feel like I'm now making some really interesting yet classic pieces." Fiona and her husband, Martin a documentary photographer, live in Scotland's beautiful and bewitching medieval capital of Edinburgh. Her brand has grown though a combination of adoration for her jewellery making as well as her astute business acumen; “Initially, I approached some local galleries and shops about showing my work, and now have around twenty stockists in the U.K.”
I love the balance in Fiona Luing’s jewellery; it's sophisticated, bold and modern and often has quite quirky overtones. I was particularly attracted to her textured studs and upside down diamond ring. Fiona loves to experiment, telling us, “I sign up for at least one big exhibition each year, which in turn pushes me to design and make a new body of work. I work best under pressure, so I’m often pleasantly surprised by what might emerge from a tight deadline.”
Fiona kindly sent me a pair of her Silver Glitter Studs which I absolutely love! The simple, circular button stud has beautiful detailing in the speckled texture - this offsets the shininess of the silver and gives them an edgy, industrial finish. Sitting flat against the ear, they are incredibly easy to wear and the minimal design means they can be paired with different outfits and worn every day. These studs have already become part a part of my everyday get-up! Non-invasive, simple and stylish, they are an attractive addition to your ensemble. The earrings come in a choice of five sizes and are presented in pretty recycled boxes.
Being a one person business may sound like hard work, but there are some quite glamorous activities that Fiona gets to do herself, such as popping down to Hatton Garden in London to choose her stones.
Fiona told me she is “totally in awe” of singer, Kelis and in the summer she decided to leave her a gift at her Somerset House gig in London; “I had an inkling that she likes bright green, and could see that she usually wears gold jewellery, I found the perfect huge chrysoprase teardrop stone for her in a chucky handmade setting. I was thrilled to spot Kelis wearing the ring on stage during her European tour, and completely blown away to see her wearing it throughout her new cookbook ‘My Life on a Plate’.”
It can be easy to forget that designing is more than creating something that is aesthetically pleasing and attractive to wear. But whether you talk to a graphic, fashion or jewellery designer you often hear the same thing repeated and that's this: designing is a process to solve problems and find solutions. Fiona too, communicates a process of trying, testing and prefecting in her jewellery making; " I love making, so spending the majority of my time exploring new techniques and trying to improve on the fundamental ones. Working on how to make something new, and solving puzzles that inevitable arise gives me a great sense of achievement."
When asked about her current work and hopes for the future, Fiona tells us;“My husband and I have taken a stall at Edinburgh’s European Christmas Market this year, and are currently spending 45 days in Princes Street Gardens selling my jewellery. Hopefully the proceeds from this will enable me to put into production an entirely ethical collection of jewellery using recycled gold and conflict free stones in the new year. I feel that the time is right to attempt a change for the better, and to see how my customers will respond to a different type of jewellery.”
Fiona will be sharing a stand with The Edinburgh Bow Tie Company at Edinburgh's European Christmas Market until the 4th of January- be sure to pop down and see her if you're in the area or visit her site for exquisite presents and remember to treat yourself too this Christmas.
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*Disclaimer: Whilst I was generously gifted the Silver Glitter Stud earrings by Fiona Luing, all opinions expressed are authentic and representative of Olive Road Journal. With the exception of the stud earrings, the images in this post were supplied by and are copyrighted to Fiona Luing.