By The Gem Monarchy
Unconventional jewellery for rule breakers and story makers — Fairina Cheng is a Sydney-based jeweller and designer that thrives on her connection to distinctive, story-worthy and ethically-made jewellery. Some jewellers have the calling from a very young age, and others later on. Being the latter, Fairina’s experiences later on led her towards a career creating bespoke jewellery that tells a unique and symbolic story.
Jewellery, a Happenstance?
Being surrounded by department store jewellery and mass consumerism, we’ve all felt the mundane nature of mass-produced jewellery. Fairina was no stranger to this feeling, with “one engagement ring [looking] just like the next.” Initially a corporate-driven member of society, she worked long and hard hours. Taking a silver jewellery-making course was one of the only ways she could get off work on time, at least one day a week.
Traditional jewellery never enticed Fairina. She became interested in body jewellery when she was 16 due to its uniqueness. “I still remember the rush I felt the day I put in my resignation at my corporate job to go full time in my jewellery practice,” she says.
Fairina Cheng Jewellery is unique and varies from simple and timeless to distinct and unconventional designs. She loves making pieces with coloured gemstones, especially sapphires and designs them to have a story woven into them, like an inside joke or something symbolic of the couple.
Style and Philosophy
Most of the jewellery Fairina creates has a home before it is even made. She avoids excesses of producing extra stock and strays away from designing seasonal collections. Instead, she creates one-off pieces intended to be treasured for life, an approach that is much more in tune with her business philosophy.
While developing her style, Fairina tried her hand at computer-aided design (CAD). One of her first collections was a geometric 3D-printed design she created while experimenting in a TAFE classroom. Today, the majority of what she makes is handmade or wax-carved, supported by some CAD designs to balance the workload of a small one-person workshop. “The pieces I love are the ones with stories that make their new owners’ eyes light up, fill their hearts and put big goofy grins on their faces,” she says.
Dreams, Desires and Hobbies
Some jewellers dream of creating international jewellery brands, while others seek a more personal connection. Regarding her aspirations, Fairina dreams of growing the business while still being able to work closely with people globally to create custom-made storytelling pieces. Fairina’s current focus is to put effective systems and processes in place and grow a small and talented team to allow her to explore fresh ideas and invest in developing new skills.