Fiona Simmons is one of our sparkling and warmly inviting tutors who will be presenting skills, inspiration and knowledge as part of ourSummer Workshop Series kicking off January 2015.  Fiona is a multi-disciplinary creative who loves jewellery, ceramics, design and drawing.  She took time out to share some thoughts about the handmade, summer and the importance of coming together.

What are your earliest memories around crafting and DIY?

I have so many craft memories, it’s hard to remember the timeline! I was always making stuff- paper chains to post to family members, Art Attack style illustration of a unicorn made from gathered acorns, painting white canvass sneakers with puff paint and glitter to match my genie costume (maybe age 4?). I was always encouraged to make things for myself.


What is your personal philosophy around what you do and the handmade?

Everyday I’m purely making things that make me happy in the hope that they will find another human and they will get happy too, making things by hand is and always will be a contributor to my happiness.


Why do you think workshops like this are important?

The workshop I run is important to me because it gives me a chance to invite people to be part of my world and it makes me feel happy to provide a platform for people use the intrinsic creative skills we all have. Workshops, like all of the Summer Series workshops, contribute to a thriving culture of making which in turn makes Melbourne great, educates the public of the importance of the hand made object as well as creating an inviting place to network with other interesting people.


What at are you reading at the moment that is keeping you inspired?

Joan Didion- Slouching towards Bethlehem. I’ll re-read this book forever, total life changer.


What is your dream collaboration?

 Just imagine if Drake and I made jewellery together… Dreams can come true.

Seriously though I love to collaborate and I’m looking forward to releasing a textile colab soon with the incredible talent that is Many Peaks Assembly.


What are your three survival tips for Melbourne summers?

Cold brew coffee, beach trips before sunrise and movies at the Sun Theatre in Yarraville to really escape the heat.

If you could take one of the other Summer Workshop sessions, which one would you pick!?

They all look really amazing however I’ve always wanted to know  such an incredible skill to have!