FairyRoom strives to make our wide and varied community feel a little smaller and a lot more connected. Our goal with this series: to seek out people who support our community in their own Fantastic way, starting with artisans and crafters whose stalls line fantasy fairs and FaerieCons — the folk who keep us in wings, fairy dust, bodices, and for-the-day elven ears and horns. Today we’d like to introduce…
Noelle Faulker, proprietress of Firebird Fae Couture, loves creating Fantastic textiles, with a specialty in exquisite fairy wings. Her approach of burning the edges of silk fabric for a more natural appearance is a unique style that has made her a favorite among fairy lovers seeking that “one-of-a-kind” beautiful garment to reflect their magical and inner self. As a child she was enamored with playing dress-up, and now instead of donning her mother’s too-big-for-her gowns, Noelle designs a lovely clothing line that has become a fixture at both festivals and performance shows. FairyRoom was pleased to spend some time with Noelle…
What Kind of Fairy/Fantasy-Related Work Do You Do? Tell us about your artistic process.
I create hand-dyed mythical clothing and faerie wings using silk, one of my favorite fabrics, as it comes in a wide variety of weights and textures, drapes beautifully, feels luxurious and is easy to dye amazing colors. My process is a pretty simple one – cut, burn, dye, wash, iron, and sew! I find that ironing reveals the true color of the dye process and many times it produces surprising results — many times the result is quite different than the expectation. And with luscious fabrics and designs in my head I am rarely bored! For me, my heart is filled with the joy of creating and sharing silky treasures. I am grateful for the lovely people who support my work with their admiration, interest and generous patronage.
When did your interest in fairy/fantasy-related work begin? What first inspired you?
Cinderella was a favorite and a pop-up book of Sleeping Beauty. These weren’t the Disney varieties (although I loved those as well) the illustrations were much more detailed and painterly, I read them time and time again. I also loved dressing up. One dress-up gown had beautiful applique flowers placed diagonally up the skirt and on the bodice, but the very best part were the rhinestones scattered here and there like stars. Sometimes my mom would even let me wear her rhinestone tiara. I felt like a real princess! I suppose I never stopped playing dress-up.
As an adult I discovered both the Renaissance Faire and the Dickens Faire, both of which demanded beautiful and amazing outfits. My first gown used yards and yards of grey-green velveteen and sparked my interest in creative clothing. And that creative passion has stayed is still with me. The canvas and combination of delicious silks and all colors imaginable is impossible to resist. I am having so much fun creating combinations of fabrics and colors that work together!
What Part of Your Process Do You Most Enjoy?
It is challenging to pick just one area about my work that I enjoy the most. I do love the ironing step because it simply reveals the true color of the dye process, many times producing surprising result.
There is a wonderful sense of satisfaction when each piece is completed, but the ultimate moment of delight comes from watching a customer’s eyes light up when they find the piece of their dreams. It often reminds me of that little girl playing dress up in her mom’s gowns, wearing that rhinestone tiara!
What Can the Fairy/Fantasy World Expect From You? Where can you be found?
I recently designed a lovely shrug/shawl for cool evenings that is playful enough for a festival, but elegant for evening wear. I am also collecting beautiful vintage slips to create special summer dresses inspired by the Belle Epoque (think Art Nouveau and those great evening gowns in the first season of Downton Abbey).
Come and visit me at Faeirieworlds this summer to see them. Plans are in the works to create more one-of-a-kind pieces and these will be announced through Facebook as they are completed. And look for Firebird fae couture on Facebook. Special collections will be posted when they are ready. I do want to encourage people to post pictures of themselves in their Firebird garments. While you are on-site, check out the terrific photo albums!
Thank you, Noelle!
Many people make great contributions to the Fantastic community every day. We couldn’t possible highlight everyone, but if you know an individual (or group) who is doing something Fantastic, please let us know!