The eponymous creator of Jessica Found It is like a moth to a flame when it comes to lighting design. Creating furniture pieces sculpted from salvaged materials and “fleamarket junk”, the Birmingham art graduate demonstrates the epitome of up-cycling. Turning the unassuming copper pipe into “elegant” pieces of decor; Jessica found it, Jessica re-imagined it and Jessica turned it into something seriously stylish.
What inspires you on a daily basis?
Living in the countryside is a constant inspiration – whether my work obviously reflects that or not I don’t know but being immersed in English countryside and a genuine passion to preserve not only our pretty pastoral picture but the earth as a whole, as our mutual home, is of utmost importance to me.
Would you say that your work crosses over with the more industrial, Steam Punk style though?
It’s certainly been compared to it and I do see some similarity, in fact if I’m honest I was probably inspired by that ‘machine age’ look early on in my Jessica Found It career, but one can’t help wanting to differentiate or at least not be pigeon-holed. I do also think that Steampunk, in the main is very engineered and I try to create a more elegant line in my work, its more about shape than function (despite the obvious lightbulb bit!).
What made you choose lighting over other pieces of furniture?
As a teenager I was briefly nicknamed ‘Moth’. My bedroom was home to a lava lamp, a fibre optic lamp, a UV lamp and more fairy lights than the Buckingham Palace Christmas tree. I have become more interested in other interior products but always come back to lighting. I feel more confident in producing something that’s functional. I am totally self-taught and can’t currently afford the time to learn new skills but I have just invested in a load of printing gear so this winter when my workshop is too cold to be in I can hopefully start to try something new…watch this space I suppose!
We love this sentiment – “second-hand is most certainly good enough, often better, it has a story and it’s already been made.” Do you have a particularly interesting story about a certain item?
I found a box of what I thought were Victorian fairy lights at a flea market and later discovered they were fire sprinklers, the sort you get in the ceilings of public buildings. They’re absolutely beautiful – a purely functional object that looks like some kind of stylized flower. The fact I can make artistic use of a defunct industrial component is like poetry to me!
With this hoarding/collecting habit, do you struggle to let go of some of the items you create?
In a word, yes. I have one lamp called ‘Dark Horse’ which I could never let go – I take it to fairs as a showpiece and could create something similar, but this chap is mine. He’s called Dark Horse because he’s very handsome but I added a vintage piping nozzle to his back-end and so he’s got a bit of a sting in his tail.
Why should people fill their spaces with up-cycled goods from Jessica Found It?
Because they’re fun? “Witty, yet elegant” is probably the most complimentary comment I’ve ever had. They have a history, they will be a talking point, and they will be supporting an independent maker!
Fill in the gap – ‘The ………….., the better’.
The sillier, the better.
Words by Alice Freeman