I was born in Russia – I can still remember walking in the fields with my babushka. When I was six, we moved to Greece, but by age 23 I was feeling stifled and ready to spread my wings. I moved to London, to study and to be free to be myself and reach my full potential.
Here, I was accepted: as a gay person and as a woman who could pursue her ambitions. I studied at an award-winning music school and started curating art exhibitions in Shoreditch and beyond. I loved breaking down the traditional barriers to emerging artistic talent, and sharing new art with the public.
Soon I decided to pursue my own artistic ambitions. I’m a real hands-on person, which is why being a designer and maker means so much to me. I have an intimate relationship with each piece of wood. I select it based on provenance and sustainability, then treat it with care and respect. I love the heartwood, because it is so beautiful and tells a good story.
Now I spend my days creating handcrafted furniture and enjoying life with my wife, Sara and young son, Nicholas.
“Each wood grain pattern is unique… like a heartbeat, revealing the
“I want to celebrate women’s stories – which are often missing from the history books – just as my hardwood furniture reveals the hidden story of each tree.”
While many furniture makers reject wood without a uniform grain, Fay Sebel carefully selects heartwood with a rich and unique wood grain pattern.
“It’s like a heartbeat, showing each tree’s life and history. You can actually see where a branch unfurled. Each piece is individually crafted by hand and lovingly sanded and oiled, to become a conversation – and conservation – piece.”