Myths and folklore have been a significant part of every civilization and culture from the beginning of time. Belief in the supernatural and paranormal is a way for people to escape from the stark realities of their lives. Tales of magical beings have been passed on from one generation to another. Stories of fairies, elves, trolls, and other extraordinary creatures make up for the rich history of many nations. One of the most popular among these mythical creatures is fairies. This concept has been adopted and recreated by many book authors and moviemakers. While some creatures from folklore may have lost their significance with time, fairies are remembered and revered to date.
Iron and Folklore
Iron has a long and varied relationship with the mythology and folklore of the world. It is believed to repel, contain, or harm fairies, ghosts, witches, and other evil supernatural creatures. Superstitions sprung from this belief in a number of forms. People would nail and iron horseshoes on their door to ward off evil spirits and late to bring good luck. An iron fence surrounded cemeteries to contain the souls of the dead within the iron boundaries. Some people even buried an iron knife under the entrance of their home to keep witched from entering.
The Creation of Iron Fairies
Despite the mythological distance between iron and fairies, author Ashley Sutton imagined a world where the two could co-exist as Iron Fairies (fairies made from iron). As ironic as it may sound to folklore believers, Ashley Sutton wrote three popular books about his magical creations. Children loved his fiction storybooks, and his concept of Iron Fairies was a success.
Ashley Sutton worked underground in Western Australia’s mines. Deep in the iron-ore mine, he would get bored of the dreary working environment. That’s when Ashley began to dream and draw the story of a group of miners who forged iron fairies. The fairies would come to life when the morning sun shined on them, but it was in their destiny to turn to rust unless protected by the magic of fairy dust. At the time, these were only drawings and scribbles, and Ashley had no intention of being an author. However, his factory manager was an intelligent man with a good eye for business, and he convinced Ashley to publish the stories. The books were a success in the U.S, and he launched a range of iron fairies figurines to accompany the stories.
The demand for the iron fairies figurines was so high that Ashley built a factory in Bangkok to keep up with it. He designed his factory beautifully so his staff would feel inspired and passionate about his brand. As locals of Bangkok, the staff member couldn’t read Ashley’s stories due to the language barrier. Other people liked to visit his factory and watch the staff make iron fairies, so Ashley thought of adding a bar and kitchen to the factory to keep them entertained. The way Ashley designed his factory was so impressive that landlords approached him to do something similar to their spaces. One thing led to another, and Ashley had the opportunity to design around 30 restaurants and bars in Bangkok.
Ashley Sutton: The Creator of Iron Fairies
Ashley Sutton owns the intellectual property rights for the Iron Fairies and has franchised it in a few countries. He is also the owner of Iron Balls, a gin brand that is brewed in Thailand and distributed across Europe. When asked about the inspiration behind the Iron Fairies, Ashley confessed that the concept originated from his depression and the need to escape from the world. He established bars in Asia because the people he saw on busy streets reflected his own feelings. He wanted the Iron Fairies spaces to provide a place for people to escape from the busy, nerve-wracking, and murky streets.
The Iron Fairies Innovative Themed-Bars
The Australian-born interior designer has carved a niche for himself in Asia with his iconic concepts like J. Boroski, Sing Sing Theatre, Ferries, and Maddie Choo’s in Bangkok. A fantastic fairy tale bar, the Iron Fairies has a complete menu with tungsten workshop lamps, designer cocktails, and fairy dust. J. Boroski is an innovative cocktail concierge built in a secret location of Bangkok’s popular Thong Lor area. The Sing Sing Theatre takes people back to the 1930s with its Chinoiserie magic. While the jazz club, Maggie Choo’s has a speakeasy and colonial-themed appeal.
Ashley Sutton has branched out to other cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur. He has recently opened his latest The Iron Fairies outlet in a three-story venue in Kuala Lumpur. The extraordinary décor resembles a fairy dust-making factory with a magical outdoor rooftop called the Fairy Garden. In a spectacular show of artistic talent, it also features a dark, enclosed butterfly room with a million bottles of fairy dust and 50,000 handmade butterflies hanging from the ceiling.
Ashley Sutton tries to build his themed bars around the idea of a secret garden. The more the guests explore the area, the more secrets they might reveal. As a child, Ashley had an active imagination, and he liked drawing, building treehouses and machines. His creativity and passion led to the creation of the Iron Fairies, a name that has earned him respect in artistic circles. His three venues in Hong Kong: Ophelia, J. Boroski, and The Iron Fairies, are some of the most exciting and innovative bar designs Hong Kong has seen in recent years.
It is interesting to see what imagination and creativity can accomplish together. A material that has been believed throughout history to repel fairies has become so closely associated with it due to Ashley Sutton’s vision. The iconic Iron Fairies franchise is taking root in many cities across the globe, making Ashley’s dream a reality. Boasting an extraordinary and other-worldly experience, all of Ashley’s projects are one-of-a-kind and breath-taking. They have the power to transport their guests to an unknown and magical world where anything is possible.