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Unearthing enchantment: Australian designer Ashley Sutton brings his mining tales to life at The Iron Fairies Bali

Unearthing enchantment: Australian designer Ashley Sutton brings his mining tales to life at The Iron Fairies Bali


From the mind of an Australian “interior design maverick” comes a new concept bar in Bali that merges the gruelling underground world of a mine with the enchantment of a fairy tale.

In November 2023, hospitality group Boutique Bars unveiled what it describes as its “most impressive venue to date” in the heart of Seminyak, Bali. The latest addition to its fleet of design-led nightlife destinations in Asia, The Iron Fairies Bali is a new bar and nightclub in the popular Indonesian tourist region, which stands out for its intricate craftsmanship and storytelling by designer Ashley Sutton.

Iron Fairies
The Iron Fairies Bali stands out for its intricate craftsmanship
The Iron Fairies story

It’s not the first time Boutique Bars has worked with Sutton on its unconventional concept venues. He is responsible for the kaleidoscopic green vision behind Hong Kong’s Art Nouveau-style cocktail bar Dragonfly as well as Dear Lilly, which features a loft of 300,000 miniature flower arrangements. 

Sutton originally came to design from a background in mining and a stopover in authorship. His tenure in a West Australian iron ore mine inspired him to pen and illustrate a trilogy of children’s books, namely The Iron Fairies, which maps the journey of old iron miners who craft exquisite fairies from iron ore in their bleak despair.

The Iron Fairies Bali is the newest venture in the franchise, joining sister venues in Southeast Asia. Each of The Iron Fairies venues offer a unique interpretation of Sutton’s artistic vision.

Designing The Iron Fairies Bali

The Iron Fairies Bali mirrors Sutton’s personal experience underground, recreating the dimly lit passageways and dark caves. 

Over three floors, three bars and a main stage for musical and art performances, the venue pays homage to an ironsmith’s workshop, with raw iron, timber, leather and mining machinery featured throughout. There are eight select VIP ‘furnaces’ crafted from cast and forged steel, which facilitate more intimate and private experiences.

Iron Fairies Bali
VIP ‘furnaces’ facilitate private bookings

Visually, The Iron Fairies Bali marries dark and light, creating an atmosphere that is at once monstrous and fascinating. Flying over a sooty and industrial backdrop are delicate fairies sprinkled throughout, surrounded by glittering gossamer and butterflies.

According to Sutton, every part of this venue is handmade and took thousands of hours from hundreds of craftsmen to complete, right down to each hand-crafted iron fairy.

“The Iron Fairies Bali is a full working fairy factory,” he says. 

“The furnaces are located on the ground floor and double as VIP rooms. All the iron ore is melted in the furnaces and then crafted to produce iron fairies, and patrons will see hundreds of thousands of fairies all around the venue, mainly on the conveyor belts and working tables.”

For the more than 100,000 Australians who holiday in Bali each month, The Iron Fairies provides a unique design-led destination. It demonstrates the limitless possibilities when a concept takes over and the potential for interior design to immerse patrons in another world.

To visit The Iron Fairies on your next trip to Bali, visit the The Iron Fairies website.

Iron Fairies Bali
The Iron Fairies marries dark and light

Photography supplied by The Iron Fairies. 

See inside another hospitality project: North Sydney’s Poetica by Cox.


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