Emily Siddell began working with kiln formed glass while studying at Carrington Polytechnic (UNITEC) in Auckland. During this period she focused her study on jewellery and glass design, learning her glass techniques from renowned glass artist Ann Robinson. At the time, British glass artist Colin Reid was also in residence and he, along with jeweller Alan Preston, were important influences in the development of Siddell's work.
It was Siddell's interest in contemporary glass and jewellery that led her to begin her series of oversized glass necklaces, leis and garlands. These delicate works reflect the influence of Polynesian culture which plays such an important role in the Auckland community and which Siddell, in turn, feels has been hugely important in generating her identity as a pacific artist.
The works utilise a number of techniques, combining kiln fused glass, beads, ceramics, and, in some cases, flax and woven fibres. Although the works are sculptural in form and scale, Siddell still considers them jewellery, insisting that jewellery does not necessarily have to be worn, but can exist as an object in its own right.