Modern-day Artisans

By Vita Forest

The Finders Keepers market, Sydney

The Finders Keepers market, Sydney

Last night I met Saskia at the Finders Keepers market at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh.  As you can see from the photo above, it is a huge, atmospheric venue in what used to be the Eveleigh Railway Workshops.  We were there to support our buddy Andrew of Barocky Chocky fame, and join the hipsters and craft aficionados for an evening of food, fashion and fine objects.

I love going to craft markets (and this is one of the best), I love “meeting the makers” and hearing about their process and inspiration.  I like seeing women pulling on beautiful silk garments and swishing about in front of the mirror tilted toward them by a stallholder.  I like seeing people picking up a well-made pottery vessel and cupping it in their hands, luxuriating in the heft of it, imagining it holding their morning coffee.  I enjoy listening to the wistful story of the broken heart behind the story of the stripey street cat from not quite newtown, and finding out what in heck raw LUXE’s Fenty Diamonds are made from (Answer – marbled concrete, sanded on the edges).  I am completely partial to the whole idea of modern-day artisans, selling their wares.

Andrew of Barocky Chocky

Andrew of Barocky Chocky

Andrew, of Barocky Chocky, is a very clever fellow who makes wonderful paper goods – cards, books and posters.  He is constantly coming up with new ideas with witty labels (Creepy Dollies and Mannequins, Substations of Sydney and of course, the classic Eurowankers Puzzle book).  My new favourite is the Ferries of Sydney poster, a nostalgic arrangement of Sydney ferries streaking about on a happy blue background, all contained within a jaunty rope border.  Though the Beloved Dogs of the World series is also gorgeous…

More fine paper goods from Barocky Chocky

I have one of those fab Things you might see in the NSW and ACT posters.

We meandered up and down the corridors of stalls, dipping in and out as something caught our fancy.  Some visitors carried glasses of wine to sip as they strolled, while others toted a large collection of bags holding their treasures.  (Speaking of bags, at Barocky Chocky a special stamp had been purchased and carefully inked and stamped on strong, brown paper bags.  These had been hung out to dry on a clothesline at the parents-in-laws’ place).  Everyone you passed sparkled a little, with happiness, of course, and also when the shining gold sticker that indicated you had paid the $2 entry fee, caught the light.

It was a hot day yesterday, but at some point during the evening, the doors at each end of the hall were opened to the elements, and a cooling breeze swept through.  You could almost hear everyone sigh with pleasure.  Previously, metal pedestal fans did their best to move the hot air around, with some shoppers fashioning their own fans out of folded paper.

At 9.45pm, they announced the market would be closing at 10, which caused a mild state of panic in many shoppers.  Ear-marked treasures were hurriedly purchased before everyone was ushered out into the cool night air.

It’s on again tomorrow – you should go!

 

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