Handmade Markets review

Kerces 22 November 2008 30

In case you missed the great upswell of publicity among Canberra’s crafty scene, the inaugural Handmade Markets were on today at Albert Hall. (In fact, they’re on until 6pm if you happen to be reading this before then).

Albert Hall was a sort of compromise venue for the markets after they couldn’t get the permanent home in Gungahlin they wanted. Unfortunately, it’s not the best venue and with more than 50 stalls, the markets appear to have already outgrown the hall – before even finishing their first event! Of course, today’s bad weather did mean there were few stalls outside, but you don’t want to rely on having outside stalls with Canberra’s winters.

That said, the stalls that were crammed into the hall were of fantastic quality. I have become somewhat disillusioned with Canberra’s markets lately but the organisers here obviously put a lot of effort into vetting the stall holders. Who knew Canberra had such a trove of talent! Most items were reasonably priced (especially important with no ATM anywhere nearby) and many of the stall holders were happy to take orders.

There was an abundance of jewellery and handbags and while it was fascinating to see all the stalls and craftspeople for the first time, I suspect it might get a little samey if they all showed at the next markets and the next and the next. There were a lot of amazing textiles — obviously the ANU art school is having an influence — and a lot of the designs would have made gorgeous shirts or skirts but had not been used that way. I would like to see more clothes (there’s few local designers I have bought from before at the bus depot and Gorman House markets and there are more coming out of CIT every year) but I suppose the need for fitting rooms would have complicated things further in the crowded space.

The small food section in the kitchen smelled marvellous. They had a whole range of fresh food on sale, including plowman’s lunches, rice paper rolls and dolmades. I had a cup of cauliflower and blue cheese soup with cajun-spiced croutons and it was absolutely delicious, welcomely warming on this chilly day and only cost $3.50. There were also gingerbread houses, wines and “Crankypants” chutneys, jams and spices.

The next markets are February and I thoroughly recommend them.

UPDATED: Many thanks to poptop for sending in photos from the markets. Slideshow below:

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30 Responses to Handmade Markets review
poptop poptop 1:04 pm 18 Jan 09

They were mine, Market Girl. =-)

Here’s a link to them on Photobucket.

I have larger versions on my hard drive. Let me know (to poptop.2006@gmail.com if you want me to email you any of the larger versions.


Handmademarket Handmademarket 7:51 pm 15 Jan 09

Hey John,
any chance you could send me the slide show you so fantastically took at Handmade in Nov?

Maket Girl

Footloose Footloose 2:38 pm 26 Nov 08

Thanks Handmade. Glad to hear it was so successful and a great effort on raising so much money for MND.

Handmademarket Handmademarket 1:52 pm 26 Nov 08

Actually granny I was too!

So Kerces thanks a million for that.

Market Girl

Granny Granny 1:40 pm 26 Nov 08

Best wishes to you, too, Market Girl, and thanks to Kerces for the review. I was really tickled to see it up there.

: )

Handmademarket Handmademarket 1:35 pm 26 Nov 08

After a few days R&R, much needed I might add, I would like to say a very heartfelt thank you to everyone involved with Handmade. This includes, but not limited to, the fantastic stall holders who all believed in the Handmade Market concept, the amazing customers who came in droves on such an ordinary day and my fabulous friends & MND volunteers who came and helped put it all together on the day.

As you would all know the day was a great success for everyone. The initial feedback has been overwhelming from all concerned. This will all be taken into account and used to make the next Handmade even better.

You would already know that we raised a staggering $1698.70 on the day. This was from the MND goods that were for sale and from donations to MND. This money has already been passed on to them. That now brings the total to $2705.00 raised for MND on behalf of Handmade. Of course this could not be achieved without your generosity so a BIG THANK YOU to you all.

We also managed to get 20 gifts donated to the giving tree, these will be given to families in the ACT affected by MND this Christmas. This task will be done by the MND association.

My best wishes for you all at this magical time of the year,
Thanks again
Market Girl

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 10:55 am 26 Nov 08

It’s not necessarily a reflection on the LDA I should add – rather on the Byzantian bureaucracy that is holding up a proposal that all players want – retailers, centre managers, the other market operator, the community group, the community.

I attended a brekky meeting for the new Gungahlin businesses group this morning, and there is serious concern about the lack of sustainable trade in the town – the markets would help that.

Footloose Footloose 10:54 am 26 Nov 08

Meh. My clicker fingers not broken. I’d just like someone who’s engaged my advertising attention so intensely to bring some kind of follow up. Heaps of people from this forum attended…wouldn’t it be nice??

poptop poptop 10:27 am 26 Nov 08

For those whose clicker fingers are broken, this has gone up on the Handmade Market Website:
“An amazing $1698.70 was raised on the day.
Thank you for generous support from all of us here at Handmade.”

Id that really truly true about the LDA? My grandchildren are appalled.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 9:41 am 26 Nov 08

She’s probably enjoying some much needed R&R…

And no doubt a might cheesed off that the LDA intends operating a handmade craft market in conjunction with their Xmas party in a few weeks on exactly the same location in Gungahlin that she has been refused permission to do so!

She was refused because there is a profit component to her proposal. Last time I looked the LDA was a for-profit enterprise too.

Just. Bloody. Amazing.

Footloose Footloose 8:48 am 26 Nov 08

Y’know, it would be interesting to hear from Handmade Market now with a wrap up of how the markets went and how much money was raised….Handmade Market…please??

farnarkler farnarkler 6:15 am 26 Nov 08

Has either Gungahlin or Tuggeranong got facilities to hold the fair? If so, it should be shared.

taninaus taninaus 9:04 pm 25 Nov 08

Commercial venues would probably cost way too much. I loved the markets, there was lots of great ideas and items to browse. it was a pity that the organisers didn’t use the larger terrace on the lake side of the Hall – maybe the weather made it unusable? It was crowded but that was part of the atmosphere – although getting stalls to just have flat fronts rather than trying to have 3 tables in a u shape that were impossible to get to because of the crowd would be an improvement.

I really hope they don’t go to Gungahlin (sorry Gungahlin Al) as I wouldn’t bother driving that far on the weekend from south Tuggers (sorry I am born and bred – 20 minutes is my limit unless I really want to go somewhere!).

farnarkler farnarkler 7:47 am 25 Nov 08

From the photos I can see that it needs a bigger venue. Would the National Convention Centre do or would they charge the earth?

Granny Granny 10:12 am 24 Nov 08

Is there something you can’t do, Gungahlin Al? Pick a thing. Any thing!


Not that I feel like much of an underachiever, or anything ….

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 10:05 am 24 Nov 08

Yes – have a look at the slideshow. There were some well made garden bench seats outside, and some fairly good bowls and things with the same vendor (I think).

Inside a guy had some nice little jewellery drawers band-sawed out of some great (and seriously heavy) timber – great quality work. My boy loved the one with the secret box inside.

Good to see some good quality timber work. Often markets have bowls and things with very poorly finished goods that don’t even have all the chisel lines sanded out for instance, but still with “Manuka” prices.

However there could be a lot more woodwork if venue size wasn’t so limited. Add some more variety from the jewellery.

On timber, gotta admire the timber guy from Bodalla camped in the Goorooyaroo Reserve parking area on Horse Park Drive selling slab timber over the freezing weekend. One 3m x 1m by 80mm slab of timber was a bit worse for wear after being blown 20m away…

For anyone chasing slabs of redgum, red box, camphor laurel, etc for building their own tables etc, he told me he’d be back every second weekend (the other weekend being reserved for fishing). $300-600 for a big table-top slab, angle grinder with a wire wheel to clean up the sides (or straight cut if natural edge isn’t your thing), 5×5 posts at each corner ($45 pm), 5×2 planks around the sides and across the middle ($45), and a whole lot of sanding and wax rubbing, and you’ve got yourself a dining table that would cost $2000 from Eclipse.

Granny Granny 10:04 am 24 Nov 08

I believe there was one stall selling smaller woodwork items, and there were some nice wooden benches for sale out the front of the building.

farnarkler farnarkler 6:08 am 24 Nov 08

Was there any woodwork there? A couple of my father’s friends are big into woodwork; cabinet making, that type of thing.

This market is the type of thing Canberra needs more of.

Granny Granny 12:34 am 24 Nov 08

The origami stuff was way cool!!

colormonochrome colormonochrome 12:30 am 24 Nov 08

Ha, I’m the maker of the origami/puzzle jewellery, so there’s a massive smile on my face right now to see my work in the photo and a cool comment. ^-^

The markets were really good I think, it was a nice change not to have to sell along side cheap imported stuff, and see all the different things that Canberra locals are making. I do agree that there were a few things that were probably stretching the locally handmade definition, but on the whole I think it was a fantastic event and I can’t wait for the next one.

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