In conjunction with the 2018 Gympie Rotary Quilt & Craft Spectacular, The Rotary Club of Gympie proudly presented it's inaugural “Ancient Craft, Rare Trades” – a collective expo featuring makers of the workshop trades, rare field and household crafts of yesteryear, once the foundation on which our communities were built and integral to daily living. Over 30 artisan and tradespeople demonstrated their craft to inspired audiences, and the feedback has been incredible.



Over 30 traditional tradesmen and women practised their trades – Woodworkers; Spoonsmiths; a Bookbinder; Luther; Toymaker; Lapidarist; Silversmith; Lacemakers; Ceramicist; Harpmaker; Gilder; Blacksmith; Beekeepers; Shingle Splitter; Knifemakers; Basketweavers; Spinners; Papermakers; Mosaic Artist; Leatherworkers; Leadlighters; Whipmaker and displays of vintage steam engines, heritage axes, vintage corn sheller … and even craft beer!



Gympie & District Woodworkers Club – all weekend, the “woodies” demonstrated many aspects of woodworking, from age-old  pyrography, woodturning and scrollsawing to handcarving and spoonsmithing. On show will be all manner of wooden treasures, from little “comfort birds” to guitars, harps and more.


Deirdre Wilson – as one of the “woodies”, spooner Deirdre Wilson handcarves intricate and detailed Welsh Love Spoons. A centuries old tradition in Wales, young men used to lovingly carve a love spoon to give to their beaus, carving symbols of love; hearts; Celtic knots; bells; and horseshoes. 


Lacemakers – with it's exact origin in dispute, historians at least agree that the late 16th century marked a rapid development in lacemaking, when lace came into it's own, dominating trendes in both fashion and home decor. The Fraser Coast Lacemakers exhibited and demonstrated this exquisite art form.


Bookbinder – Master Photographer Australian Institute of Professional Photography and owner of Eye on Photography, Jan Ramsay presented her award-winning photographic collections in beautiful hand-bound books that she personally designs and lovingly creates… works of art in themselves. A selection of these wonderful hand-crafted albums were on display, and Jan was happy to meet'n'greet a fascinated crowd.


Wild Baskets – Judy Wolski takes something hated, and turns it into something loved – pesky weeds and vines (with Morning Glory as a stand-out favourite) become beautiful material for weaving gloriously creative baskets – throw in some grasses and dead leaves, and you have an artpiece.


Vintage Toymaker – a huge – huge! – collection of vintage metal memorabilia, including handforged toys, gadgets & gizmos, signs etc from renowned classic car enthusiast/ blacksmith/ welder and collector, Jim Walsh.


Ceramicist – Using processes that include raku, smoke and saggar firings, Carol’s handcrafted techniques and self-made glazes ensure that no two pots are ever the same. W: 


BeekeepersValley Bees are committed to support the diversity of honey bees, social stingless bees and solitary bees, along with a focus on pollination and habitat. Auspiced by the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee. W:


Leadlighter – Acclaimed glass artist Richard Apel has completed numerous public art commissions, including a stained glass chapel window at Wesley Hospital in Brisbane. In 2008, Richard was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to learn centuries old German glass painting and firing techniques at the Schilling factory in Frankfurt.


Papermaker – Master papermaker Dion Channer has exhibited his handmade paper around the world. At this event, he demonstrated how paper was made by hand back in the day: "The way I shall do it is the same way it has been done for nearly 3,000 years with some variations on the theme." Using raw materials such as mulberry bark and various types of cellulose, plant derived, fibres for his exquisite papers, Dion creates writing paper, envelopes, paper for limited edition books and miniatures to major art installations, room dividers, and sculptures.


Mosaics – The earliest known mosaics were found in a Mesopotamian temple dating back to the 3rd millennium BC. Made up of ivory, seashells, and stones, these decorative, abstract pieces laid the groundwork for mosaics made thousands of years later. Using this age-old technique, Sue Purnell creates exquisite pieces using tiny pieces of coloured glass, for indoor and outdoor diplay.


Blacksmith – A regular exhibitor and demonstrator at Gympie's Woodworks Museum, George will bring along his portable forge to demonstrate and show a range of items being produced.


Lapidary & Silversmithing – from Gympie's Gem Club, catch their enthusiasm – their demonstators have a wealth of knowledge to share.


Whipmaker – Bill Glasgow has been plaiting for about 20 years – his craft started by accident when he went into a saddler’s shop to buy a plaited belt and walked out with a hand book on belt plaiting, a pair of nickel rings and enough lace to make a 36inch belt. Two years later, he branched into whip making. Now an award-winning plaiter, Bill's keen to pass on all the info on what makes good whip work and what goes where.


Hart's Harps and Manu's Gilding – Ziko Hart is a creator of fine hand-made specialist harps, crafted from a combination of traditonal materials and modern durable materials such as hemp composite. He is also researching traditional and vintage harps and involved in their restoration. Working alongside Ziko was Manu Bugallo, a gilder, French polisher and antique picture frame restorer. 


Knifemaker – Steve Weis developed an appreciation of fine chef’s knives and serving knives while hosting at the carvery at Weis’ Top of the Range Restaurant in the 1970’s. The lure of the knives comes from the deep history of craftsmanship and metallurgy embedded in the creation of Pattern Welded Damascus. His integral (made from a single piece) knives featuring hollow Damascus handles are believed to be the first of their kind in the international marketplace.


Spinner & Weaver – Ros Evans, the Foxy Felter, is a keen spinner and weaver, using wools from her own alpacas raised by hand on her Gympie property. Interesting mixes of wools create lovely soft weavings, like the scarf pictured below made from alpaca and bamboo.


Leatherworker & Plaiter – Custom leathercrafter Maureen Irving designs and creates handbags, clocks, canteens and more in a variety of leathers, while the other half of this husband and wife duo makes leather belts to order, while you wait!


HISTORIC AXES & SAWS from The Max Krogh Collection, presented by Hamish McDonald – with quite a provenance behind them. Hamish delighted in revealing the wonderful history behind this collection.


Luther  Gaz Walton, of Walton Custom Guitars, and his wife Lisa established Walton Guitars several years ago as they have a passion for such creations, design and timber. Each piece begins with a careful selection of timbers and finishes with an outstanding custom acoustic guitar.

With thanks to the following sponsors, the Queensland Government and Gympie Regional Council.

The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Gympie Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.