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 – the feedback was incredible.

Over 45 demonstrating heritage artisans in 2021!

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MEET THE MAKERS!

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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. www.gympiewoodworkers.org.au

 

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Spoonsmith – 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. Ask Deirdre about workshops! www.gympiewoodworkers.org.au

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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.

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Master Carver – Bruce Weier is a renowned master craftsman in all aspects of wood carving, turning, fretwork and antique restoration. On the rare occasions when he isn’t working on commissions from around the world, he’s busy creating intricate and beautifully detailed signature works, releasing the varied flora and fauna hidden within each piece of wood. His aim is to continue to create wood carvings in the style of famous 18th century English carver, Grinling Gibbons. www.bruceweierwoodcraft.com 

Workshop: – Bruce enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for wood working with people at all levels of accomplishment. A sought-after tutor nationally, he will be conducting 2 workshops over the “Ancient Crafts, Rare Trades” Expo weekend – details coming soon. www.bruceweierwoodcraft.com

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Basketweaver – Basketry artist Julia Kitto combines nature’s inspiration, imagination and the beauty of raw plant fibre with traditional basketry techniques. Her woven works are mainly created from locally sourced plant life such as lomandra, philodendron, cordyline, palms, cats claw, jacaranda, agapanthus, lilies, banana, flax and more, creating and playing with a wonderful mix of fibres and natural dyes. Julia is an award-winning artist who enjoys sharing her craft through tutoring, exhibiting and also commissions Australia-wide.

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Spoons by Jeff – A twisted stick with a odd protruding lump, a gnarly knobbly burl, a battered offcut from a cracked stump – all the stuff from which Jeff’s inventive, elegant spoons and delicate bowls are so beautifully crafted. Traditionally functional or irregular, wonderfully textural and tactile, his works are sought after by collectors and galleries throughout Australia. www.facebook.com/SpoonsByJeff/

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Corn Dolly Making (Wheat Plaiting) – The art of Corn Dolly making goes back thousands of years, when it was thought that a “Spirit of Fertility” lived in, and protected the cornfields. To preserve this spirit at harvest time, and ensure the success of next year’s harvest, a corn dolly was made for the spirit to take refuge in over the winter months. Today, it is nearly a forgotten art.

Accomplished craftswoman, Shona, taught herself this ancient craft, also known as Wheat Plaiting, while living on a wheat farm in the 70s… all her materials were right at her door! 

Over the years, she mastered a variety of techniques, including checkerboarding, twining and rope-making, and now is in great demand as a tutor and demonstrator. Her achievements include repeated guest appearances at a number of Bribane’s Chelsea Flower Shows, and a guest spot on a Channel 10 documentary.

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Whittling – John Gerritsen was a man of the land. No matter where his working life took him – remote areas in the Gulf and the outback, he was never without his penknife is his pocket… in a quiet moment, to pick up a piece of wood and start whittling was as natural as breathing. 

Over the last 30-odd years working with wood, John has notched up an incredible record – carving literally thousands of life-sized dogs, cats and birds, and whittling many more miniatures. He delights in finding a piece of driftwood or dry camphor laurel and working with it’s natural form to create animals and birds. “It’s all about the attitude, expression and body language” he says with a smile.

 

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Lampworking is a form of making glass beads that dates back to the 5th century BC, when beadmakers used the flame of an oil lamp to heat glass so that it could be moulded into shapes. 

When Michele Bevis discovered lampworking about sixteen years ago, she was mesmerised, captivated by the viscous glass. She knew she had found a method of creating her own glass beads for her bespoke jewellery designs. 

Now under the name emubeads, Michele’s handmade glass beads are individually forged by layering heated glass, shaping, mixing glass with metal and powder inclusions, sometimes combined with her hand forged silver components, all combined with exquisite artistry.

Workshop: Michele will be running a workshop at the event, eco-upcycling jewellery – click here www.quiltandcraft.org/workshops/ for details and email admin@quiltandcraft.org to reserve your spot!

www.emubeads.com    www.facebook.com/emubeads    www.instagram.com/emubeads

 

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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. www.hinterlandceramics.com 

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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. www.valleybees.org.au

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Papermaker – A chance introduction to the art of papermaking in 1978 sparked a life-long passion in Dion Channer, then based in Italy. There, he practised this ancient craft, learning the traditional methods used over thousands of years. His skill was further honed in mills around Europe and Tasmania, and then the opportunity to work in a Japanese mill making paper for calligraphy and traditional paper screens perfected his craft. He has even mastering the making of papyrus, as the ancient Egyptians did. Now a master papermaker, Dion has exhibited his exquisite papers around the world, finally establishing his studio near Gympie Queensland, where he can often be found sourcing and preparing his raw materials, using various types of cellulose, plant derived, fibres – stripping mulberry bark for pulp or shredding linen for fibre – and creating exquisite artpieces from miniatures, writing paper, paper for limited edition books to major art installations, room dividers and sculptures.

Bookbinder – In a perfect pairing, at this year’s event, Dion will demonstrate the 2,000-year old art of bookbinding using his handcrafted papers. In this digital age, this is another craft that is under threat –  using traditional methods, Dion is one of a small number dedicated to preserving this beautiful craft. One book at a time, each unique, bound books are now seen as works of art in their own right.

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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, colourful pictorials laid the groundwork for this artform, establishing a craft that was to continue on for thousands of years into the future. Sue Purnell creates individual, originally designed and hand-crafted mosaic pieces, with breathtaking patterns brought to life when light is passed through each tiny handcut piece of coloured glass. www.facebook.com/mosaicsbysue/

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LeatherworkerFor sixty-four years, Chris Matthews looked at an old leather and pitch tankard he kept on his mantlepiece, inherited through his mothers’ family in England. After retirement from a life on the land, he spent quite some time researching the origins of the mug, first used in the middle Ages, and how it was created. Inspired, he bought the required tools, thread, the accessories and a hide and then he  went to work, immediately enjoying the tactile feel of the leather. 

As the number of his finished products grew, so did his expertise. He began creating mugs, jacks and water bottles, each unique and completely handcrafted, while remaining true to his firm commitment to stay as close as possible to the original Medieval design. His only concession is using health approved Resin for waterproofing rather than Tar. 

Today, Chris’s products are in demand and have gone as far as New Zealand, South Africa, United States and England…. a lost art revived.

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Blacksmith – A regular demonstrator at Gympie’s Woodworks Museum, Geoff gets all fired up! Bringing along his portable forge, he’ll demonstrate blacksmithing and show a range of items being produced. www.woodworksmuseum.com.au

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Hart’s Harps – Ziko Hart is a creator of fine hand-made specialist harps, crafted from a combination of traditional materials and modern durable materials such as hemp composite. He is also researching traditional and vintage harps and involved in their restoration. www.zikohart.com/page6/index.html

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Lapidary Lapidary, the art of cutting and polishing stone, has its roots in prehistory, as early humans began fashioning stone tools and weapons. In time, these techniques were also used for items of personal adornment. Lapidary today encompasses four art forms: tumbling, cabbing, faceting, and carving, using stone and gem materials. Meet the lapidarists from Gympie’s Gem Club, catch their enthusiasm – a dedicated group with a wealth of knowledge to share.

www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community/Gympie-Gem-Club

Silversmithing – The oldest known piece of tooled or silversmithed silver dates to 600 BC – and many of the tools used in ancient times are still used by the silversmiths of today: tongs, hammers, blow pipes with clay nozzle, used to shape drinking and eating utensils, jewelry, armour, vases and artpieces. Meet the silversmiths from Gympie’s Gem Club and discover the addictive – and ancient – art of silversmithing.

www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community/Gympie-Gem-Club/

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Spinners & Weavers – Meet the spinners and weavers, watch as they turn all sorts of fibres – sheep’s wool, cotton, alpaca, mohair and angora- into threads and yarns which the weavers make into glorious cloths 

www.facebook.com/Gympie-Spinners-Weavers-and-Crafters-1003731396327741/

Ros Evans 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.

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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. Jim’s been busy welding and  creating some new pieces – come and have a chat!

 

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Shingle splitter – Shingles & Shakes – Col is a regular demonstrator of shingle splitting at Gympie’s Woodworks Museum. In our pioneer days, rooves were first covered with bark, and later with shingles split from a then ready supply of materials. In recent times, even the tools are in the nearly forgotten past. Col demonstrates the what and the how of this once essential craft. www.woodworksmuseum.com.au

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Pen maker – Mark Wilson retired and found a new passion in life, turning pens and making hand crafted boxes. His attention to detail produces beautiful works of art. He runs courses on pen making at The Gympie and District Woodworkers Club. www.gympiewoodworkers.org.au

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Luther & Sensory Harpmaker – Bruce Walker’s shed tells all about his love of woodwork – on benches cluttered with tools and sawdust lay pieces of beautifully crafted guitars, ukeleles, intricately inlaid boxes, carvings and more. From the rafters hang a forest of turned chair legs, scrolled posts and rough planks, all in various stages of refinement. A talented artisan and woodwork tutor, Bruce is renowned for his sensory harps, which help in healing through musical therapy and the sensation of vibrations for the elderly and informed. www.gympiewoodworkers.org.au

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A power-packed show of the craft of yesteryear – consummate showman with a rollicking sense of humour, Stan Ceglinski’s power-packed show inspires a love for age-old traditions of all types of bushcraft. A mountain of a man, an award-winning bushcrafter with a deep love and knowledge of the skills of yesteryear, he will take you on a sentimental journey into our heritage and our past, passing on a host of knowledge that our country must not lose.

Stan loves wood and sees it, not only as part of Australia’s heritage, but as a magnificent and vital part of our daily lives. “To become a true craftsman” he says, “a man must live in wood, listen to it, learn it, love it and understand it.” “Technology vs Tradition”. www.billinudgelwoodworks.com.au

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And for the kids! – “Have-a-go” activities and demonstrations in traditional bushcraft – a learning program for the kids!

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