In and Out of the Comfort Zone

I’m certainly comfortably established at my local rural market every Saturday. It’s my social life and my retail space. Having been intrigued for the last couple of years, I decided that it was time to get on and register for the bi-annual Dimensions in Leather Conference mid year in Brisbane. The climate was a bit uncomfortable, plus going there alone, but I found it a really enriching experience meeting people who enjoy the same craft. The tutors were great and I learnt lots of valuable skills and tips. Not to mention the fabulous trade fair!

The biggest challenge as a one person enterprise is producing enough pieces to make a nice looking stall. The upside is that lots of people have requested special items or renovations because they know where to find me.

My collaboration with Crocosaurus Cove’s retail shop has continued to be a terrific opportunity to use some lovely crocodile skins to make original pieces which will hopefully continue to flourish.

Soon my lovely new leathers and paints will arrive in the post, following my recent buying trip. I can’t wait to start making this year’s collection!

March 2018

Holiday season is well and truly over and it's back with a vengeance to the workshop!   There are a few new items on the shelves in the Crocosaurus Cove shop, and I've had plenty of other commissions too through the market.  I still love my Saturday mornings, catching up for a chat with lots of friends and acquaintances, and getting good feedback on my work.  There just never seems to be enough hours in the week to produce as many new pieces as I'd like.  I'm hoping that I will get really proficient with some familiar templates and be able to pump out a bit bit more, although its a trade-off with keeping everything original and unique.  

This year I've decided to treat myself in July and attend the Dimensions in Leather Conference in Brisbane, where I intend boning up on my braided lace techniques and cracking the formidable Turk's Head knot!  The mid-winter cold is a bit daunting however, as we don't do jumpers here - no doubt I will be the badly-dressed fish out of water, but what the heck!

I have also been honoured recently in creating some custom knife sheaths for a talented local knife-maker.  This has been really enjoyable; another great craft connection made in our rural area - I love it!

Mid Year Update

Where did that six months go?  It suddenly dawned on me at the recent TactileArts craft fair that I haven't made any updates here for quite a while.  Now there are some fresher items displayed in the gallery of my work, and as you will see, I've been quite productive!  This year I'm working with  more crocodile skin, including a lovely piece in striking lime green. 

Our local Saturday market at Fred's Pass Reserve has picked up this dry season, where I chat to lots of locals and visitors, do a few repairs and make some custom items.  We're just about to head into our third Art Trail day and I'm looking forward to receiving a few visitors; don't forget to visit our website and check out all my fellow artisans - www.darwinarttrail.com.au 

It's also time to get some exhibits together for the Adelaide and Melbourne Royal Shows, which were fun to participate in last year.  Not sure that I'll get to either in person though.

Thanks for visiting, and I'll check back in later in the year.

2017 here we go!

Thanks so much to all the lovely people who bought their special gifts from me and all of my fellow local makers last Christmas.  I hope the recipients were all pleased.  Our local market closed for six lovely weeks of rest, and I was able to make 4 new items for the collection.  We are all back again now and raring to go!

Exciting news for this year is that, along with two other local artists, Little Egret is joining the Darwin Art Trail.  We will each be opening our studios and workshops to the public on the 3rd Sunday in each month through the dry, so visitors can take a look into how and where we produce our wares.  I'm quite excited about this new venture in my creative journey!  To learn more, please visit the website: www.darwinarttrail.com.au

I look forward to meeting new people and sharing my craft in the coming year.

November 2016

Another year almost done! Looking back I can see that my skills have improved over time and I've achieved quite a lot this year.  There are still plenty of skills to hone and this keeps me keen to get into the workshop each day.  Quite a few people have asked me to make them special items and on the whole everyone is pretty happy; it certainly helps attract custom having a regular presence at the market each Saturday,and gives me some social life too!  We have a great little community of makers and sellers there and I'm quite proud to be a part of it.  Thanks to everyone who has stopped for a chat, given encouraging words, and of course bought some of my items.

I'm hoping for a few pre-Christmas sales and am getting as many items as I can produce onto the tables.  After our last market before Christmas we'll be having a short break to regroup for the next exciting season.

May already!

The momentum is building with our market season, and I'm really happy with the way my stall is looking.  Yesterday I had quite a few visitors; some just admiring, others enquiring and a few buying too!  I had some new items to show off,  including a suede knife roll I was able to make with my new machine which I'm slowly mastering.  Every day sees a new skill or discovery!

I've also been a daredevil and entered some exhibits in three Royal Shows - Darwin, Adelaide and Melbourne.  We'll see how it goes.  I will definitely be a small fish in a big sea in the interstate shows. Wish me luck!